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Download Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Neil deGrasse Tyson
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,813 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson Narrator: Dion Graham Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN:
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Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries is an anthology of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson's most well-known articles. Tyson may be an award-winning astrophysicist following in the footsteps of his mentor Carl Sagan, but he is best known as an accessible everyman. Tyson has the ability to convey complex science topics in a way that is both interesting and understandable, making him one of the most popular science communicators today.

The essays in Death by Black Hole were originally published in Natural History magazine. Together, they offer a basic introduction to the subject of astrophysics using analogies to everyday life. It also offers a look at the history of scientific research and cosmic theory while giving the reader tidbits of fascinating trivia throughout. The book is separated into seven chapters, with each section covering a different topic. These chapters include The Nature of Knowledge, The Knowledge of Nature, Ways and Means of Nature, The Meaning of Life, When the Universe Turns Bad, Science and Culture, and Science and God.

Tyson's excitement about science is also evident, and often seems contagious. In Death by Black Hole, Tyson explains the complex physics behind black holes by talking about what would happen to a person who fell into one. He unapologetically discusses his lack of understanding behind why many feel religion and science cannot coexist, and he's got a bone to pick with the movie studios because they cannot seem to depict the night sky realistically. Tyson hosted the PBS show NOVA ScienceNow from 2006 until 2011, and currently serves as the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. He also works in research at the American Museum of Natural History. Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries was published in 2007.

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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yasaman | 2/17/2014

    " I should really stop reading popular science astronomy/astrophysics books. I need to face up to the fact that thanks to a semester of astronomy and a semester of particle accelerator physics, not to mention reading a bunch of articles on the latest discoveries in the field, I know most of this shit already. On the other hand, I love Neil deGrasse Tyson! His enthusiasm for astronomy is infectious, and he writes engagingly and clearly, without condescending to the reader. But yeah, outside of some stuff about comets and the solar system, and a few other scattered facts/anecdotes, I did not learn much I didn't already know. I did enjoy Tyson's occasional asides on inaccuracies in movies and the like though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith | 2/12/2014

    " A good overview of our universe & the scientific method, a good rumination on the status of life on Earth and elsewhere and a great summation on how the universe is really out to kill us all. Well not so dramatic but read the book. It is in essay form and easily digestible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kenny | 2/12/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. Tyson does a good job of explaining physics and astronomy to the layperson. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nenia Campbell | 2/12/2014

    " The title deceived me. ;_____; "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate Proctor | 2/1/2014

    " A great read from Neil deGrasse Tyson. It was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be: Funny, interesting, informative, and as delightfully nerdy as possible. If you've ever wanted to know more about the universe around you, but didn't want to drudge through some dry, boring book to find out about it, then I'd definitely recommend this. You can feel the joy he feels when talking about how we, and everything around us, was forged in the cores of stars, making us literally one with the entire universe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 1/23/2014

    " Just a great, great book. You'll learn so much about the cosmos, explained in relatively lay man's terms. It's so eye-opening. He is also just funny enough - not too funny that he sounds like he is trying too hard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fairul Asannan | 1/20/2014

    " well.. this read took me almost half year to finish.. because ive been busy with something else. lulz "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 1/15/2014

    " Interesting stuff -- took me back to my eighth grade science class. I forget how interesting it can be to read about sciency stuff like the solar system and molecules. It does get a little tough to get through though -- I mean how many chapters can one read about the periodic table of elements! Nonetheless, worth a Saturday afternoon for sure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Crusader | 1/13/2014

    " An interesting, often witty, collection of essays on astrophysics and science. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terri | 1/13/2014

    " Book signed to our new baby by the author when he came to Astoria (Queens, NYC), NY, so I've been trying to make time to read it. What I've read I've really enjoyed. Tyson makes astronomical phenomena fit into everyday life pretty well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris Callaway | 1/2/2014

    " Not bad, but it does get to be information overload at times, and some of it just felt a little flat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice | 12/23/2013

    " Dr. Tyson explained a lot of things about astrophysics in a humorous and easy to understand way. While it took me a while to get through, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and now I can tell you what spaghettification is! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 12/7/2013

    " Excellent! It covered some ground I already knew, but he;s always entertaining and informative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Myk | 12/5/2013

    " Very well written. Kept my interest from the first to the last page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Talia | 12/4/2013

