This appears to be another classic book that I really didn't like too much. Perhaps it's me, today, and the me in my early 20's might have enjoyed the...moreThis appears to be another classic book that I really didn't like too much. Perhaps it's me, today, and the me in my early 20's might have enjoyed the book more. Hard to say, but it just didn't appeal to me. I didn't find a lot of philosophizing in this book like I thought it was about; which really was a general impression I had without actually reading reviews. Instead I found a lot of going back and forth across the country, mainly driving without sleeping, drinking all hours and other silly craziness, whew yeah. I found the approach to women reproachable and the craziness of Dean Moriarty annoying instead of entertaining or interesting. With a title On the Road you'd expect it to be about traveling and likely hitchhiking, but the reckless driving with other people's cars entrusted to them, and stealing cars, well that I just couldn't dig. I'm actually disappointed in the book. I had higher expectations than was delivered.(less)
This was a very readable science/astronomy book. While reading I thought of how Carl Sagan was somewhat controversial, at least with other scientists,...moreThis was a very readable science/astronomy book. While reading I thought of how Carl Sagan was somewhat controversial, at least with other scientists, decades ago because he was so accessible to the general public. Today it seems like there's been an explosion of scientists doing just that, writing very accessible science books. I think it's great. There's a definite need for books in all areas of science to be written for the general public, for people like me.
That said I think the author did a disservice by including so much of his personal life. I wanted to read about how he and his team discovered an object way out there but still in our solar system, that was bigger than Pluto, and sparked the debate about Pluto being called a planet or not. That was in the book, yes, but that wasn’t all of the story. Brown also covered the other objects he and his team found and how the work is done to find these objects, just like one would expect. I enjoyed these parts of the book. What I didn't anticipate was finding out how Mike Brown met and married his wife, how much and where they traveled, the birth of their child, etc. This took up too much of the book that was billed to be about killing the planet Pluto. I may be a dissenter for wanting what I consider fluff out, but I'm okay with it. Admittedly parts of that was interesting too…but, but, but...just not what I wanted in this planet killing book. What he should have named the book was: The Years I Killed Pluto, or My Life during the Time I Killed Pluto. With either title I may have not been so annoyed at all of this extraneous material.
Despite that overall I did enjoy reading the book and learned more about our solar system. Such as for years, the first half of the 19th century, we thought there were four other planets between Mars and Jupiter that are called: Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea. These objects are in what is now called the asteroid belt. There is good information in the book, it’s very readable and light-hearted writing style, so in the end I would recommend reading this book. One of the next books I read will be The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet made a Big Difference. I bet it's very readable too. (less)