Yeah, yeah.  I know what you’re thinking:  “That danged Neil DeGrasse Tyson, taking away our beloved planet!” and I would totally agree if I could.  But, having studied the universe since I was a little thing of some young age, I understand on some sort of level that it is pretty natural for planets and stars and all the matter in-between to get knocked around the classification field like a hockey puck.  Needless to say, I too feel the ache of loss of our little underdog planet but I can see how such a reclassification would happen sooner or later.

As to the book itself, it was witty, informed, well writ, plenty of pictures (big plus!), and non-sympathetic.   Mr. Tyson sticks to his guns throughout, although he claims to also miss the little guy, on a sentimental level, he explains that Pluto is no longer an underdog but the king of the Ice rocks that rotate just beyond Neptune and Uranus.  This does not instill joy in all people, but it can be consolation for some.

It is clear that, while Mr. Tyson is an intelligent man, he is not necessarily born to the writing style.  Some of his sentences either are too tangential or go on too long that one can lose one’s place.  The pictures throughout the book just barely make up for the fact that not even *I* could pronounce about 1/5 of the words he used and saw no meaning behind the dates he sprouted like a bean stalk. 

The chapters start off short, making the beginning a fast read through facts and figures and again PICTURES!  however, as the book goes on and the matter of defending the argument made by Tyson and his fellow star gazers, the chapters get a little long winded and tedious to slog through.  Keep it up though, because even though I had to return the book before finishing the last few chapters, I am sure the ending is just as amusing as the beginning. 

And if it’s not, you can at least say that you gave the man and his debate half a chance.

Truly a book worth reading on one of those days where you feel guilty just being glued to the computer for most of it.



Pictures courtesy of