This book is truly exceptional--life changing. I don't have enough adjectives to describe it. I have a hard time understanding how anyone could dislike it. It takes on themes so vast that it is hard to go back to normal reading afterwards.
This book had lots of good information, but there were several glaring errors. Not factual errors, but rather the kind of errors that would be edited out of a written work. For example, in the discussion of relativity, the author says that the hypothetical light-speed traveler would return to find himself younger than his parents. Aren't most people younger than their own parents? Also, he states that the highest tides occur when the earth and moon are lined up. Aren't they always? Still, a pretty good listen.
Very enjoyable reading of one a very difficult area of science. The history of astrophysics is certainly interesting, and I have been studying
the subject since childhood. A little "pulpy",
but overall very recommended.
I loved this reading. I mainly loved it because it didn't sound like he was reading, it just flows naturally and was a chance to listen to a very knowledgeable man talking about an interesting subject. There are few enough opportunities for that in life so take 'em while you can.
The negative comments seem to come from astrophysicists so maybe it is not a great scholarly work. However, on the basis of learning something new every day I have filled my quota for the next year or two after this.
This "audio book" is more correctly described as a rambling lecture. There is a lot of good, basic introductory material here, but if you are looking for something other than a primer this lecture is not for you. There a many repetitive statements, and the material has almost no structure that I can discern. It seems to move from topic to topic, place to place, theme to theme without much sense. But, if you are looking for an introduction to the variety of knowledge that makes up the science of physics, by all means this is a good choice. Just be prepared to hear similar, if not identical, bits and pieces of information several times.
This is not so much a "book" as a "chat". Unscripted, it is like have a PhD in astronomy ride to work with you for a couple of weeks and tell you what we know about the universe. You won't find Bryson's excellent writing style, but it never pretends to be that. I completely enjoyed it.
Dr. Berendzen has done a remarkable job in making me look at the night sky in a totally different way.
His unscripted down-to-earth style is refreshing, and completely entertaining for the listener; it is so captivating that I found myself, more than once, lingering in the car to finish a chapter after arriving at my destination.
I wish Audible had made this title available in higher-quality formats, but nevertheless I will listen to it more than once.
Having listened to other books read by their authors, I was at first wary.
This author made me feel that he was talking personally to me; talking and explaining everything I could want to know about our whole world. Not once did I feel he was reading from a book or script.
He explains what is known about our Earth and the whole universe, from start to finish, dealing with history, philosophers, scientists, physicists, mathematics . . . starting with the ancients, and their perceptions of their world, up to the use of all the latest modern equipment and theories available to mankind in his efforts to understand where, what and why?
The threads are continuous, leading logically from one discovery/realization to another; from a flat Earth to telescopes to gravity and on through vast distances to the gradual realization that we are just a small item and a small solar system in one of a huge number of galaxies.
The book presents a truly good listen that can be appreciated by any inquiring mind, from 12 years old up to the oldest of us.
My title pretty much sums up how I felt about this one. Don't get me wrong--it's not a bad read. It's reasonably informative and the writing is acceptable. Mostly I was just bored with it, though that was because it was almost all rehashed material for me. I stuck with it because every once in a while the guy says something that is just so unrelated and random (think Grandpa Simpson's rambling stories), I laughed out loud while running on the treadmill. So it was good for a laugh once in a while and I picked up a few new factoids here and there. Not a great popular science book, or a great book at all, but not too bad.
I feel the author was lucky that the title "Pulp Physics" had not been taken. The title promises a level of sophistication and sexiness that the book does not even begin to approach. Even though the book is full of facts and real scientific delving, the tone suites the book better for children, not serious readers or thinkers. Or grown-ups.
Annoyingly, and for a professor of Science, surprisingly, the author is painfully apologetic toward religion. This nullifies any interest his discourse may be raising in the complex subject of science. And, in no small part, adds to the book's drudgery and senility.
Dr. Berendzen is knowledgeable in the area of physics, cosmology, mathematics and science history. There is no question about that. However, he is not a narrator. The content not withstanding, his reading deeply diminishes the quality of the audiobook. His efforts, in places, to channel Dr. Sagan's style only underscores the weakness of the product.
There are many Science titles on Audible that are far superior to this one, in content, style and delivery. I do not recommend this audiobook.