I absolutely loved this book. It strikes that perfect balance between depth and accessibility.
Most people probably find astronomy more than a little daunting. But at the same time, most of us are genuinely curious about learning more about how it all started and how it all fits together.
This book is perfect for that. It will not make you an expert in astophysics, but it will give you a very solid overview of the basics of it all, as well as an understanding of what more there is to learn about. Which is quite impressive for a 200 page book.
Also, it is very well written. Neil deGrasse Tyson has a light and fun (sometimes in a quite geeky way) writing style.
The material in this book does not require any prior knowledge about physics or astrophysics. I still don’t quite understand how Tyson managed to teach me so much about so many topics in so few pages. But he did. It sounds bold, but I now feel that I understand much more about the cosmos. And simultaneously I am very aware that I have only scratched the surface.
Difficult topics like the special theory of relativity are described extremely well. I have no way of judging how accurate these descriptions are, but they made sense to me. I didn’t feel lost more than a few times, and only for less than a page. The book moves on quite quickly from topic to topic.
This book has already received a ton of praise, and I don’t have much to add except for my very strong recommendation. After reading this, I am considering reading another one of his books (Space Chronicles) as well as finding more information about some specific topics covered in this book, like radio telescopes and gravitational waves.
Truly fascinating stuff.