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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Essence of Existence: A Brief Story of Matter and People is a non-fiction science and education book written by Paul Roman. Roman is a retired architect and author specializing in the natural sciences and human development. In Essence of Existence, the author takes the reader on a journey from before the Big Bang through to the early development of human society some 14 billion years later. Along the way, he describes how the highly concentrated matter, and the energy which compressed it, gave way to a massively expanding space that was filled with minute particles. He then describes how those particles collided and formed larger groups of particles. Roman shows how first suns were formed, and then, much later, planets, including the earth. He then delves into earth science, into the drawing in of the superheated matter, known as magma, into the center of the earth, covered with a thin layer of matter and a gaseous atmosphere. His narrative then tracks the progress of the first stirrings of life in the primordial soup and on to the development of plants, animals, primates and then hominids.
Paul Roman's non-fiction science and education book, Essence of Existence: A Brief Story of Matter and People, gives a lot of information and insights into matters that took billions of years to happen in a relatively short text. His subject matter is impeccably organized, allowing the reader to visualize each phase of development as it unfolds. I was especially fascinated by the astronomical aspects he covers as well as his look at life on the atomic level. I appreciated seeing his references for further reading and the more detailed appendices included in this book. Essence of Existence is a remarkable work. It's written in an accessible, conversational style that is neither pedantic nor overly simplified, and it's a marvelous launching point for one's own study of matter and people. I finished this book understanding a lot more about the origins of man and the cosmos, and that's a very good thing. Essence of Existence: A Brief Story of Matter and People is most highly recommended.