Robert M. Hazen – Symphony in C


An enchanting biography of the most resonant – and most necessary – chemical element on Earth. Carbon. It’s in the fibers in your hair, the timbers in your walls, the food that you eat, and the air that you breathe. It’s worth billions as a luxury and half a trillion as a necessity, but there are still mysteries yet to be solved about the element that can be both diamond and coal. Where does it come from, what does it do, and why, above all, does life need it?

With poetic storytelling, earth scientist Robert Hazen leads us on a global journey through the origin and evolution of life’s most ubiquitous element. The story unfolds in four movements – Earth, Air, Fire, and Water – and transports us through 14 billion years of cosmic history.

From the archives of Harvard to the cliffs of Scotland and into the precious metal mines of Namibia, Symphony in C is a sweeping chronicle of carbon: the most essential element on Earth.

Author: Robert M. Hazen
Narrator: Paul Brion
Duration: 9 hours 42 minutes
Released: 19 Nov 2006
Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
Language: English

User Review:

history supreme

Robert Hazen is one of the big names in mineralogy and origin of life research. Hes also a highly respected musician (he played trumpet professionally all during his active career in science). Music and science are my two parallel careers as well, so I was very happy to see this book on Audible. Unfortunately, the very low key narration took some of the excitement out of what should have been a most enjoyable book. The only thing that saved it from being almost a monotone was the narrators excellent enunciation. Even so, his voice was so uninflected and soft at times that it was difficult to understand the words. And of course, the narration was sprinkled with all the typical mispronunciations that occur whenever a person untrained in the sciences tries to read even a lay scientific publication (no, molybdenum is not pronounced Molly-Be-denim). Doesnt anyone scan such books to find terms likely to be mispronounced?

Im sure I will listen to this again, even with the shortcomings in the narration.