I am constantly on the road and a voracious reader, so audiobooks are a must!
Neil deGrasse Tyson makes it cool to be a space geek. He is the epitome of the rock star scientist, and he plays that role very well. His book (though dated now) covers a range of fascinating subjects that will appeal to the space geek in all of us. He makes very complex subjects (relatively) easy to understand. This book is actually a collection of essays, all of them enjoyable.
Then there's the narration. Dion Graham does a fine job for the most part, but someone REALLY needs to teach him how to read Roman Numerals. He also makes a few deliberate mispronunciations that ground my mental gears when I'd hear them. Other than that the production quality is fine. If you're curious, or just want to satisfy your inner geek, buy this book.
The author does a great job of explaining scientific concepts so someone without an advanced degree in physics can understand. Great non-fiction read for those who want to continue to expand their knowledge about the world(s) around us.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
For anyone interested in getting an informative and entertaining ride through the history of science and cosmology, this is the book for you.
From Aristotle to Einstein to Hollywood and the multiverse, this book is a refreshing view on the history of cosmic research and theories. And yes, there is a whole chapter about what happens if you fall into a black hole.
I love this book. Brought somewhat compicated concepts to life, with lots of colorful examples, great metaphores. I really love the humor, and the skill of the narrator. This book gives me a way to share my passion for science with my 9-12 year old children.
A New Zealander with a wide range of tastes in books. Very fond of humour and now learning things (such as astronomy and physics) that I found boring in school over 30 years ago. Seriously keen on classic mysteries, especially locked room mysteries (you know, the ones you can't get anymore).
This book is pure magic. I hated physics when I was at school, possibly because the teacher didn't have the talent for teaching that Mr (or Dr) Tyson does. The information is presented in an humourous form but imparts the basic knowledge in a way that's easy to learn. The narrator does an excellent job, making the book come alive for you. I was totally impressed and adore the book.
I really loved this book. My only complaint which is a small one is that he touched on so many different topics that he didn't go quite as far in depth as I would have liked in some areas. That being said there is still a substantial amount of science to wrap your brain around in this book. Enough there to merit a second listen even. I enjoyed every minute.
Yes. There is a lot of information available in the book, I don't think it is possible to glean everything from the book in a single read or listen.
Dion Graham does an amazing job reading the book.
The excitement in his voice was contagious.
Simple humans trying to understand an immense universe.
The astrophysics described in this book is riveting and accessible to the non-astrophysicist. He makes the universe seem much more real to the layperson.
Dion Graham does a good job with this narration.
I laughed a few times, but also became frustrated when the author began to stray away from his field of expertise.
The author does a commendable job of describing extraordinarily difficulty subject matter and making it understandable to the non-physicist. However, there are times when he (seemingly inadvertently) delves into a psychological examination astrophysics and how it relates to the average person. This is where he falls somewhat short. At one point, he lists "the southern cross as a beautiful constellation" among several other much more empirical statements, and tries to persuade the reader that it is not particularly beautiful. He goes into length about how the southern cross maybe should not have the reputation it does, but at no point presents empirical evidence about its beauty. This and a few other examples serve to point out the author's misunderstanding of the psychology involved with the human reaction to astrophysics. However, it is a very interesting listen and I do recommend it to people. This is with the caveat that this physicist is adept at explaining physics to lay people, but despite his expertise in his field, he has a limited understanding of other scientific foci.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
While no one can replace Carl Sagan, Tyson might be the nearest thing the 2010s have to him, a friendly advocate of the sciences who knows how to explain abstract topics in everyday language without dumbing them down or dissipating their inherent wonder. I enjoyed his series on NOVA, so I decided to pick up this book after I noticed it on sale at audible.
No regrets. If you want an introduction or a refresher course on the basics of astronomy and astrophysics, this series of essays on various topics should fill in the gaps nicely. Tyson covers topics such as the mechanics of the solar system, the formation of the Earth and planets, the Big Bang and the origins of the universe, and the essential concepts of 20th century physics (quantum theory, relativity, subatomic particles, forces, string theory). Much of the ground Tyson treads will be familiar to those who watched Dr. Sagan's classic Cosmos series in the early 1980s, but a lot of discoveries have been made since then, so the update is worthwhile. Like Sagan, Tyson makes no bones about the fact that he sees science, not religion/superstition/mysticism, as the only reliable tool for understanding how the universe actually works. As he points out, no religious text has yet proved useful for predicting physical phenomena -- in fact, The Bible significantly misstates the value of Pi. (However, he's much less obnoxious about it than Dawkins.)
Tyson also spends some time nitpicking on the scientific errors in several Hollywood blockbusters. Yes, he's that guy -- the one that you stopped inviting to Doctor Who night.
If I have a complaint about this book, it's that its provenance as a collection of articles is pretty obvious. Things that were stated as assumptions or background information in one chapter will be repeated again a few chapters later. The editor could have done a better job integrating everything. And it's probably not a book I'd recommend to more knowledgeable readers; most of the information here, though presented in an appealing, accessible way, is basic.
Okay, I'll admit it: popular science is one of my favorite literary genres. That being said, I usually stay firmly planted on terra firma. This was my first foray into the mind-bending field of astrophysics, and it won't be my last. Neil deGrasse Tyson strikes an excellent balance between academic and interesting. I found myself taking notes, rewinding, googling, and just sitting in awe and wonder. Dion Graham was the perfect narrator for this journey abroad.