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Download The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of Americas Favorite Planet Audiobook, by Neil deGrasse Tyson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,709 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson Narrator: Mirron Willis Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538464007
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In August 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted Pluto out of planethood. Far from the sun, tiny, and eccentric in orbit, it’s a wonder Pluto has any fans. Yet during the mounting debate over Pluto’s status, Americans rallied behind this extraterrestrial underdog. The year of Pluto’s discovery, Disney created an irresistible pup by the same name, and, as one NASA scientist put it, Pluto was “discovered by an American for America.” Pluto is entrenched in our cultural, patriotic view of the cosmos, and Neil deGrasse Tyson is on a quest to discover why. Since he was involved in the first exhibits to demote Pluto, Tyson has received plenty of freely shared opinions from Pluto lovers, including endless hate mail from third graders. In his typically witty way, Tyson explores the history of planet classification and America’s obsession with the status of Pluto.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “You gotta read this. It is the most exciting book about Pluto you will ever read in your life.” 

    Jon Stewart

  • “[A] lighthearted look at the planet…Presents the medicine of hard science with a sugarcoating of lightness and humor.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “When astronomers stripped Pluto of its ‘planethood’ in 2006, it set off a surprisingly passionate debate. As director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, Neil deGrasse Tyson was at the center of the dispute, and he tells his side of the story with wit and humility in this audio. Mirron Willis…does a fine job conveying the audiobook’s humor, including the letters from children who are angry that Tyson helped to demote their favorite planet.”

    AudioFile

  • “Actor/narrator Mirron Willis…successfully gets Tyson’s often tongue-and-cheek tone across to the listener. An enjoyable title on a topic having broad appeal.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 2/20/2014

    " This was well done and very accessible. I skipped all over the place but enjoyed the concept. Enjoyed the history as well as the presentation of the fallout after Pluto was demoted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jon | 1/31/2014

    " Humorous history of Pluto and planetary designations, accessible to anyone regardless of astronomy or science background. Questions of how to define a planet left unanswered in the end, but the astronomy community is still debating the definition anyway. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carol | 1/29/2014

    " Pluto--planet or not? Yeah, don't really care. Also don't care about the author, who spends way too much time talking about himself and includes 4 or 5 pictures of himself as well (and this is a short book). "

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

    " If you enjoy learning about the stars, planets, astroids, etc. in an easy to read and easy to understand book, don't miss this. Why was Pluto once a planet and now isn't? What does Disney's Pluto have to say about the demotion? What about millions of school kids, let alone hundreds of scientists? Pick this up; you could read it in a couple of hours. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Airy | 1/19/2014

    " Factual, fascinating, humorous, and light. I enjoyed it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shane Burgel | 1/19/2014

    " The history of Pluto near the beginning of the book was interesting, but after that it just dissolved into nothing but quote after quote from various news outlets and elementary students around the time of the demotion. Some (but not enough) of them are funny, and I was expecting more of a scientific narrative. "

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

    " Other than being a little short, a good summary of the Pluto "controversy". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brie | 12/30/2013

    " This was an interesting read on the rise and fall of Pluto. Not quite as good as Tyson's other books, but still an informative, interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita | 12/19/2013

    " A bit fluffy, but I get that he's trying to reach the "average citizen." Read Chapter 8 (all four pages) for a nice summation of the entire book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/16/2013

    " Fabulous, just fabulous "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Natasha | 12/1/2013

    " Funny, humorous, but lacking too much science. It was interesting to see the controversy surrounding Pluto being "demoted" to a dwarf planet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 11/19/2013

    " 3.5 Stars. It was an interesting book, and an interesting angle on the Pluto story. A quick fun read. But if you only read one book on Pluto's fall I'd pick Mike Brown's 'How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming' instead. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 8/4/2013

    " Dr. Tyson gets a little defensive at points, but overall does a good job discussing the history (and pop culture impact) of Pluto and its demotion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Timothy Finucane | 12/6/2012

    " The story of Pluto's fall from grace, astronomically and culturally, as told with the wit and humor that only Neil deGrasse Tyson can deliver. It is a rather quick read, but a good addition to any astronomer's library. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Batt | 2/8/2012

    " We haven't lost a planet; we've gained an awareness of the Kuiper Belt. This is a fascinating and witty look at the rise and fall of the largest KBO. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrew Flack | 2/4/2012

    " disappointing. This is more of a coffee table book than anything. NOTHING like his other book I read and loved. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 7/20/2011

    " I'm pretty sure I have a little crush on Neil Tyson. He's geeky and hilarious. So is The Pluto Files. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy Petersen | 5/10/2011

    " The rock star of astrophysics gives us a book that is funny, informative, comprehensive, and just a little bit self-serving. But for the latter quality, it would have gotten five stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 4/18/2011

    " Great - I love Neil! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Taylor | 4/18/2011

    " Seems like the majority of the book was other peoples letter or articles. "

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

    " Short book that displays Tyson's sense of humor. It helped me to put Pluto on the shelf along with brontosauruses. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 1/24/2011

    " Great book. I learned many things stellar and it was written in a fun and down to earth way. It was more about culture than about Pluto, and I learned that Americans can have irrational loyalties. I highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/23/2011

    " I'm pretty sure I have a little crush on Neil Tyson. He's geeky and hilarious. So is The Pluto Files. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Georgina | 1/19/2011

    " Learned a lot, enjoyed the book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 1/19/2011

    " A little bit of history, a little bit of science, and lot of fun to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bianca | 1/16/2011

    " More of a 3.5.

    Not the most cohesive story (the chapters are a bit of a mishmash of subtopics and there's no real conclusion), but a VERY convincing argument for Pluto's demotion is made in an easy-to-follow manner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 1/7/2011

    " Very enjoyable - Mr. Tyson has a good grasp of his human condition. "

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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

Mirron Willis—actor of film, stage, and television—is the winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2012 and a finalist for the Audie in 2015, as well as the winner of four AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook recordings. He has worked extensively in film and television and on stage with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and the Ensemble Theatre, among others. He has recorded some 150 audiobooks, including the Smokey Dalton series by Kris Nelscott and My Song by Harry Belafonte. He resides and records audiobooks on his family’s historic ranch in East Texas.