Maria's Reviews > Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Oct 15, 07

bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in October, 2007

I have one last section to go (Religion and Science), but my main points won't be affected by it.

Death By Black Hole provides, especially in the first couple of sections, a really good outline of various problems that astrophysicists are confronted with, and it definitely made me think of the scientific process in a new way. So that was pretty cool. But on the whole, my reaction was rather meh - kind of disappointing when the book really isn't bad.

My main complaint about the book isn't actually the book's fault. It's just way below my level, and I found myself frequently bored. I think the best audience for the book is someone who's never had an astronomy class, and is maybe familiar with basic physics and chemistry. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I read it in high school. I did learn a handful of new things, and sometimes Tyson's explanations helped some points I was fuzzy on click into place, but on the whole, I would have preferred the book to be much more detailed.

My second problem is that, as Tyson says in the preface, the book is composed of various essays that he wrote for a magazine over the years, and that they were only slightly edited for continuity when he was preparing the book. Big mistake. While this divided the book into bite-sized, easy to process pieces, it also made it a helluva lot repetitive. Several phenomena were explained two, or even three times throughout the book. It should really have been edited a lot more aggressively.

But on the whole, I think this is a really good pick for a layperson who doesn't know much about astronomy and isn't interested in involved explanations of the physical and chemical side of things. Neil deGrasse Tyson is one eloquent guy, and writes with an infectious passion for his subject.
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message 1: by julio (new) - added it

julio he's also a lithe and enthusiastic dancer.


Sarah "I think this is a really good pick for a layperson who doesn't know much about astronomy and isn't interested in involved explanations of the physical and chemical side of things."

ATTSA MEEEEE.

I respect your review.


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