May 17, 2018

[Books] Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Audible Review

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the more popular physicists of our times, which is a quirky statement as you don't expect many scientists to become "popular" in the usual sense. But at the very least he is a very familiar name to many as he has often spoken to the media on various subjects and is quite active on social media.

So to expand my Audible adventures beyond biographies, I hoped to listen to Astrophysics for People in a Hurry which was both written and read by him for this audio book edition.

If you've ever watched the new Cosmos series that he hosted, then you might have an idea of how this audio book might go. It's a fascinating listening experience but it isn't a casual one either.

Synopsis: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is a popular science book written by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The book is based around his essays for Natural History Magazine.

If you've ever wanted a primer on what astrophysics is all about despite lack of a serious science background, then this is the book for you. And while it may feel that this isn't absolutely necessary to know all this, the book generally provides a reason to learn these things or at least appreciate them more.

And man, he covers a lot of ground here ranging from the very old to the newly born, the very big to the extremely small. The realms of physics span these many different concepts and a lot of the current struggle is to find a way to bridge the gap between those extremes.

What I Liked: Neil deGrasse Tyson has a wonderful speaking voice that is part-professor, part-storyteller. And how he goes through his writings to explain thesse very complex concepts in layman friendly language is really what defines the book. He takes his time to go through both historical context and modern analogies in order to explain a lot of things.

The book leaves you feeling a little smarter and perhaps with a better perspective of the universe at large and what it all may mean. And that's a nice feeling to have at the end of a book.

What Could Have Been Better: This is not the best audio book material in the sense that sometimews the discussion can get pretty complicated and it requires more focus. As a lot of folks listen to Audible books while walking, driving, or commuting, then you might not keep up with everything.

His voice is both a good and a bad thing. His manner of speech is both endaring and accomodating but it can also be a little too relaxing and your focus may wander. Combine that with another activity like I mentioned before and you may miss bits of the book here and there.

TL;DR: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is a great reference book and a fun listening experience provided you take the proper time to enjoy it. Don't juggle anything else when you listen to avoid further complicating your life. Thus the audio book gets a decent 4 explanations for things that make the universe go round out of a possible 5.


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