Sunday, 4 August 2013

Book Review: 'Death by Black Hole' by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil is without doubt one of the greatest scientific communicators alive. He is erudite and hilarious with no apparent effort and can always bring the 'wow'.

I enjoy his podcast and have probably watched near all videos on youtube that feature him. This is the first time that I have tried his written work and I am very pleased with the results.

This work is a collection of editorial pieces that Neil writes for a periodical. They are intended to be short, punchy scientific stories and not form an ongoing dialogue.

In this respect Neil did a brilliant job. I dipped in and out of this book over the last couple of weeks and it was simple to pick up again after each break. I read it while doing experiments in the lab, and I read it while on the toilet.

What let the collection down (just the tiniest smidgen) was that some material was covered twice. Fine for an ongoing column and understandable for a collection, but still, a little work could have been taken to cull and back reference sections.

Don't get me wrong, I adored this book. And anyone who has not discovered love for Neil needs to read it immediately. You'll definitely connect with him if you are sceptical, scientific or just a spotter of bullshit.


This book left me wanting more. I want some long form stories, woven into a larger narrative. I have 'The Pluto Files' on my shelf. Maybe it won't be long before I open it.

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