Extended Audio Sample

Download The Planets Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Planets Audiobook, by Dava Sobel Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,603 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dava Sobel Narrator: Lorna Raver Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2005 ISBN: 9780739322895
Regular Price: $9.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $9.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

The Planets is Dava Sobel’s sweeping look at our heavenly galaxy. In the spirit of Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter, Sobel once again brings science and history deftly to life as she explores the origins of the planets and reveals the exotic environments that exist in each of these fascinating alien worlds.

After the huge national and international success of Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter, Dava Sobel tells the human story of the nine planets of our solar system. The Planets tells the story of each member of our solar family, from their discovery, both mythic and historic, to the latest data from the modern era’s robotic space probes. Whether revealing what hides behind Venus’ cocoon of acid clouds, describing Jupiter’s “Technicolor lightning bolts and shimmering sheets of auroras,” or capturing first-hand the excitement at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the first pictures from Voyager were beamed to earth, Dava Sobel’s unique tour of the solar family is filled with fascination and poetry.

In lyrical prose The Planets gives a breathtaking, close-up perspective on those heavenly bodies that have captured the imagination of humanity since that first glimpse at the glittering night skies. This is an extraordinary book of science, history, biography, and storytelling. Timely and timeless, The Planets will engage and delight as it unravels the mysteries of the cosmos.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_000687

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 2/18/2014

    " This is a combination of Historical, Scientific, and Mythical knowledge of the planets. Where as I find it over all interesting. Depending on which aspect the author is writing about it can be rather dry. Specifically when discussing the historical aspects. And I am a fan of history, it is just really hard to get through those sections. The Scientific and Mythical aspects seem much more in their realm or at least draw me in enough that I am not having to force my way through them. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Johnny | 2/11/2014

    " Its a romantic/poetic account of the solar system. Disappointed - Had different expectations when I picked it up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 2/2/2014

    " "Loved Galileo's Daughter. Liked Longitude very much. This one I'm flipping ahead and saying to myself 'Gee, 65 pages left...still on "us" and still have "nut" and "pie."'Not bad but inferior to the other Sobel efforts." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Spencer | 1/29/2014

    " A fascinating history of how the planets were discovered. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Converse | 1/24/2014

    " Short account of planets, comets, Kuiper belt objects (including Pluto), written with amusing fictionalized bits. Bibliography "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeffrey | 1/17/2014

    " Nice introduction to planetary astronomy. Adds depth and interest for the casual reader by framing its descriptions of the planets with detours through the influence of the planets on ancient mythology and astrology, as well as the modern post-Galileo history of astronomy and the discovery of the outer planets. Started a little slow for my taste but certainly a fun read and a good primer for those not already geeked out on astronomy like me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jimmy | 1/17/2014

    " I guess you would call this Science very-light. It's a pleasnat book with a different technique for describing each of the planets from the view of a satellite, to a piece of Mars rock, to a short history of the person who discovered Uranus. Books like this make me want to spend more time paying attentin to current scientific developments and to look at photos from distant satellites. We miss too much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 1/16/2014

    " Reading this over the past two weeks has filled me with new electricity and excitement about the sky. Or rather, it's re-ignited a lot of my excitement about the cosmos. About the middle of my reading was the 4th of July, when apparently Jupiter and Neptune both are visible enough to see. And the same night four strange red lights hover high above us in the San Diego sky until sometime during the fireworks display. All these things and more now have a lot more weight now I've read this book and have at least an acquainted understanding of and now feel a compelling sense of worship for all these celestial bodies. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jodi | 1/12/2014

    " Very little that was new and actually interesting, covered in a schmaltzy grandiose tone that rendered it unsavory. Rather have more science and less authorial poetry, at least if it is hers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leif Erik | 1/8/2014

    " Not deep and slightly new-agey, but Sobel is an excellent writer and seriously, how can you go wrong with the solar system? A great intro to celestial studies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kae Cheatham | 12/4/2013

    " Excellent presentation of complex scientific information in layman's terms and also with a flair of presentation. Sobel is a storyteller as well as a well-versed scientist and articulate writer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mimi | 11/26/2013

    " Most of this nonfiction book was dryer than moon rocks. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Colleen | 11/6/2013

