Relativity: The Special and General Theory

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(3.9 stars; 317 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)


A fine reading.

(4 stars)

I had no trouble hearing and understanding reader. Thank you for taking the time read.

To other listeners

(5 stars)

Unless you're willing to record your own version keep your opinions to yourself. God bless those who give us these wonderful gifts.

(5 stars)

Everyone sounds much better when I played it through my car's speakers or some good quality headphones. As to the equations, I find it nearly impossible to visualize the equations from the descriptions. I have a B. S. in Physics. You really need to see the equations and the graphs. I cannot imagine how blind students do this with a screen reader. I think everyone did a great job of reading. There is an occasional drop off at the end of the sentence that I had to turn up the volume to hear, but they were few. It was nice having multiple readers for a book like this. Made it seem much more alive. Linda Leu. Don't pay attention to the criticisms. Having very distinct voices made it much more enjoyable.

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).

Worth reading ten times

(5 stars)

One of the most magnificent theories of science explained by Einstein himself in terms that those who are not theoretical physicists can comprehend. To delve into this revelation requires patience and determination and a desire to share in the discovery of a concept that to some extent requires one to reshape their mind.

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.


(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.

would be LOTS better without reader “Linda Leu”

(2 stars)

It’s difficult enough to concentrate on this work without listening a reader with a boring, whispering monotone as is Linda Leu. The chapters read by her definitely need to be redon by a different Reader ,both for continuity and understanding.