Relativity: The Special and General Theory

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(3.7 stars; 128 reviews)

This is an introduction to Einstein’s space-bending, time-stretching theory of Relativity, written by the master himself. Special and General relativity explain the structure of space time and provide a theory of gravitation, respectively. Einstein’s theories shocked the world with their counterintuitive results, including the dissolution of absolute time. In this book he brings a simplified form of his profound understanding of the subject to the layperson. In the words of Einstein: “The present book is intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general scientific and philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics.” The book is challenging at times but, when approached patiently, proves itself one of the most lucid explanations of Relativity to be found anywhere. [Due to transcription or optical character recognition errors in creating online texts, and because of less-than-clear fonts in some printed texts, the variables as read in some of the equations here are not as Einstein intended. For example, the numeral ‘one’ has frequently been printed and read as the letter ‘I.’ In addition, some equations do not translate well into the spoken word. If you require completely accurate renditions of Einstein’s mathematical formulas, we suggest that you consult a published text.] — Summary written by Kelly Bescherer [and Laurie Anne Walden]

(3 hr 39 min)


(1 stars)

This seems poorly read and unnecessarily wordy to the point where it become annoying and difficult to concentrate on the subject matter.

good job :)

(5 stars)

other then the voice which wasn't that bad I thought you did a grate job reading it and it was a very good read. good job :)


(3.5 stars)

Touching on the concept of an immovable frame subverted by noncontiguously varying elements presents an excellent position frome which to examine our hypothesis for careless error. However the singular nature of the exercises from which the fundamental principals of the theory were formed leave much to be desired.


(1 stars)

I agree with the other reviews. Great book, TERRIBLE voice choice. And not a very clear speaker at all, I had to keep rewinding to catch what she said.

Relativity text

(0 stars)

Re. illustrations: online text links can be found on the Librivox catalog page for this project: (all Librivox catalog pages include text links when available). Of the two texts linked for this book, the one at Bartleby has better representation of the mathematical formulae. However, a printed text would be the most accurate (see note in project summary).

.Einstein’s genius shines, of course, but...

(1.5 stars)

Please delete reader Linda Leu; sorry to say she nearly ruined this for me. All the others reading were great. Please have her sections re-recorded. Sad to give such an outstanding book such a lousy rating due to one reader.

Not Bad, buck lacking

(3 stars)

Pretty good quality audio, but it's a bummer there are no illustrations to accompany the audiobook.

poorly read

(0.5 stars)

I have read this book myself and it was a fantastic read, but the reader here has no concept of thought or understanding to the words she is reading. It's difficult to understand and almost robotic. it's really a shame. Choose a clearer and slower voice for an enjoyable listen.