Review: The Magic Of Reality by Richard Dawkins
Fairy tales are fun, but what’s the world really like? In his first attempt at a general science book, Richard Dawkins takes on some of the big questions about Nature. The twist is that he doesn’t just present a list of dry facts. Instead, each chapter starts with legends people have invented about the world.
For example, did you know that there is a myth in West Africa which says that earthquakes are the result of the Earth-giant hugging his wife? In reality, they are caused by huge continental plates scraping violently against each other. Ask yourself, which of those explanations is more exciting?
The whole experience of this book is thrilling. Apart from Dawkins’ text, which is clear and engaging, the illustrations are bright and beautiful. They bring the stories to life and make you want to get out there and discover something, explore the world for yourself.
In a creative move, the book’s publishers have also made an app version of the book for the iPad (Appstore, £9.99). The app has all the original text and pictures, plus extra videos and animations. This could well be the future of books.
This is a great start from Dawkins, covering lots of different science. Bring on the next one!
[I originally wrote this article for the "writing science" module as part of the MSc Science Communication course at UWE. It's aimed at readers of a magazine like Flipside. I've added some extra details about that publication below.]
Title: Flipside (Published by Institution of Engineering and Technology)
Tagline: Because fact is stranger than fiction.
Aim: “to raise the levels of interest in science and technology among 11-15-year-olds (Key Stage 3) students.”
See also this video: