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Publisher's Summary

Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Featuring a new Introduction by Sagan's collaborator, Ann Druyan, and a new Foreword by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.

Includes introductory music: "Heaven and Hell" by Vangelis from Cosmos: A Personal Voyage used with permission from Druyan-Sagan Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

©1980 Carl Sagan Productions, Inc (P)2017 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Foreword © 2013 by Ann Druyan. “Reflections on Carl Sagan’s Cosmos” essay © 2013 by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • DM
  • Orillia, ON, Canada
  • 09-11-17

Levar Burton channelling Captain Kirk

What made the experience of listening to Cosmos the most enjoyable?

The book is wonderful but it is exhausting to listen to Levar Burton. I am a fan of his; don't get me wrong, and he should be a genius choice for this. But why is he channelling the classic James T. Kirk delivery? Weird spacing of phrases, strange emphases that distort sentence structures...after a while it gets too distracting and I have to take a break. This is disappointing as I typically listen to audiobooks on long drives.

The content is fascinating and Carl Sagan's enthusiasm, knowledge and love of science shines through regardless. Every few minutes I learn something new.

34 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • Seph
  • New York
  • 11-09-17

Over-acting voice actors

The story is great. And I loved LeVar Burton in Star Trek. My critique is that the majority of the book is narrated by LeVar and his constant over-acting of every line and the immense emphasis on every word makes it extremely tiring to listen to. He even does voices. A lot. It turns ridiculous.
Likewise, Ann Druyan is also audibly squinting, straining her voice, and reads every line like it's the most important revelation. When everything is important, nothing is.
Their voice-acting muddles the message, slows down the reading, and I feel less connected to Carls message as a consequence. I found myself increasingly annoyed with each chapter. Seth MacFarlane is much better.

I've stopped in chapter 8. Their over-acting has ruined this book for me. I cannot finish it.

82 of 87 people found this review helpful

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Extremely Poor Narration

Would you try another book from Carl Sagan and/or the narrators?

I would try another book by Carl Sagan, as long as someone else reads the book the way that Carl would have read it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cosmos?

Extremely poor narration.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Their voices were extremely "dramatic". Accentuating every sentence. It was extremely annoying, and I gave up listening to it.

Do you think Cosmos needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes. As long as the same people do NOT read it.

Any additional comments?

I have the original hard back copy of this book. I have the paperback version. I have read them several times. I have the DVD version of the program. I have watched it several times. Carl Sagan is one of the most influential people in my life. I was extremely disappointed in the way this book was read. BTW, I also hated the remake of the TV show.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring. Innovative. Intelligent.

A fantastic personal journey. Carl Sagan's vision of the Cosmos is enduring and spot on for being written 30+ years ago. Only good will come from this planet's population reading or listening to his words.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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A Classic.

Carl Sagan is brilliantly able to explain the questions being asked of the cosmos. A true masterpiece of modern science which holds up pretty well even after 30 years. All that said, I’m more inclined to recommend the updated Cosmos tv series by Neil Degrasse Tyson.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Geordi LaForge Teaches you about the Universe

Great Content and Great Narrator! I grew up watching LeVar Burton on TNG and Reading Raonbow, so saying his narration was nostalgic is a bit of an understatement...but nostalgia aside, he does an amazing job. As for the content he reads, lets just say I am saddened that Carl Sagan died before I ever knew who he was.

While some of the more theoretical content in this book is now considered fact or debunked, Cosmos contains a fountain of knowledge about our universe. Sagan takes a detailed look at the process of the living universe attempting to understand itself, starting with a grand, intergalactic perspective, and slowly zooming in the lense all the way to our society, and our minds.

He does get a little heavy handed when it comes to nuclear war, but he wrote this during the Cold War, so good on him for trying to do something about it. I am a little depressed after finishing to realize our global society has changed so little since he released this book in 1980, but if you ignore the 37 year interval, it will give you a hopeful outlook on our future as a single species in a global society. Cosmos delves into the interconnectivity of our universe in a way most people never think of.

Get this book, and learn why we are an endangered species, why the big bang could have been a supernova explosion, and how each of us is made, of "star stuff".

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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excellent

Great content, holds up after all this time. Some may find it a bit basic, but there are plenty of gems buried within.
Performance is also excellent!
AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Still Largely Up to Date

I can see now what most popular books on astronomy over the last 35+ years have tried to emulate (this book). I found the book largely still up to date - with phrases that current books still use. Then something pops up that makes you realize the actual date of the book (such as when he refers to a NASA mission scheduled for 1982).

45 of 56 people found this review helpful

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Book for all Citizens of the Cosmos

As the title of this review implies, this book should be read by all those who can read and are inhabitants of the known universe. This truly uplifting masterpiece written by Carl Sagan should be taught to all children in school as one of humankind's finest literary works. The lucidity with which Carl delivers his insights about the Cosmos and our relationship to the Universe is eye opening and awe inspiring. If every human were raised to value the wisdom contained in this book, humans would finally set aside religious, political, territorial differences and disputes and achieve lasting peace across all parts of the earth. Resources will be shared, the environment protected, and scientific progress would lead the way toward a better life for all. It is my sincere hope that this book continue to be valued for millennia to come.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Simply Amazing

As i was growing up the television series was one of my favorites. I really enjoyed this audible version. It's great to get this message/knowledge in all different mediums. The narration is fantastic & will hopefully appeal to all mentalities great or small. It would truly be a wonderful thing to see all mankind (& womankind ((don't want to offend anybody;))) use their minds in a way that will benefit us, planet & all. I think it all begins with the right thoughts. Thank you Carl (& narrators) for a timeless message.

