294 pages, no illustrations
You Are Here is a dazzling exploration of the universe and our relationship to it. It is the story of how something evolved from nothing, and how something became everything. It is the story of science: the greatest story ever told. Here, for the first time in a single span, is the life of the universe, from quarks to galaxy super-clusters, and from slime to Homosapiens. The universe was once a moment of perfect symmetry, and is now 13.7 billion years of history. Clouds of gas were woven into whatever complexity we find in the universe today: the hierarchies of stars, or the brains of mammals. With wit and erudition, Christopher Potter takes us on a voyage beyond even time and space, to present the state of scientific knowledge at its most up-to-date and exhilarating.
You Are Here will provide an antidote to existential vertigo, helping you find your feet in a limitless universe For many years, I've secretly longed for someone to take me by the hand and walk me through time and space -- someone who would marvel with me at every strange thing we encountered, and pepper his scientific discourse with lines of poetry. Thank goodness Christopher Potter has come along at last. A marvelously capacious book that will attract serious readers everywhere Booklist Any reader who has avoided science for fear of being overwhelmed will find a friendly guide in Potter ... This clear and smoothly written look at the mind-boggling history of everything is both informative and provocative. Publishers Weekly Wonderful stuff, the most thoughtful pop science book of the last few years ... erudite, elegant and thoughtfully constructed Sunday Times This "Portable History of the Universe" is awe-inspiring in its reach. It ranges easily over millions of miles and takes in billions of centuries at a stroke, yet at the same time it's somehow intimate and conversational in its manner. The engaging medium is the message, perhaps: to contemplate the universe, suggests Potter, is "to find ourselves at two poles at the same time: we are uniquely special and we are insignificant". Playing both poles against the middle with extraordinary aplomb, his book opens up to us the vastness of the cosmos. Scotsman One of the best popular science books I have ever read Guardian Less folksy and biographical than Bill Bryson, less zany than a Bluffer's Guide. But many a bang for your buck, washed down with quotations from the greats ... Potter has an engaging style. Daily Mail
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For many years, Christopher Potter worked at the publishing house Fourth Estate. He lives in London and New York. This is his first book.