The year of Pluto's discovery, Disney created an irresistible pup by the same name, and, as one NASA scientist put it, Pluto was "discovered by an American for America." Pluto is entrenched in our cultural, patriotic view of the cosmos, and Neil deGrasse Tyson is on a quest to discover why.
©2009 Neil deGrasse Tyson; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"A lighthearted look at the planet....Presents the medicine of hard science with a sugarcoating of lightness and humor." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
An interesting read on how educated people can get wrapped up in nostalgia and labeling things. The exposure over the Pluto declassification as a plant certainly stocked the discussion on scientific topics.
I've read a few books but Neil deGrasse but if you want hard core science this is not it. Go for Death by Black Hole, which is a really interesting book. At the moment we know very little about Pluto (that should change in a few months), so it can't be too detailed on science.
The book is an interesting discussion of how science (classification) can be effected more by emotion than fact.
Yes. It was a fun short book
I have seen Neal deGrasse Tyson on television many times. What struck me about this title was an espisode of The Big Bang theory where he apologises to one of the main characters for his role in "demoting" Pluto. My wife, a science teacher, was well aware of what had happened but I wasn't. I figured for a "daily deal" it was worth a shot. I'm very glad I purchased it. With an easy writing stye, deGrasse Tyson lays out not just what happened but gives the reader a concise understanding of the planetary classes within the solar system. And at four hours in length, it was just right for me. This is a great book for the layman. You aren't expected to understand astrophysics or mathematics. Just sit back and listen to the tale unfold. After finishing the book, I'm not convinced that Pluto isn't still a planet, albeit a really small one, but I'm now in a much better position to discuss this around the water cooler at work or with friends. This book makes you smarter.
If you watch Big Bang Theory, you would know what the title means (well, if you dont, watch S04E07 - 'The Apology Insufficiency'). Sheldon Cooper accuses Dr Tyson of demoting Pluto from planetary status, and Dr Tyson explains that it was not his decision, but in fact was of the International Astronomical Union. Well, that sums up the book pretty much.
This is a more detailed account of how Pluto's demise came along. This is an informative and at times funny book, however, i found that it was written by Dr Tyson just to explain to the world that 'Pluto' was not his decision - just so people will stop sending him hate letters :)
It is very educational, but did let me down a little bit.
There was a lot of things repeated. The book itself probably could have been cut by a quarter or even in half. And if I have to hear the word "pedagogical" one more time I may scream. Just because you know a word, doesn't mean you should use it 50 times.
The narrator sounds just enough like the author to get your attention, but then it becomes clear it's not the author. It just kind of messes with your brain. Neil should have read this one.
Yawn fest? I love astronomy and learning about the planets..er..non planets. But this is not the stuff of movies. Maybe a 30 minute documentary.
I use my left foot to type my reviews.
I recently read Neil deGrasse Tyson's other book on Audible and found it fascinating. When I got the chance to buy "The Pluto Files" on sale, I was in joy. I find Dr. Tyson to be a genius. This book is more like a 4 hour lecture on why Pluto is not a planet. There is a lot of commentary from Tyson.and snippets of Pluto. If you are into astronomy, "The Pluto Files" is more like a personal blog from an astrophysicist.
I craft chainmaille while enjoying audiobooks. My current favorite Authors are: Butcher, Gaiman, Hearne, Correia, Scalzi and Hodder.
I was really looking forward to an in-depth look at the history of the (now classified as) dwarf planet. Instead only at the beginning and the appendices does he cover the history of Pluto, with both the discovery and cultural significance. The rest of the book is Tyson defending the his and the IAU's decision to reclassify the planet, through reading letters received and media response to the debate.
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