51 of 65 people found this review helpful

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  • Honest Dude
  • 08-03-17

Journey of the cosmos interlaced with history

Would you listen to Cosmos again? Why?

I would probably only listen to a couple of chapters again.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Aspects of this book, I would definitely want to listen to in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

This is a great book. Whilst the subject matter is focused on the cosmos and everything to do with it. Carl Sagan does a brilliant job of seamlessly interlacing the subject matter with other branches of sciences not directly related. He introduces other discussions and areas without you as the listener noticing until you realise - hey what's that was interesting.

Carl does a very good job in providing explanations on the subject matter in a way that is generally easily understood, although for some of the more advanced concepts you will need to concentrate and have a presence of mind. Having said that, if this is the first book you listen to regarding the cosmos, it provides a great introduction.

I have listened to other astronomy books including Welcome to the Universe and I found that book to be very technical. I think this was due to the fact that it probably wasn't really suited for audio book format.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrei S.
  • 01-23-18

Astronomy and so much more

While some scientific aspects in the book might have changed in the meantime, the book is still as valuable today as it was almost 40 years ago. For people just getting introduced to astronomy it is still close enough to present views of the universe to give a good introduction and understanding. For the literate astronomers this can also be regarded as a sample of history. Just like Carl Sagan was looking at early astronomers' work and appreciating it with the benefit of hindsight, today's amateur astronomers can look at Carl Sagan's book and get a better understanding of the recent scientific history, with its debates and evolution.
But above all that, I'd say the biggest merit of this book is it made me want to go outside and just look at the vast sky above and the stars that fill it. It also gives a wonderful history of astronomy, as mentioned before.
Finally, the last chapter is sadly as relevant today as it was back then. In the last chapter Sagan raises issues about the dangers and absurdity of nuclear proliferation and the ridiculous amount of resources spent on war or the possibility of war. He raises issues about anti-scientific movements in society and how an uneducated society is more likely to throw itself into irrational conflicts. He raises issues about sexism and misogyny, about chauvinism and nationalism. While he was hopeful that these problems are on the way to being solved, it's sad to see that the world has regressed in the recent past, on all these issues, and that they are all just as relevant today.
So this book is not just an astronomy book. It's a book of education and culture, a book of science and history, a starting point for people to educate themselves.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-02-17

Profound and moving

I had very fond memories on the tv series linked to this book, and this Audible version did not disappoint. Its profound and often moving messages are still as relevant and important as when they were first written- possibly even more so. Sagan provided a real understanding of what is known about the universe, and an idea of what is left to be discovered. It delivers some stark messages on the dangers of nuclear war (if only Donald Trump could read!) but is an ultimately hopeful and almost spiritual book.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Adrian
  • 12-11-17

Awesome science, fascinating history, thoughtful philosophy

LeVar Burton’s narration is perfect: one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to.

Carl Sagan’s writing inspires wonder, fascination, and thoughtfulness. The text moves seamlessly from modern astroscience, through ancient history, to evolutionary biology and moral philosophy.

A long read/listen but worth the investment of time!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Russell
  • 09-05-17

Inspirational Reading

I enjoyed the book as much as the TV series but some of the graphical visualisations were difficult to understand from an audio perspective.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • gregg
  • 10-02-17

Outstanding

Insightful, poignant, beautifully written and narrated. A tale of hope, and a note of caution for us all.
A must read.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. J. Cole
  • 08-30-17

Sheer genius.

One of my all time favorite books and tv shows. Just make you realize how"small" we are in the universe and lots of food for thought.

Levar Burton's narration is sublime and easy to listen to.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr S Oliver
  • 08-24-17

Great true story

Loved this great story of the Universe and of the key people who have contributed to our understanding of it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • L. Mitchell
  • 07-19-17

Timeless, a voyage of understanding.

I can't believe this book was written back in the 80's, I almost stopped listening when I found this out, as I thought that much of it would now be deemed wrong or out of touch. I am sure there maybe the odd thing as we have discovered much in the last 35 years but 99% of this book still seems reliable and relevant. The narration is great and the unfolding of the story is skilful. I will be listening to more from this bunch and I urge others to do so.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • MR R MORRIS
  • 07-06-17

Brilliant

Brilliant in all regards. 6 months from now I'll listen to it all again, and it'll still be brilliant. Sagan's gift to us all.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Erin Raethke
  • 12-09-17

LeVar Burton's narration is a gift to Cosmos

Cosmos, an already captivating and thought-provoking composition, as relevant today as when it was composed by the great Carl Sagan, is enhansed even further by LeVar Burton and his wonderful narration. This Audible edition of Cosmos quite literally brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Thank you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Trevor
  • 06-03-17

Worth every cent.

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Still relevant after all these years. Wonderfully narrated. A must have audio book for everyone.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-10-17

incredible

an incredible insight into carl sagans cosmic perspective. An absolute must listen for anyone interested in astronomy or science in general.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-03-17

literally out of this world

a stellar performance that blew me away with a big bang. download this now. it's one small click for you but a giant leap for your consciousness' (event) horizon.

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  • bobby bobson
  • 07-25-17

A book everyone should read

Cosmos is one of those books that only grows in relevance as time goes on. The final words on war and humanity's journey in the cosmos are incredibly poignant and Carl's writing is as fresh and insightful as if it were written today. Great performance from Burton, and the introductions are wonderful, especially Ann Druyan's which was particularly moving. If you want to become a better human, get this book.

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  • Michael
  • 07-26-17

fantastic

loved it, really good and easy to follow book. very interesting and eye opening. great!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Praveen
  • 06-28-17

Carl Sagan's perspective is too good

loved the way how such a complex subject explained in simple terms. It has all aspects of life and cosmos. I felt like a journey through complex network of galaxies.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful