Before I say anything else, I need to preface this post with two things:
Firstly, I haven’t written a book report or review since secondary school which was a lifetime ago and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing
Secondly, I rather adore Neil deGrasse Tyson and the man can basically do no wrong in my eyes.
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed his latest offering Astrophysics For People In A Hurry
Is it a marketing trick, I wonder? Publishing a “small book” and then even attaching the words “… for people in a hurry”. Or is it an elaborate joke by Neil Degrasse Tyson himself?
Because this book isn’t all that small content-wise.
Books about the universe make you realise how insignificant we are, but this book also explains how little we know. We think we know, but we know NOTHING. Eighty-five percent of all gravity comes from an unexplained source, dark matter. Then there’s dark energy, which we also don’t know anything about. There are theories, yes, but they’re just that. The book also tells us about Einstein, who in my opinion is the star of this book (and not just the book!). He managed to pose theories that to this day stand up to the many tests.
I had preordered it a few months ago and had forgotten all about it. It was a very nice surprise when it arrived (The joy of preordering stuff !) A few chapters in, I decided to also buy the audio version. Listening to Degrasse Tyson’s voice while laying in bed is like having a warm, comfortable blanket on you. (Sorry, Jack!)
The material within the book, however, has the power to knock you right out. So I wouldn’t really recommend listening to this while preparing to sleep. The implications of this book are slightly frightening. The promise that this book will “in a hurry” prepare you for your next cocktail party where you can pretend you are knowledgeable about the universe is slightly misleading. No, this book is a gateway into astrophysics. It tells us not to be in a hurry, stand still and realise you are part of a great mystery.