Pasquale (the Italian guy) is my absolute favorite character. He has humor and heart and held my interest the most. The historical characters seemed to have more depth than those in the current time period, which were slightly stereotypical, although they also had their own truth about them. And the they did gain more layers as the story progressed.
Amazing. Wonderful. Fabulous.
He did a great job of giving each character its own voice, and he handled the American and Italian accents with ease.
I thought this was a lovely book, although it got off to a slow start. It's told in two different time periods, and when the story line is split, both need to be set up before anything can really happen. What kept me going at the beginning was the wonderful narration by Edoardo Ballerini -- he was fabulous!
Although it started slow, it wasn't boring...it was kind of like a languorous walk on the beach, enjoyable but not getting anywhere fast. This isn't a high action book, but more begins to happen and the story unfolds in the second half of the book. I stopped about 30% of the way through and picked up another book. A week later, I started where I left off, and it captivated me and held my attention.
I recommend this book. Although beware, there are times when the language can get a little "rough". There are also some sexual situations, but they are brief and not very descriptive.
Mike Brown does a fantastic job of interweaving the story of his search for large astronomical bodies beyond Pluto with his family life. There's suspense (bad guys trying to steal planets), humor (Mike graphing his newborn daughter's eating and sleeping habits), science (explained so a person of average intelligence can understand it), and controversy (Pluto was kicked out of the planetary fraternity with more than a little discussion). I found it fascinating to discover that the number of accepted planets has fluctuated many times.
The only complaints I've seen about the book focus on the fact that it's not just about Pluto, Eris' discovery, and science. Go into your reading of this book with your eyes open. It's also about several large planetoids he's found, which, for me, helps put things in perspective. It includes a little bit of his childhood. He talks about his wife and child. This isn't really Pluto's story. It's Mike Brown's story and how his discoveries and the question "what is a planet?" resulted in Pluto's demotion.
This was an incredibly fun & informative read and listen. After I borrowed the book from the library (December 2010), I not only bought a hardbound copy, I purchased an audiobook version too. The narrator did a great job. I recommend this book to everyone.
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