• Transformer

  • The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death
  • By: Nick Lane
  • Narrated by: Richard Trinder
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For decades, biology has been dominated by information—the power of genes. Yet in terms of information there is no difference between a living cell and one that died a moment ago. What really animates cells and sets them apart from non-living matter? This question goes back to the flawed geniuses and heroic origins of modern biology. The answer could turn our picture of life on Earth upside down.

In Transformer, Nick Lane captures a scientific renaissance that is hiding in plain sight. At its core is a cycle of reactions that transforms inorganic molecules into the building blocks of life, and the reverse—the iconic Krebs cycle that sits at the heart of metabolism. This conflicted merry-go-round of energy and matter has long taunted true understanding. Nick Lane is in the vanguard of scientists now tracing its ramifications across the tree of life.

To grasp the Krebs cycle is to fathom the deep coherence of biology. It connects the first photosynthetic bacteria with our own peculiar cells. It links the emergence of consciousness with the inevitability of death. And it puts the subtle differences between individuals in the same grand story as the rise of the living world itself.

Life is at root a chemical phenomenon: this is its deep logic.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Nick Lane (P)2022 Profile Books Ltd

What listeners say about Transformer

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, bad audio

The story the author tells is very interesting, but the content is poorly suited for audio with chemical abbreviations used very frequently. The narrator’s choppy articulation compounds this problem, and the coup de grace is the lack of accompanying pdf, which is an utterly baffling omission.

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  • Redd
  • 05-26-22

Incredibly poor narration

The narration is so poor the content cannot be enjoyed. Sounds like it’s computer generated

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dave Watkin
  • 06-28-22

Excellent book but narration rather robotic

Another mind blowing book from Nick Lane that takes you on an incredible journey of the chemistry of life.

The only drawbacks are
1. The narration is strangely robotic - it was quite off-putting
2. Without the illustrations the audio version loses a lot vs the book

Probably one to read rather than listen to.

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  • Bart Pander
  • 06-23-22

Yet another briljant book by Nick Lane

Best book of the year, but really needs a PDF with the figures, even I, a trained molecular microbiologist / system biologist would have liked some illustrations, the layperson definitely would want one.

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  • Adam James Cassidy
  • 06-18-22

The worst narration ever.

I’ve listened to 200 audiobooks and this is the only one I had to stop because I just couldn’t handle the narration. It…is…so…in-credibly…..slow…and…ponderous that it’s just impossible to get on board with. How the production team let this through is beyond me. I’m currently reading the book and it’s fantastic - buy the book, avoid this.

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  • T. Reid
  • 06-18-22

Interesting book, awful narration

Nick Lane’s writing is brilliant and he explains clearly and creatively the subject - however this book’s narrator is flat and monotonous - it sounds computer generated. Listening at 1.2x speed took the edge of that and made it bearable but please don’t use this narrator for future works.