• Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in ­surprise

    Sunday Times
  • Splendid ... enjoyable and polished

  • Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ... an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and information

    Sunday Telegraph
  • Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ... sharp and often witty

    Financial Times
  • A joyous romp through the chemical elements

    Today, BBC Radio 4
  • Not only a cultural history of the elements, it is also a lament to the loss of science as a hobby

  • A flashily brainy book, crammed with literary references and held together by a personal quest to collect as many elements as possible

  • 'Elements are fun' is the essential premise of Hugh Aldersey-Williams's new book and by heck he's right ... Aldersey-Williams mourns the fact chemistry isn't really sexy any more; Periodic Tales is a step towards it getting its mojo back

    Metro ****
  • Imaginative and fun ... almost every page yields a nugget