• The Planets

  • By: Dava Sobel
  • Narrated by: Lorna Raver
  • Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars (167 ratings)

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The Planets  By  cover art

The Planets

By: Dava Sobel
Narrated by: Lorna Raver
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Publisher's summary

With her blockbuster New York Times best sellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel used her rare and luminous gift for weaving difficult scientific concepts into a compelling story to garner rave reviews and attract readers from across the literary spectrum. Now, in The Planets, Sobel brings her full talents to bear on what is perhaps her most ambitious subject to date: the planets of our solar system.

The sun's family of planets become a familiar place in this personal account of the lives of other worlds. Sobel explores the planets' origins and oddities through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history. Whether revealing what lies behind Venus' cocoon of acid clouds or capturing firsthand the excitement at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when pictures from Cassini at Saturn are beamed to Earth, this intimate account is filled with fascination, beauty, and surprise.

Written in Dava Sobel's characteristically graceful prose, The Planets is a distinctive view of our place in the universe. It is that rare book that will delight the experienced astronomer and, at the same time, engage someone eager to get to know the planets.

©2005 Dava Sobel (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic reviews

“Playful . . . lyrical . . . a guided tour so imaginative that we forget we’re being educated as we’re being entertained.” (Newsweek)

“[Sobel] has outdone her extraordinary talent for keeping readers enthralled. . . . Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter were exciting enough, but The Planets has a charm of its own . . . . A splendid and enticing book.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“A sublime journey. [Sobel’s] writing . . . is as bright as the sun and its thinking as star-studded as the cosmos.” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)