Book Reviews

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

What If?- Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

Rating: 🍁🍁🍁🍁

You’ve probably seen tons of xkcd comics online throughout the years. This book was written by the same guy! And it’s just as funny, curious and entertaining as those comics, but super fleshed out. 

All of the questions were submitted through Randall Munroe’s website, and he of course includes his characteristic stick figures for more laughs. 

The questions aren’t ordered by any theme or anything, so you can just flip through and pick whatever catches your attention.

As a layperson, I can’t say I 100% understood every equation or calculation he uses, but he includes helpful comparisons to further clarify the answer in your mind. 

After every so many pages, there’s a single page of “Weird and Worrying Questions” that he doesn’t answer, but responds a funny reaction comic instead. 

My only qualm with this book is he sometimes veered away from answering the exact question. He made up for it by asking the question in a different way, or adding other, often more catastrophic variables. (This reminded me a lot of Adam from Myth Busters!) 

I would recommend this to: fans of xkcd, curious children who love asking questions in science class, and the adults who used to be those children.