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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries | [Neil deGrasse Tyson]

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for guiding readers through the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics. Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".
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Publisher's Summary

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for explaining the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from astral life at the frontiers of astrobiology to the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its images of night skies right.

Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".

Renowned for his ability to blend content, accessibility, and humor, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies some of the most complex concepts in astrophysics while sharing his infectious excitement for our universe.

©2007 Neil deGrasse Tyson; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Tyson takes readers on an exciting journey from Earth's hot springs...to the universe's farthest reaches....witty and entertaining." (Publishers Weekly)
"Smoothly entertaining, full of fascinating tidbits, and frequently humorous, these essays show Tyson as one of today's best popularizers of science." (Kirkus Reviews)
"[Tyson] demonstrates a good feel for explaining science in an intelligible way to interested lay readers; his rather rakish sense of humor should aid in making the book enjoyable." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2176 )
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4.2 (1345 )
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4.3 (1341 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Brad Folsom, CA, USA 04-10-07
    Brad Folsom, CA, USA 04-10-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "A decent alternate perspective"

    The author adequately provided an alternate perspective on many issues facing the scientific community and succeeded in being an enjoyable distration from the daily commute. The only reason this didnt get 5 stars from me was because of the obvious prejudice he demonstrated against Creationism. The author would have been better served had he left out that chapter as I feel he lost a good deal of his objectivity in favor of his dislike for Creationist on the cutting room floor. Up to the final chapter where he expressed more feeling than fact, I would say this is an excellent book. Definately worth the credits if you enjoy science.

    27 of 73 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Duane 11-08-14
    Duane 11-08-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not bad, but not great"

    I was expecting Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, and I didn't get it. It just didn't capture me the same way... also, not a fan of the occasional ultra-liberal high and mighty inserts targeting paranormal and other "sciences"....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael 09-24-14
    michael 09-24-14
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    4
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    "Fart Jokes = Good Science?"
    What was most disappointing about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s story?

    If you listen to Neil's podcast, or have seen or heard him in other environments, you might have noticed a trend that I can't get over. That is, his insistence upon injecting a distracting, sophomoric humor into his delivery. Early in the book(spoiler alert), he explains that a yogi can't levitate because it would defy the laws of physics, unless they were to fart really hard... This and some of the other sidebars just soured the whole experience for me. I approached this book with the intention of honing my understanding of the universe and possibly be a little entertained with witty, yet relevant remarks. This did not happen. The history and workings of the cosmos were presented at a grade-school level with grade-school jokes. I'm not sure why Neil does this, and I don't want to sound like I don't like his work, I might even try another of his books from audible, but this one was a miss, overall.

    If you are an adult looking for an entertaining listen, try Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything." You will get a much more informed perspective, with intelligent and relevant commentary. And even though I'm sure some of the more advanced physics are outdated, the information is much better presented.


    What didn’t you like about Dion Graham’s performance?

    It was fine.


    What character would you cut from Death by Black Hole?

    The farting yogi.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bluebird 11-25-08
    Bluebird 11-25-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration doesn't work for me"

    The book is generally interesting but the narrator talks as though his audience were were in about 5th grade; too golly gee-whiz isn't this amazing for adult taste.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. David Mintz 08-04-07

    rdavidm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You can do better"

    I read many science books, and this is one of my least recommended. It is a very light and popular type of presentation, with a wildly exagerated title. You would do much better with anything by Brian Greene, especially The Fabric of the Cosmos.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Pittsfield, MA, USA 07-05-07
    Richard Pittsfield, MA, USA 07-05-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book with Inappropriate narrator"

    I agree with others who feel the narrator was not effective or perhaps appropriate for the subject: Way to "jovial" and "wiseguy-ish" for my taste. He has a wonderful speaking voice but, for me, his take is totally off the mark. Had this been narrated in a more serious tone, perhaps a voice with more gravitas such as Edward Herrmann, this would have been excellent.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Tucker, GA, USA 06-19-07
    Kenneth Tucker, GA, USA 06-19-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "The worst narration"

    The narration is terrible, as though he doesn't even understand the words. Just a monotonous fake enthusiasm, which nearly made this unendurable.
    I still haven't finished.
    The book has some interesting information, but it seems to jump around, and I tire of the author's "style." Sounds like it was written for High School students maybe?
    Try "A Short History of Nearly Everything" instead.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Volkan EdirneTurkey 11-15-08
    Volkan EdirneTurkey 11-15-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Narration is bad"

    The book is really good, however narrative really puts you in a stupid position. His approach in this beautiful scientific book is like a father tells a story to his kids. At least I get an impression like that. He is making the words longer than expected. Like nooo agaain it iss noot.

    I think he should have told the story as a past historical event and a little funny way. I think the problem is because of his accent. He tries to this but it becomes really bad.

    Please also check the books and before buying please read the reviews,
    1) Einstein
    2) A short history of nearly everything
    3) Predictably Irrational
    Compare one of them with what I am trying to say.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Fairfax, VA, United States 03-07-14
    John Fairfax, VA, United States 03-07-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Pop science - not interesting"

    I found the narrator on this recording to sound sanctimonious and condescending, like "science guy" at a cocktail party doing his best to sound interesting but really droning on and on. I couldn't even finish this since it was so annoying.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip 10-07-13
    Phillip 10-07-13
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    "It just didnt work for me"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The subject matter is usually my favorite but I just didn't enjoy this that much. I'll listen to it again at some point and see if I get more out of it.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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