The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True [Paperback]

Richard Dawkins
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.99
Price: CDN$ 13.71 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.28 (28%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Tuesday, September 23? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $13.71  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged CDN $21.94  
Save Up to 90% on Textbooks
Hit the books in's Textbook Store and save up to 90% on used textbooks and 35% on new textbooks. Learn more.
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

Sept. 11 2012 9781451675047 978-1451675047 Reprint
Richard Dawkins, bestselling author and the world’s most celebrated evolutionary biologist, has spent his career elucidating the many wonders of science. Here, he takes a broader approach and uses his unrivaled explanatory powers to illuminate the ways in which the world really works. Filled with clever thought experiments and jaw-dropping facts, The Magic of Reality explains a stunningly wide range of natural phenomena: How old is the universe? Why do the continents look like disconnected pieces of a jigsaw puzzle? What causes tsunamis? Why are there so many kinds of plants and animals? Who was the first man, or woman? Starting with the magical, mythical explanations for the wonders of nature, Dawkins reveals the exhilarating scientific truths behind these occurrences. This is a page-turning detective story that not only mines all the sciences for its clues but primes the reader to think like a scientist as well.

Frequently Bought Together

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True + A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing + The God Delusion
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.10

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description


"It's the clearest and most beautifully written introduction to science I've ever read ... Explanations I thought I knew were clarified; things I never understood were made clear for the first time." Philip Pullman "I wanted to write this book but I wasn't clever enough. Now I've read it, I am." Ricky Gervais "Prodigiously illustrated and beautifully designed ... I cannot think of a better, or simpler, introduction to science." Guardian "From the first sentence it reads with the force and fluency of a classic ... a luminous, authoritative prose that transcends age differences." The Times "With fabulous illustrations by Dave McKean, Richard Dawkins' The Magic of Reality is an outstanding science book. Written in a simple. conversational style that will appeal to adults as well as teenagers, it really does explain complex subjects clearly. Every home should have a copy of this beautifully produced book." -- Marilyn Brocklehurst The Bookseller --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard Dawkins is a Fellow of the Royal Society and was the inaugural holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is the acclaimed author of many books including The Selfish Gene, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor’s Tale, The God Delusion, and The Greatest Show on Earth. Visit him at

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER

"The truth is more magical--on the best and most exciting sense of the word--than any myth or made-up mystery or miracle. Science has its own magic: the magic of REALITY."

The above extract comes at the very end of this extraordinary book by Richard Dawkins with illustrations by Dave McKean. Dawkins is a British ethologist (the scientific study of animal behaviour), evolutionary biologist and author. He is emeritus fellow of New College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford in the UK and was this university's Professor for the Public Understanding of Science from 1995 to 2008. McKean has illustrated and designed many award-winning books and graphic novels.

The chapters of this book are titled by a question like "What is the sun?" or "Why are there so many different kinds of animals?" Most chapters usually begin with some mythical answers to a chapter title question. (Amazingly, many people today believe these mythical answers.) Then a scientific or reality-based answer to the question is provided.

Who can read this book? Anyone aged 120 to 12 (including those adults who still think like children). For those with a solid science background, this book can be regarded as a good review of important concepts.

The myths chosen for this book are from around the world such as Babylonian, Judeo-Christian, Aztec, Maori, Aboriginal, Nordic, Hellenic, Chinese, and Japanese. One chapter includes modern alien abduction mythology and another chapter omits mythology altogether (there is a reason for this omission and Dawkins explains why).
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book really is an introduction to the world of science, and how science answers questions that were previously answered using magical or supernatural explanations. Like a US reviewer said, when I was younger, I believed in supernatural explanations and phenomena. As a curious lad, I was eager to soak up any information that I could, and some of those explanations sounded pretty plausible. The only problem (and it was a big one) was that I didn't have a gauge for how reliable one explanation was compared to another.

