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Death by Black Hole Audiobook

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

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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

4.2 (2921 )
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4.4 (2013 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Daniel Ingegneri 01-06-15
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    "Fun to listen to, easy enough to understand"
    What did you love best about Death by Black Hole?

    Well narrated, easy to listen to. Some parts got a bit complex and above my ability to understand, and Neil deGrasse Tyson's humorous comparisons made it quite entertaining. Dion Graham read in such a way that I could hear it as if Tyson was reading it himself.


    Any additional comments?

    Easier to understand than some of Tyson's other books, so for me it's more entertaining. Still some math involved, and highly technical explanations, but it's kept minimal.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wurm Minneapolis, MN, United States 12-31-14
    Wurm Minneapolis, MN, United States 12-31-14
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    "Another erudite work by Tyson."

    One of the premier scientists in the media, Neil deGrasse Tyson has been excellent in every work I've seen, read, watched, or to which I've listened. The host of the Fox program Cosmos writes on several contemporary topics with some added history as well. The verdict? Black science man knocks it out of the park again.

    The author discusses the cover topic, but this book is not devoted entirely to black holes. Topics on which you will read also include tools that expand the senses, physics history, skepticism, phenomena at different scales, the intersection of science and religion, and several other topics. An erudite scholar and a wonderful composer of explanatory prose, Tyson is a key American ambassador of science. In a country appallingly devoid of science literacy, he has his work cut out for him.

    I recommend this for people of all ages and for all fans of science. To the American public: read this book, please!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 10-28-14
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 10-28-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Accessible and fun"
    What did you love best about Death by Black Hole?

    For those with a layperson’s interest in physics, Death by Black Hole is an entertaining and informative read. Tyson is a respected Astrophysicist and media personality, most recently recognizable as the host of the re-booted mini-series Cosmos. Those familiar with him will recognize in DBBH a few pet themes that underlie his works: first, that there is beauty, structure, and grandeur in the visible and invisible universe and secondly, that humanity’s best mechanism for understanding and explaining these lie in the application of the scientific method of inquiry. Having said that, DBBH is essentially an anthology of self-contained essays grouped by various themes, ranging from the foundations of knowledge and science, the biological and evolutionary origins of life, to the physical laws and structure of our visible and invisible universe. If this sounds heavy handed (it isn’t), Tyson also playfully diverges into explanations of how popular sci-fi movies get the science wrong, the multiple ways the universe is trying and failing to kill the collective us, and why so many of our commonly held axioms (“the sun always rises in the east”) are not quite correct. In lesser hands, this could come across as boorish but Tyson has a knack for infusing it with a tongue and cheek, sometimes self-deprecating, humor (as the title implies) that makes the material accessible while never condescending to the reader. As for the narration, I admit to being surprised after listening to the audiobook when I discovered that Tyson himself didn’t narrate it; hats off to Dion Graham for a lively reading and bang on impersonation. While DBBH would never be mistaken for a high school physics text, or even a mass market but more serious take such as Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”, I highly recommend this audiobook, particularly for younger (or young at heart) readers who want to learn more about, to quote Douglas Adams, “life, the universe, and everything”.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Turner 08-22-14
    Brad Turner 08-22-14 Member Since 2017
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    "Wonderfully written, great narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Death by Black Hole to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version so I cannot comment on that


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author of course! Dr Tyson is one of the best at describing physics in a way that everyone can grasp


    Which character – as performed by Dion Graham – was your favorite?

    Still Dr Tyson


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    All equally


    Any additional comments?

    My only complaint is that some material was repeated throughout the book, but overall, this is a wonderful listen!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yoshida 12-21-13
    A. Yoshida 12-21-13
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    "Did you know the sun is white, not yellow?"

    This book is a compilation of essays from the Natural History magazine with some minor editing for continuity. It still reads like a compilation of essays with the common theme of the cosmos; it's not a book just about black holes or about our galaxy colliding with another galaxy and getting sucked into a black hole. Some of the material in the book is a little complex for a non-scientist. An amateur astronomer would probably find the entire book interesting. For the general public, only certain chapters would be fascinating. For example, the sun is white, not yellow. If it was yellow, then white stuff (like snow) would look yellow. After reading that, it seems obvious that the sun is white. Yet most people have this misconception. It is worth reading to know some of our mistaken ideas about the universe.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J ROCHESTER, MN, United States 09-16-11
    J ROCHESTER, MN, United States 09-16-11 Member Since 2017
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    "Great book except for the last quarter"
    What did you like best about Death by Black Hole? What did you like least?

    The book presents the leading edge of astronomy in an easy to access and understand manner. Exotic concepts are presented in at a level a college freshman can understand. The book avoids a higher rating with the author's digressions into social and spiritual matters. If the author wishes to write a book about current scientific discoveries, great, he should leave his personal opinions in religion and popular culture out of it. If he wishes to publish an opinion piece, fine, but at least be honest about what it is.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Neil deGrasse Tyson again?

    Possibly, but there are others I would look for first.


    Did Death by Black Hole inspire you to do anything?

    Shop of a new telescope.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne Twentynine Palms, CA, USA 05-30-09
    Yvonne Twentynine Palms, CA, USA 05-30-09
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    "Explaining the Unknown"

    The author does a great job of explaining scientific concepts so someone without an advanced degree in physics can understand. Great non-fiction read for those who want to continue to expand their knowledge about the world(s) around us.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shobhit 09-09-07
    Shobhit 09-09-07 Member Since 2011
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    "A must listen"

    This book is meant for the average astronomy enthusiast , but is amazingly lucid even for someone who doesnot understand any such concepts as "Black Hole", "Supernova" or "Quasars". Tyson has done an amazing job in compiling this book and even more so to narrate it so effortlessly.
    I have gone through this book atleast 3 times and would recommend it to be a part of your must read list also.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Barrie, Ontario, Canada 04-06-13
    Shawn Barrie, Ontario, Canada 04-06-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Interesting but Meandering"

    This is a collection of articles edited into a book. While interesting and full of information I didn't know, the pieced together nature made it seem like it was wandering and not really a full narrative.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-15-09 Member Since 2007
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    "recap for most"

    an interesting book. but if you read a brief history of time, and understood it, then most of this is just a recap. there are a few funy anecdotes and updates to previous knowledge to keep the mood light and make the book intresting.
    in short, if u have a discovery channel level of understanding of string theory, then u can skip this title. if u think string theory has something to do with violins, then this is a good place to expand your horizons.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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