    " little less scientific information than I wanted "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christina | 9/6/2013

    " Some book group members felt this book was so dull that it we replaced it with another book before the meeting. We were disappointed because we had loved Galileo's Daughter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt Evans | 4/9/2013

    " Not as good as "Longitude", but still very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Faith | 11/6/2012

    " I listened to it...this book was really interesting. The reader did a great job! The author included astrology, stories told from the point of view of famous historical people in the field, poetry, etc to make this not just a list of facts but an interesting read (or as I would suggest listen). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kris | 10/19/2012

    " I'm not sure how this book ended up on my to-read list, but it was kind of a snore. Random facts about each planet, presented in a relatively un-scientific way. I just don't think it was my kind of thing... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Coleen | 8/22/2012

    " Loved it! I like to read books where I can learn while also having an enjoyable read. This was one of those. Loved the historical perspective of the science. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff J. | 5/25/2012

    " Bit disjointed but enjoyed it nevertheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 5/19/2012

    " A nice mix of science, mythology, history, and poetry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dick Stapleton | 4/30/2012

    " A fun refresh for me and a non-challenging intro for anyone wanting to know more about our solar home. Sobel works to weave some story into the science tho it is not the same read that "Longitude" was. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 2/17/2012

    " except for the chapter on music (which I really didn't get) this was a great book--full of trivia, science and information on the planets. She needs to do a sequel in light of poor Pluto's plight over the last several years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 8/27/2011

    " This is a great quick read if you want an overview of what has been discovered to date about the planets without being weighed down by a lot of scientific data. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harry | 6/19/2011

    " Very fun book. Simple but very informative. The reader is like a tourist taking a photo safari among the planets. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lesley | 5/16/2011

    " written by a total geek for planets and astronomy. definitely a different way of writing about them too. i dig. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Camille | 4/27/2011

    " A wonderful trip through the solar system. Just like in Longitude, the author spins a fantastic account of the planets. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 2/8/2011

    " A nice mix of science, mythology, history, and poetry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kae | 2/4/2011

    " Excellent presentation of complex scientific information in layman's terms and also with a flair of presentation. Sobel is a storyteller as well as a well-versed scientist and articulate writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yvonne | 2/2/2011

    " fascinating, and now I finally get why Pluto was demoted from planet status *sigh* ... Lots of informative tidbits of info, scientific fascinations, etc. Definitely a Good Read 8) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mckinley | 1/30/2011

    " Engaging look at the solar system's planets - the mythology of Mercury, the poetry of Venus, the sci-fi of Mars, and so on cummulating in the search for the unknown Planet X. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bcoghill | 1/27/2011

    " There have been so many changes that I feel like I have to restudy this field. So much that I know has changed and reading Nt'l Geographic hasn't done the job. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stargazer | 1/13/2011

    " Had this on audio from the library, brilliant. Loved the tale about the guy who worked in Nasa showing a girlfriend he wanted to impress a tiny bit of the moon (how did he acquire that??) and when he turned his back, she swallowed it! Is she the only person ever to have eaten moon? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adam | 1/8/2011

    " A demanding read, unless you're interested in mundane astronomical facts shrouded in grandiloquent vignettes devoted to astrology. Skip! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dick | 1/8/2011

    " A fun refresh for me and a non-challenging intro for anyone wanting to know more about our solar home. Sobel works to weave some story into the science tho it is not the same read that "Longitude" was. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Johnny | 1/5/2011

    " Its a romantic/poetic account of the solar system. Disappointed - Had different expectations when I picked it up. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Dava Sobel

Dava Sobel is an accomplished writer of popular expositions of scientific topics. A 1964 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, she attended Antioch College and the City College of New York before receiving her bachelor of arts degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1969. She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from the University of Bath, in England, and Middlebury College, Vermont, both awarded in 2002.

About the Narrator

Lorna Raver, named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of the Year, has received numerous Audie Award nominations and fifrteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. An experienced stage actress, she has also guest-starred on many top television series and starred in director Sam Raimi’s film Drag Me to Hell. Her numerous audiobook credits include The Age of Innocence, Up from Orchard Street, The Lodger, Selected Readings from the Portable Dorothy Parker, and Diamond Ruby.