Metaphorically, neither did humanity until science came around. In both cases (mine and humanity's), science provided the tool for which to measure how reliable an explanation was in relation to another. How to compare two otherwise equal explanations based on explanatory and predictive power based on reliable data. This book pits common stories of creation and causation on a whole rage of topics, from the origins of species, to what we are made of, to the cycles of seasons and day/night. Most of the chapters start off with a "magical" explanation that is based on religion. All religions are represented here, including ancient and/or tribal religions. The book then moves on to explaining the phenomenon in question using simple, logical science.

I've rated this book five stars, but for two important audiences, it won't be.

First, for experienced scientists or science readers, this book will be pretty low-level. It's aimed at people who aren't familiar with science and its explanations (e.g., Dawkins cites ~20% of Europeans don't know how long it takes us to orbit the sun, and why- this is the book for them). It would also work well for younger readers. I can see ages 12+ absorbing this book quite well.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Juniors' Introduction to Science Nov. 21 2011
By Estrild
Format:Audio CD
We enjoyed the 6 disc audio book, though if not for my 10 year old son enjoying it, I would not have continued listening. The presentation is aimed at children, or adults suffering from a severe lack of science in their lives, perhaps recovering from religious indoctrination.

Also the book would cause offence to religious parents, so although it would be excellent for all children, I fear it won't reach the children who will need it most, those being raised on religious explanations and the bible. It is however, wonderfully suited for atheist homes.

I feel it is suited as soon as the child begins to ask the big questions such as "where do we come from?" age 5 or 6 in small segments, larger segments for older children. It would also be wonderful to help dispell the fears small children have about things they don't understand. It would suit up to age 12 or 13. Though as a family, we all enjoyed it, especially the segment about your millionth great grandfather the fish, and the detailed explanations of evolution, using time travel, and a ginormous stack of photos, as devices to help get across the vast distances of time. It was amusing and entertaining, though it was almost entirely information I am already familiar with.

Dawkins' rich, eloquent voice delivers the material clearly and concisely, though his irritation at certain issues of religion are not masked, which takes the book beyond the traditional science of the 70's and 80's into neo-atheist teritory; science with an agenda.

He refers to Jesus, Mary, God and biblical stories as one of many world mythologies, right alongside myths of the Maya, Navaho, Norse, Indian, and others stressing how many people today still believe these myths to be true, shock horror!

My son greatly enjoyed it, even regularily asking for another installment.
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very good!
I got this for my step-grandkids and they aren't quite old enough yet, so I can't say how they'll react to it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by KittyMac
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
A great introduction to scientific thinking. My kids and I enjoyed reading it together. There are no pictures in the paperback editions.
Published 5 months ago by Dan Kurz
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing !!
Great book written for all audiences. I really liked how Dr. Dawkins started with the myths/beliefs then deliver the "real" explanation. Read more
Published 5 months ago by champinn
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
A wonderful book that is great for gifts for both children and adults. I'm ordering several more copies! Honesty, truth and reality are, indeed, magic.
Published 11 months ago by Sylvia L. Lockstead-miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Another excellent book from Richard Dawkins, the illustrated version is fantastic for both adults and children. I highly recommend his books to friends.
Published 11 months ago by P. Mena
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, informative and well-written.
Dawkins has a mastery of his field and a capacity to explain and engage the reader without confusion or condescension and with an engaging and self-deprecating sense of humour.
Published 12 months ago by James Reid
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing illustrations and very well written!
This book is perfect for anyone who is interested in science and what life is. If you're open minded and are interested in evolution or biology this book puts it into simple... Read more
Published 12 months ago by BM
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic science
Dawkins does a great job of laying out a plethora of science-based explanations of the world around us in a manner that is accessible and entertaining. Read more
Published 14 months ago by malodomini
5.0 out of 5 stars A much needed book
Our world is full of magic. The magic of reality as Richard Dawkins puts it. The point is that the real world--not the supernatural, mystic world we've invented--is amazing without... Read more
Published 15 months ago by yesnomaybeso
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic of Reality
As an 81 year old who has read most of his life, The Magic of Reality is the most important book I have ever read!
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category