Before reading this book I was one of the people offended on behalf of Pluto. After hearing this book I had a much greater understanding of several aspects of astronomy and how decisions come to be "They say...." statements that get picked up by the press.
Certain parts of this were really interesting, especially the history of Pluto's discovery and what was going on culturally at the time. But mid-way through the book it turned into a sort of long, boring, defensive ego-fest/rehash of media hubbub. The majority of the book felt far more focused on Tyson himself than it did on Pluto. I couldn't help but wish it had been written by someone a little less involved--then we might have gotten a little more actual substance.
Neil brings fun to the history of Pluto. As a fan of Pluto who was originally very upset about the demotion, I was angry with Neil. But after this book, I forgive you Neil.
I have never read the print version. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the audio edition.
As it was nonfiction, there weren't really characters to speak of. There were real people involved - mostly the author or the book, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
I own & listen to a variety of audio books constantly in car and gym. My reviews remind me what I’ve read & hopefully are helpful as well.
3.5 stars. Author defends his decision to call Pluto not a planet and covers why it such a challenge to classify it one way or another. In any case, I learned a lot being a complete novice on this subject. It was interesting, somewhat entertaining, but I wasn't necessarily a fan of how the material was presented, which seemed a bit defensive and not strictly informative. Anyway, not having much to compare this to, I don't regret reading it. Others with more pre-existing knowledge may find the book overkill and prefer he just get to / stick to the scientific facts. recommended on a limited basis.
I'm a big fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson, but this audiobook was nothing more than four hours of petty nitpicking and infantile arguments justifying various points of view.
This book could have been summed up in less text than the original New York Times article that spawned the whole damn controversy in the first place.
Methinks thou doth protest too much, Dr. Tyson.
I normally grind through even the most annoying of audiobooks, but in this case, I gave up with an hour and a half remaining.
I also almost never write reviews, so that should give you an idea of just how little I thought of this work.
Well written to not cover the scientific debate last decade that "demoted" Pluto, but also collect the many popular media comments & stories into a single, hilarious chapter!! Covered the science and made me chuckle throughout!
I appreciate Neil Degrasse Tyson's work and think he has done a lot to further peoples interest and understanding of the cosmos.. I think people gave him a hard time when they blamed him for kicking Pluto out of the solar system it was the IAU that made the decision, not him. I think we will find even more things that will make us question how we think about things as we explore the universe. That is science.
Pluto is a planet
Pluto is not a planet
Pluto might be a planet
Pluto might be an asteroid
Pluto might be a comet
Pluto has a moon
Pluto doesn't have a moon
Pluto is a moon
Pluto is a binary system
Pluto orbits its moon
Pluto's moon orbits Pluto
Pluto is a proto-planet
Pluto is a dog created by Disney
Pluto is Pluto is a God of death
The truth is that whether Pluto is a planet or not doesn't really matter.
By the logic of this book: if you only have one example of something, you cannot classify it. You need two of something to classify anything. Rubbish! By this logic if Jupiter was our only gas giant it would be unclassifiable.
Pluto is an excuse for snarky scientists to waste their intellect and reasoning ability.
If scientists focused as much energy on science as they do trying to tear each other down, we'd be a lot further along than we are now with our collective discovery of knowledge.
I hate snarky scientists and snarky science. But, then again scientists can't be expected to use their intelligence constructively all the time.
The book mistakenly makes a point St. Christopher no longer a saint. This is not true. While there is little known about him, St. Christopher is still a recognized saint. What was changed was that his feast day was removed from the liturgical calendar. A lot of recognized saints do not have feast days.
Had Disney not named their cartoon dog Pluto, I doubt this book would ever been written.
Also, other than the author, who ever said that Pluto or any other planet was America's favorite?
Do I care if Pluto is a planet or not. Not really.
This just gives everyone an excuse to vote funding elsewhere.
I found the book to be both condescending and snarky.