THE ORDER OF TIME
By Carlo Rovelli
Translated by Erica Segre and Simon Carnell
Read by Benedict Cumberbatch
4 hours, 19 minutes. Penguin Audio.
Some elements of Rovelli’s narrative, like the material on light cones and loop quantum gravity and spin networks, many readers will find incomprehensible. But the many other excellent explanations of science, the heart and humanity of the book, its poetry and its gentle tone raise it to the level and style of such great scientist-writers as Lewis Thomas and Rachel Carson. Listening to Rovelli’s book, as read by Cumberbatch, we hear the warm voice of a modest man searching to understand not only the physical world but also how he, and we, perceive it. “Time, then, is the form in which we beings whose brains are made up essentially of memory and foresight interact with the world,” Rovelli writes near the end. “It is the source of our identity.”