    " I never thought I'd be interested in reading about astrophysics. Neil deGrasse Tyson makes the cosmos funny/interesting/beautiful... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean E | 11/29/2013

    " I enjoyed this book, but I'm a fan of Neil. Some of the things I couldn't quite wrap my mind around. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna Tatelman | 7/7/2013

    " As someone who is totally inept at science, I found this book quite user-friendly and understandable. Tyson is a bit conceited about science at times but, for the most part, remains on a level that even we science simpletons can understand. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Slavin | 6/30/2013

    " Learned a lot from this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J. Nespoli | 10/25/2012

    " Loved it. Neil has a way of communicating complex physics to numb-nuts like me in a way that others have been unable to do. It was mind-blowing, eye-opening, and terrifying. I'd have given it 5 stars, but I reserve those rating for great works of fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connor Oswald | 9/24/2012

    " Tyson is my favorite science author "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Perry | 8/15/2012

    " Enjoyable, short essays on a wide range of astronomical topics. Less pedantic than Steven Jay Gould. @PerryMissner "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter | 5/2/2012

    " A slightly disjointed selection of essays. A good writer, but there is no coherent thread. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 4/8/2012

    " Neil deGrasse Tyson is a very inspiring person and this book lives up to his greatness. My only complains is 1) he tends to repeat stuff (the book come have been 50 pages shorter), 2) I think he has a smug sense of himself....but he is an awesome astrophysicists "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Correen | 12/14/2011

    " deGrasse Tyson has a special gift for making astrophysics interesting and somewhat understandable. He packs masses of information into a small space and keeps the reader awake. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 11/28/2011

    " Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to tell you about space. But will you listen? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drew Coman | 11/18/2011

    " Great read. A bunch of short essays selected by Tyson himself. Written so that a non-technical person can appreciate the complexities of our universe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Salim | 9/28/2011

    " What I learned in Death By Black Hole. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gregory | 4/23/2011

    " Originally published as essays, Tyson's book will energize anyone interested in the state of cosmology, astronomy, and physics today. Ever thought-provoking, clear, and lively, this is a great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Talia | 4/9/2011

    " I never thought I'd be interested in reading about astrophysics. Neil deGrasse Tyson makes the cosmos funny/interesting/beautiful... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danni | 4/7/2011

    " this book was so entertaining~!!! you don't have to be a nerd to enjoy some knowledge about the cosmos. Tyson has an excellent sense of humor. the examples/antidotes he gave in the book make is super easy to understand the concepts of quantum physics. Highly recommended! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean | 4/7/2011

    " I enjoyed this book, but I'm a fan of Neil. Some of the things I couldn't quite wrap my mind around. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay | 3/4/2011

    " The science in this book is solid and the stories well told. Since it is a collection of essays, subject matter is occasionally repetitive. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Saadiq | 3/4/2011

    " I love deGrasse Tyson and have nothing against this book per se, but it covers much of the same ground as Sagan's "Cosmos", perhaps the finest book on pop astronomy/cosmology ever written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick | 2/17/2011

    " League in Intrigue book club #4. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 2/15/2011

    " Tyson writes quite well. He provides humor and simple anology to make the points for the reader. A great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chuck | 2/11/2011

    " Nice collection of articles on astronomy, astrophysics and the history of science. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fastesthamster | 1/14/2011

    " Fantastic! What a great set of essays, highly enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mikebliv | 1/8/2011

    " Excellent audio book about space and science. I ended up watching some Youtube videos of the author just to get a bit more of his thoughts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eileend | 1/3/2011

    " I tried to listen to this as an audiobook, and it had me nearly falling asleep at the wheel. I will give this another try in print sometime, as this ought to be just my kind of book. But it wasn't. Not as an audiobook, anyhow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hazmatt | 1/3/2011

    " Awesome book. Highly recommended for the layman reader of cosmology, astrophysics and general science weirdness. Thought provoking and irreverent. "

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About the Author
Author Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. He is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. From 2006 to 2011, he hosted the educational science television show NOVA ScienceNow on PBS and has been a frequent guest on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Jeopardy. In March 2014, he became host of the television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, an update of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Tyson has written several nonfiction books, including Death by Black Hole, which was a New York Times bestseller.

About the Narrator

Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates The First 48 on A&E. Winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.