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Death by Black Hole Audiobook

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 (2494 )
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4.3 (1631 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lind Duncan, British Columbia, Canada 05-25-07
    Lind Duncan, British Columbia, Canada 05-25-07
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    "Well written and well read"

    Neil deGrasse Tyson presents this complex subject in a clear and gripping way. The reader,Dion Graham, has just the right pace and inflection to keep your attention. Normally, this subject requires diagrams to clarify what is being said but this presentation is clear without them.

    An absorbing book that I look forward to hearing again.

    27 of 27 people found this review helpful
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    Jason Jacksonvilee, FL, USA 10-07-08
    Jason Jacksonvilee, FL, USA 10-07-08
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    "Tyson dishes it up and up...good show!"

    Tyson is an authoratative television personality who also has a great grasp of physics and the universe. This book had such a catchy title, how could I have even passed it up?

    While being much more approachable in terms of use of analogy to explain very complex scientific concepts, it is also a sounding board for Tyson to rant on a few topics that drive him crazy about popular culture's views of science.

    That said, it was a very fun book and well worth the money. Tyson is fun to listen to and his thoughts travel smoothly from point to point. He introduced me to some new information that I, even as an avid reader of all things science, had not known.

    The only thing that could have made this book even stronger, perhaps, would be expansion on some of the scientific thoughts for those of us more versed in science. But Tyson's strength is reaching the common man, and so I wasn't surprised that occasionally very in-depth accounting of scientific preceps didn't meet my voracious appetite's needs.

    I'll definitely be re-listening to this every now and again, though. It's wonderful for sitting outside and staring at the amazing sky. Bravo :)

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 10-01-08
    Charles 10-01-08
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    "Great for an introduction to space and astronomy"

    This is a great read for those looking to get an introduction to Space and Astronomy. The presentation bounces around lots of fascinating space facts and theories that keep you captivated. Even if you are not new to space, astronomy and the solar system, this is a great read. I found myself enjoying the many things I didn't know before and discovering space a new.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James San Jose, CA, United States 01-21-08
    James San Jose, CA, United States 01-21-08 Member Since 2009

    Give me science, or give me death!

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    "A valuable perspective"

    The author communicates beautifully, to the laymen and scientifically-minded alike, a cosmologists perspective on our place in the universe, as well as the places where others might inhabit.
    Due to the way this book was compiled, of the content is a bit redundant, but that helps it sink in better, I guess.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Bell Harrisonburg, VA United States 05-29-07
    R. Bell Harrisonburg, VA United States 05-29-07 Listener Since 2005

    kidagain

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    "Grasping the largeness of it all"

    I found it personally amazing at how I found the book enjoyable. I am an engineer and numbers and science come easy for me to understand, so maybe that has something to do with it. I had just finished reading "Einstein" so my mind was insync with the story of this book. I enjoyed the descriptions of how early thinkers went about proving their theories of the cosmos and heavens. I learned that my falling into a "black hole" would not involved my being compressed to death but rather it would involve my being pulled apart or disassembled atom by atom (or was it molecule by molecule). I have been enriched by this piece of knowledge and will find some way to use it in future conversations with my friends. I recommend the book.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Darnestown, MD, USA 10-27-07
    Christine Darnestown, MD, USA 10-27-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Hard to put down"

    Of the scientific book I listened to lately, this one was probably one of the best. Not just did it provide a comprehensible excursion through astrophysics, it also provided insights into other areas of the physical world and was intellectually quite stimulating...to the point where I had to write an E-mail to the author to ask a question about something I did not understand in the book...and the E-mail was promptly answered by a member of his lab...well worth the read!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kricket 09-08-09
    Kricket 09-08-09 Member Since 2006
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    "easy to understand"

    Easy to understand for an astrophysics book! Neil does a great job of writing for the average person (I have a bachelor's in Chemistry, but I knew very little astrophysics). I never felt talked down to. It was a lot of fun to read! I especially enjoyed his description of a death by black hole as spaghettification. If you want to learn more about astrophysics, this is a great way to start!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Malcolm Hagensborg, British Columbia, Canada 12-04-07
    Malcolm Hagensborg, British Columbia, Canada 12-04-07
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    "A good listen"

    Very enjoyable, offers brief explanations the sciences behind the objects which we use in everyday life as well as understandable clarifications of the findings in todays scientific frontiers. The author has a gift for making humorous and enlightening analogies and the narrator has an engaging voice. This is an audible offering I shall listen to many times.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta 04-19-07
    Roberta 04-19-07
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    "Well worth the time"

    I read a lot of popular science and I really appreciate a well read, well written, presentation of the information. The author, a good choice for reading his own book, gives flavor and enthusiasm to his reading. He knows where he wants the emphasis and conveys his own excitement of the subject with his voice.
    This is a basic introduction to the subject of astrophysics, and thus presents no mind-boggling discoveries to those who read or watch this subject closely. He does, however, answer many questions, sometime with speculation, which he freely admits, which I have been asking most of my life.
    I listened to this book while I worked around the house, and my reluctance to stop listening gave me the opportunity to get lots of work done in the yard.
    I highly recommend the book.

    38 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 02-16-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 02-16-14 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

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    "A Boy And His Stick"

    This is a group of Essays written at different times. This leads to him repeating himself several times. If you did not understand a concept the first time, chances are you will hear it again. I think I heard that Drake came up with the Goldilocks scenario about five times. I found it a bit annoying that he would rant and rave about movie directors, TV producers and even Jodi Foster, saying they should have gotten every nuance correct, when his own book had so many repeats. Sometimes he would say "as mentioned earlier" but, most of the time it was presented as new material.

    Thou Doest Protest To Much.

    His ranting and raving about shows and movies went on for hours and is done at least twice in the book. Mention it and let's move on.

    Since it is different essays, you may enjoy some parts better then others. For instance, every time I hear Boson or Quirks, my brain freezes, but when talking about Galaxies, Quasars, Suns, the expanding Universe etc.., I am all ears. Some parts read like math word problems and some parts are Oh Wow!. I learned a few things and that is the most important thing to me. I came away knowing stuff I did not know before, so cool.

    I thought the narrator was great.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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