“I have nothing but immense praise for "The Planets." Dava Sobel has an amazing talent for turning cold science into vibrant, easy to understand parable. Written in many forms and styles, from a 1st person perspective of a martian meteorite and a letter written by the sister of the discoverer of...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“I have nothing but immense praise for "The Planets." Dava Sobel has an amazing talent for turning cold science into vibrant, easy to understand parable. Written in many forms and styles, from a 1st person perspective of a martian meteorite and a letter written by the sister of the discoverer of Uranus, to using humor in lunacy, romance in venusian descriptions, etc, the author utilizes science, religion, mythology, astrology, music, cosmology, poetry, and a hint of sarcasm in teaching the history of our solar system as well as the history of human knowledge of our solar system. If you're looking for a scientific book on the planets, look elsewhere. This book should accompany others in your quest for knowledge of our planets, not be the basis of it. In reading other reviews, most disappointments come from the expectation of this book being strictly science based.
Early on, there is no question at all as to the author's love of the subject. There is an obvious romance between Dava and the planets, one that is deep and complex and beautiful... and her use of language and metaphor in her text is alluring and magnetic. Now, add to this the narration of Lorna Raver, the voice on the audiobook version of this project, and the result is downright seductive. This combination challenges the old adage that "A picture is worth a thousand words." In this case, I'll take the words. In the end there just weren't enough of them.”
“There is a chapter for each planet (Pluto, the sun, and the moon have chapters too) and each chapter takes a different approach. In most you get some of the same facts like the rotation speed and atmospheric composition and such so you do get some text book like information but there is more to it than that. Venus is about beauty and includes poetry, Mars is told in the voice of a fragment found on Earth, Saturn talks about the music of the spheres, and Jupiter explores the astrology of the planet. It is a rather brief introduction to each planet and does not go in-depth very much but the unique approach makes it less a study of the science of the planets and makes it a stargazer’s wondering look at the universe. It is meant to teach you something but also to show you the wonder, imagination and glory of the planets.”Becca wrote this review Tuesday, April 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“eh”Kolton wrote this review Thursday, March 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
A mediocre stab at planetary survey. The narrative styles and accoutrement are certainly varied. Below average poetry accompanies the beginning planets' descriptions. Astrology is too prevalent among the whole, though it stops short of overwhelming the scientific material. Good part on the Cassini mission and the description of Saturnian moons.
My star rating attempts to represent the opinion of an average reader. If you love astrology, add one half or a full star to this rating. If you seek a work of pure astronomy, look elsewhere.”
“It was more of a collection of essays in praise of the planets than a science book.”Casey G wrote this review Monday, August 15, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Sobel's capability to weave science and story is nothing short of genius!”Darby P wrote this review Sunday, October 3, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Unique and fascinating tapestry of poetry, biology, cosmology, history, astrology, music, mythology, geography, science fiction and hypothesis. Easy to read and packed with information, which although updates in astronomy have already occoured since the book went to print, is nonetheless contemporary up to 2005 and includes information of the spacecraft sent, or due to be sent out to discover more. ”Anna wrote this review Thursday, July 15, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Science survey of planets”Jerry W wrote this review Saturday, April 3, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Although this book seems like its over flowing with originality and charm, don't be fooled. Even though it delevers some intresting facts and is told in a fantasy like way, It's stiil just a bunch of facts about the solar system crammed all into one book (plus you won't even remember what you read anyway)”Stoney E wrote this review Friday, February 5, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No