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)
This is a great read (or listen) that provides a overview of the story around the 'demotion of Pluto'. Witty, with just enough science to satisfy, this is a wonderful case study of the challenges involved in changing entrenched views and how even fact-demanding scientists can be swayed by public opinion and emotion. My only modest complaint is that Dr. Tyson did not do the recording. Having seen him on The Universe (and even The Daily Show), I found myself wanting to hear him do the speaking.
If you are looking for a science textbook (as some reviewers of Dr. Tyson's other book seem to be) this is not for you.
However, if you are looking for something enjoyable you can't wrong for the price Audible is offering this book for. It really is a steal at around, 5 dollars . . . I mean, Unabridged for less than 10? It is (as of this writing) more expensive to buy the real book!
There is little "advanced" science in this book (most of it you will likely know from middle school), so if you are looking for something to make you "Mr. Smart Pants" in front of your friends, again, not the book for you.
What you will find in it is a lot of history of science, comments on how we present science to the public, and observations on how the public views science. Dr. Tyson writes it all with wit and charm, which the narrator brings off with a degree of skill.
If you are looking to be entertained this audiobook is a good choice, and as a bonus you might even take away some new ideas on how information is presented.
I found Dr. Tyson's tale to be insightful, educational, and very entertaining. I was introduced to Dr. Tyson through his appearances on The Daily Show. He's just as entertaining in this audiobook as he is chatting with Jon Stewart.
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.
I found the first half of the book informative and amusing. As to the second half, I thought if I heard one more e-mail read I would scream. I give the first half a 5 and the second half a generous 2.
This book is part humor, part science and part history, but completely entertaining. Good clean fun and great bang for the buck. It's too bad it has to be so short, but every chapter is quality. This is a good one to pay money for, especially if you can get it on sale, because it's cheaper than using a credit and the book isn't long enough to merit using a credit on. You could easily blow through it while doing your chores on a Saturday afternoon. Especially because you won't want to stop listening.
Machinist, student of history, philosopher, Star Wars fanatic, hobbyist costumer, and all around Renaissance man.
This guy sounds so much like Neil deGrasse Tyson, I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't narrated by the author!
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.
Yes. This book is very interesting, and it brings up wonderful points about how people and the media can be so passionate about things they know so little about.
I loved the systematic progression through the history of Pluto. This gives a background to work with when you get to the stories later in the book.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Yes. It was great for a 6 hour drive home for Thanksgiving.
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
It's amazing how attached people got to Pluto, the little planet that tried. This book details with humor, grace, science, history and some good old fun narration, the way Pluto came to be a planet and then morphed into something else. For the science nerd (like me) there's a lot about the history of space examination and exploration, for the historian there's a lot about how Pluto became part of the national identity and for those who love whimsy you'll enjoy how this little planet became the center a huge debate.
Tyson's other book "Death By Black Hole" is better, with a better narrator. But this is a fast and fun read that made me smile throughout. You'll like it. I promise.
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