How the Universe Got Its Spots
Janna Levin

Book cover image

Narrated By: Christine Williams

Duration: 7 hours and 23 minutes

What to expect

Is the universe infinite or just really big? With this question, the gifted young cosmologist Janna Levin announces the central theme of her intriguing and controversial new book and establishes herself as one of the most direct and unorthodox voices in contemporary science. As Levin sets out to determine how big “really big” may be, she gives us an intimate look at the day-to-day life of a globe-trotting physicist, complete with jet lag and romantic disturbances. Nimbly synthesizing geometry, topology, chaos, and string theories, Levin shows how the pattern of hot and cold spots left over from the big bang may one day reveal the size and shape of the cosmos. Written with originality, lucidity, and even poetry, How the Universe Got Its Spots is a thrilling and deeply personal communication between a scientist and the lay reader.


Cosmology and the universe, Astronomy, space and time

Listen to a sample

“[Levin] covers…fascinating ground…She writes passages that may make you either feel claustrophobic for only living in three visible dimensions or see the night sky in an entirely new way.”

Baltimore City Paper

“Levin unpacks the technicalities with a skill honed from giving many lectures…A book to be applauded.”


“[A] gift to those people who want to think big but came to a screeching halt about two dozen pages into…A Brief History of Time.


“Narrator Christine Williams gives the production its soul. Her clear, unhurried voice suffuses everything with Levin’s loneliness in a cosmos and a life that do not give up secrets easily.”


“Lovely, utterly original…makes a reader long to meet the author.”