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Death by Black Hole

And Other Cosmic Quandaries
Lu par : Dion Graham
Durée : 12 h et 4 min

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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.


"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)

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles
  • 01/10/2008

Great for an introduction to space and astronomy

This is a great read for those looking to get an introduction to Space and Astronomy. The presentation bounces around lots of fascinating space facts and theories that keep you captivated. Even if you are not new to space, astronomy and the solar system, this is a great read. I found myself enjoying the many things I didn't know before and discovering space a new.

16 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lind
  • 25/05/2007

Well written and well read

Neil deGrasse Tyson presents this complex subject in a clear and gripping way. The reader,Dion Graham, has just the right pace and inflection to keep your attention. Normally, this subject requires diagrams to clarify what is being said but this presentation is clear without them.

An absorbing book that I look forward to hearing again.

30 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Malcolm
  • 04/12/2007

A good listen

Very enjoyable, offers brief explanations the sciences behind the objects which we use in everyday life as well as understandable clarifications of the findings in todays scientific frontiers. The author has a gift for making humorous and enlightening analogies and the narrator has an engaging voice. This is an audible offering I shall listen to many times.

13 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • CFS
  • 27/10/2007

Hard to put down

Of the scientific book I listened to lately, this one was probably one of the best. Not just did it provide a comprehensible excursion through astrophysics, it also provided insights into other areas of the physical world and was intellectually quite stimulating...to the point where I had to write an E-mail to the author to ask a question about something I did not understand in the book...and the E-mail was promptly answered by a member of his lab...well worth the read!

13 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason
  • 07/10/2008

Tyson dishes it up and up...good show!

Tyson is an authoratative television personality who also has a great grasp of physics and the universe. This book had such a catchy title, how could I have even passed it up?

While being much more approachable in terms of use of analogy to explain very complex scientific concepts, it is also a sounding board for Tyson to rant on a few topics that drive him crazy about popular culture's views of science.

That said, it was a very fun book and well worth the money. Tyson is fun to listen to and his thoughts travel smoothly from point to point. He introduced me to some new information that I, even as an avid reader of all things science, had not known.

The only thing that could have made this book even stronger, perhaps, would be expansion on some of the scientific thoughts for those of us more versed in science. But Tyson's strength is reaching the common man, and so I wasn't surprised that occasionally very in-depth accounting of scientific preceps didn't meet my voracious appetite's needs.

I'll definitely be re-listening to this every now and again, though. It's wonderful for sitting outside and staring at the amazing sky. Bravo :)

26 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 21/01/2008

A valuable perspective

The author communicates beautifully, to the laymen and scientifically-minded alike, a cosmologists perspective on our place in the universe, as well as the places where others might inhabit.
Due to the way this book was compiled, of the content is a bit redundant, but that helps it sink in better, I guess.

12 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarda
  • 19/04/2007

Well worth the time

I read a lot of popular science and I really appreciate a well read, well written, presentation of the information. The author, a good choice for reading his own book, gives flavor and enthusiasm to his reading. He knows where he wants the emphasis and conveys his own excitement of the subject with his voice.
This is a basic introduction to the subject of astrophysics, and thus presents no mind-boggling discoveries to those who read or watch this subject closely. He does, however, answer many questions, sometime with speculation, which he freely admits, which I have been asking most of my life.
I listened to this book while I worked around the house, and my reluctance to stop listening gave me the opportunity to get lots of work done in the yard.
I highly recommend the book.

42 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ralph Wiggum
  • 02/10/2013

A little tough to follow, but pretty interesting

Would you listen to Death by Black Hole again? Why?

Probably not. The "book" is actually a series of articles that are put together like a chapter book. As such there is a decent degree of redundancy. The plus side is that with repetition comes increased comprehension (as the subject matter can be a little heady for us non-science types)...the downside is that the book really could have been condensed by an order of a few hours with all the repeate material

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

the narrator is generally personable and you can easily visualize Neil deGrasse Tyson in his style. To each their own on this but I think the most compelling aspect of the narrative for me is getting a greater appreciation for the sheer magnitude of the universe versus the sheer insignficance of our place in it.

Which scene was your favorite?

For someone with nothing more than a beginners understanding of astrophysics, I found all of it pretty interesting. Probably, my favorite were the portions that focus on the potential for life on other planets.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"bring your pillow" kidding. my guess is books on astrophysics don't translate well to the big screen. Probably better suited for PBS or the Discovery Channel

Any additional comments?

A little repetitious but fascinating stuff to the layman.

8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan
  • 31/10/2013

Engaging pop science

While no one can replace Carl Sagan, Tyson might be the nearest thing the 2010s have to him, a friendly advocate of the sciences who knows how to explain abstract topics in everyday language without dumbing them down or dissipating their inherent wonder. I enjoyed his series on NOVA, so I decided to pick up this book after I noticed it on sale at audible.

No regrets. If you want an introduction or a refresher course on the basics of astronomy and astrophysics, this series of essays on various topics should fill in the gaps nicely. Tyson covers topics such as the mechanics of the solar system, the formation of the Earth and planets, the Big Bang and the origins of the universe, and the essential concepts of 20th century physics (quantum theory, relativity, subatomic particles, forces, string theory). Much of the ground Tyson treads will be familiar to those who watched Dr. Sagan's classic Cosmos series in the early 1980s, but a lot of discoveries have been made since then, so the update is worthwhile. Like Sagan, Tyson makes no bones about the fact that he sees science, not religion/superstition/mysticism, as the only reliable tool for understanding how the universe actually works. As he points out, no religious text has yet proved useful for predicting physical phenomena -- in fact, The Bible significantly misstates the value of Pi. (However, he's much less obnoxious about it than Dawkins.)

Tyson also spends some time nitpicking on the scientific errors in several Hollywood blockbusters. Yes, he's that guy -- the one that you stopped inviting to Doctor Who night.

If I have a complaint about this book, it's that its provenance as a collection of articles is pretty obvious. Things that were stated as assumptions or background information in one chapter will be repeated again a few chapters later. The editor could have done a better job integrating everything. And it's probably not a book I'd recommend to more knowledgeable readers; most of the information here, though presented in an appealing, accessible way, is basic.

6 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 06/05/2013

Dr. Tyson has Done it Again

Would you consider the audio edition of Death by Black Hole to be better than the print version?

I'd consider the audio edition equivalent or better than the print version. Neil deGrasse Tyson has such a talent for explaining advanced concepts in a way that is accessible to the everyman. He explores the works of the greatest minds in human history and condenses them into a non-technical, accessible medium for all to enjoy. Rest assured, there is nothing lost in enjoying this book in the audio format. Aside from the proverbial "E=mc^2" there are no formulas to intimidate and no mathematics required.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I'm sure this is better suited as a question for a fiction novel. I mean, is Neil an option?

What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Dion Graham brings this book to life and seems very at ease discussing concepts of the universe as we know it. He's very easy to understand and follow and is on my list of enjoyable narrators.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

As I have a background in physics there was not a lot for me to learn scientifically from this book; however, I can always find better ways to explain advanced concepts and make them accessible by listening to Dr. Tyson's musings.

Any additional comments?

Yes, if you are a scientific enthusiast, just curious about the world around you, or you chair the physics department at a prestigious university, you'll find something worth knowing here. Neil deGrasse Tyson has a remarkable talent for explaining the universe around us and I've met no rival to him.

6 personnes ont trouvé cela utile