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  • What If? 2

  • Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
  • By: Randall Munroe
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (86 ratings)

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What If? 2 cover art

What If? 2

By: Randall Munroe
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
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Summary

WHAT IF...one man decided to answer all the unanswerable questions.

The Sunday Times best-selling author and xkcd creator Randall Munroe is here to provide the best answers yet to the important questions you probably never thought to ask.

The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger.

Planning to ride a fire pole from the moon back to Earth? The hardest part is sticking to the landing.

Hoping to cool the atmosphere by opening everyone's freezer doors at the same time? Maybe it's time for a brief introduction to thermodynamics.

Want to know what would happen if you rode a helicopter blade, built a billion-storey building, made a lava lamp out of lava, or jumped on a geyser as it erupted? Okay, if you insist.

Welcome (back) to the mind-blowing world of What If?

Unfazed by absurdity, Randall consults the latest research on everything from swing-set physics to airplane-catapult design to clearly and concisely answer his readers' questions. As he consistently demonstrates, you can learn a lot from examining how the world might work in very specific extreme circumstances.

Filled with bonkers science, boundless curiosity, What If? 2 is sure to be another instant classic adored by inquisitive listeners of all ages.

©2022 xkcd inc (P)2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What listeners say about What If? 2

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amusing and Informative

I love these books. The author manages to take the most ridiculous questions and turn them into a teaching experience for all ages.

Added bonus: brilliantly performed (as was What if 1) by Wil Wheaton!

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Well worth a listen!

Citation... Just brilliant, interesting and fun to listen to! Highly recommended whilst in the car!

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    5 out of 5 stars

Good but the first was better

the weird and worrying question section had so many good questions that could have been answered over some of the actual answers, but well worth the listen... Will Wheaton wasn't as bad as people seem to think though

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    5 out of 5 stars

Just as funny and informative as What If 1

It’s great when you hear an audiobook so funny that even the person reading it laughs. My only problem was that I flew through it too fast and now I have to wait for What If 3!

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Fascinating and fun

Myself and my 7YO absolutely loved it , Wil does a great job at reading with energy and a great balance of subtle tongue in cheek but also taking the question seriously and not condescending at all. He made the listening enjoyable even through the ocasional formulae-heavy sentences and making up for the lack of imagery.
Ironically it has been a great bedtime material… my girl loves and chuckles at the provocative questions and at the deadpan explanations of the consequences (eg why a billion floor building is not possible) … but after a couple of questions it seems her brain has enough of science and switches off to sleep pretty quickly, with the added bonus that it makes the “dozing” chapter yield longer as I can replay it the following night :))) What is not to like
“What if 3”any time soon?

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    5 out of 5 stars

What if Will Wheaton was fed into a meat grinder?

I pride myself to be above petty mortal issues, such as the narration of an audio book. I have plenty of 50pence anthologies read by amateurs and derided by reviewers, but don't seem to bother me.

Lamentably I have met my match with this iteration of Will Wheaton. The last "What if?" book he was essentially transparent to the material, but with some charming inflections sprinkled here and there. It was a good combination.

For some reason in this book, he has turned everything up to 11. I am paralysed by horror at his constant over-emphasis when delivering even the most prosaic of statements, which if coming from anyone else I would assume they are being theatrically sarcastic to maximise offense. Imagine a 12 year saying, "WOW, THATS SOOOOO INTERESTING" to their siblings, Its this vibe about 90% of the time. It must be hall of fame bad narration.

As for the content, "What If" came in too strong, the author should have kept some of that golddust in reserve. "2" is worth the buy but I don't think I will replay it as much as "What If". I still like the way the author can spin a seemingly slightly uninteresting "what if?" into something intriguing though

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Good, but…

What if? 1 is much more enjoyable. Not sure I’d listen a second time, whereas I’ve listened through the first book a few times now and still find it great

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  • 17-09-22

More scientific factiods enthusiastically narrated

Randall Munroe + Wil Wheaton = fascinating facts made fun and narrated with a perfect amount of enthusiasm. People who complain about Wil's narration can't have listened to the first book in this series or anything else that Wil has narrated before.

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Sigh

Big fan of book one, and I’ve had this on pre-order for months. Was really looking forward to it, but Will has ruined the audiobook with weird narration. I don’t understand why. Very strange. All acted over the top and silly. Such a waste. I have no idea if the actual book is any good. I don’t think it’s on par with the first, but Will ruins it anyway, so will never know.

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Its Like Will thinks being paid more money means he needs to do more acting. Its impossible to listen to.

Had to turn it off after 30 minutes because although will has a great voice he’s speaking in an even more rediculous way than in the first book. I could deal with that but not this. People just don’t talk like this ever. Like he is talking to someone with developmental issues that needs to be kept interested with funny faces. The content just gets lost for me. I wish it had been better. A mixture of self congratulatory patronising smugness that just isn’t called for and I wanted to love it.