Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most recognizable popular science communicators around today and is always entertaining on his guest show appearances. After seeing many others picking up the book and reading it I decided to give it a shot as well, especially since it is quite a short book. Despite being on the shorter side, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry conveys quite a bit of information in a very down to earth fashion so that just about everybody can understand the concepts that are put forth in the book.
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However, the book wasn’t perfect. Even though the shortness of the book was one of its major selling points, I felt that many of the ideas and concepts, while not glossed over, were quickly passed by when more could have been stated. Also, the more abstract concepts and especially the measurements (you know, the numbers that are really, really small or big and use exponents to convey their size) simply were not as satisfying as the more concrete portions of the book.
Fortunately, these more abstract portions of the book were contained in the first half of the book and the rest dealt with much more concrete astronomical concepts. These were especially well done, though I will say everything in the book was explained fully. In that sense everything that the book wanted to convey to the lay reader was readily comprehensible, which would make it successful for its main objective. The author, Neil deGrasse Tyson, provided superb examples and did a great job explaining everything. Perhaps, some things could have had more time and pages dedicated to them, but then I guess it would be a book for people in a hurry.
Overall, I was well pleased with Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Many ideas from astronomy and astrophysics were clearly and concisely explained. While the whole work felt a little rushed, most people probably would want that from a book such as this. Tyson was also quite and entertaining and the line I’m taking from the narrative of this book is “Albert Einstein was a badass!”
4 out of 5 stars.