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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Written by: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Narrated by: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Length: 3 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: Science & Math, Astronomy
4.5 out of 5 stars (235 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in digestible chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day. While waiting for your morning coffee to brew, or while waiting for the bus, the train, or the plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the big bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

©2017 Neil DeGrasse Tyson (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Must Read, Impeccable narration

It’s a must read for anyone of any age! It’s a ‘conduit into the mechanics behind the small and the large’

2 people found this helpful

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Not in Hurry

Yes the cosmos is Titanic and the knowledge about it is even more so even if the title suggests this is the book for the people in hurry I don't think so.
Enjoyed throughout and man I love this man's voice.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome book it is!

It was like a journey through the space, time, science and astronomy all at once😃 by my most favorite astrophysicist Neil De Grasse Tyson sounding his words of wisdom right into my ears with astonding sound quality. This book will always remain my favorite as this the first one I rented on Audibles

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Awesome

Loved it. Really educational. Increases general knowledge incredibly and really explains who we are and what should we be

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very interesting and simple narrative

loved it, was in no hurry to get it over , interesting, absorbing and a holistic perspective on universe

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puts things in a Cosmic perspective.

I love the book. its takes us on a magnificent journey through the life of our known univers. and I love the way it ends, showing our place compared to the enormity of the universe.

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very good introductory book on cosmology

very good book and exceptional narrations by Mr Tyson but may not satisfy those who want more detailing about black hole or string theory or quantum loop gravity. Unfortunately it is absolutely silent about origin of our universe or multiverse .Why how when ...Finally the pale blue dot is extremely insignificant to the vastness of modern day concept of known cosmos.Once again it will push to the Supreme Consciousness named as God.

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    4 out of 5 stars

This is a very compact book

What you really enjoy though is the passion with which Neil delivers his performance ( Yup. It is a performance ). Moreover, the subject itself is very fascinating and engaging. There is hardly any Jargon, and ut is well explained wherever it is absolutely unavoidable. All in all, I love this book. Only complaint, should have been longer ( But then it won't be for people in a hurry. Us humans, hard to satisfy... ).

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Most Inspiring

One of the most inspiring books I have read in recent times. Neil deGrass Tyson at the top of his game!

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Effortless yet Superb

You have to give it to Tyson for making the stuff so complex, so awesomely simple to listen to. Like a story.
Food for thought, rather a quick delightful munch.
You get most of the ideas in a brief. You get your own thought machine propelled. Most importantly, you get past-present-future of astrophysics at same venue. A joyous read. Go ahead...!

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  • CJFLA
  • 13-11-17

Enjoyable - not as understandable as I had hoped

Always watch Neil deGrasse Tyson when he is a guest on a late night talk show. The 10 minute segments always seem so easy to understand. This book, though, is way past my scientific knowledge and there is not enough "simplification" in his explanations. Many parts are still very interesting, but this is one book where having some science in your background will be very helpful.

20 people found this helpful

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  • TMort
  • 07-06-17

Awesome book for those new to astrophysics.

Would you listen to Astrophysics for People in a Hurry again? Why?

YES!! I learned so much the first go around, but even then I had to have him repeat things a few times for me to fully grasp some of the concepts. So I would most definitely listen to it again, because I believe their would be something new to takeaway each time, whether it be knowledge or perspective.

What other book might you compare Astrophysics for People in a Hurry to and why?

Cosmos, by Carl Sagan. The audiobook is excellently narrated by LeVar Burton, and I find it to be just as "down to earth" as this one is. Little to no math, but explaining detailed concepts in a way we, those bad at math, can understand.

Which scene was your favorite?

Probably the scene with the whipped cream in the coffee shop. Don't argue with Neil deGrasse Tyson about physics, he will win.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I had to take it in bits and pieces, and feel that I enjoyed it more that way. Some of the things said challenged my world/universe view a bit, and I found it helpful to just have time to ponder and be wowed by the universe.

Any additional comments?

I would highly recommend others to read/listen to this, especially if you are curious about Astrophysics, but are intimidated by the math. Neil deGrasse Tyson has a way of explaining difficult concepts in a manner that is easier to understand than others I have found. This book has given me me a great platform of knowledge to build upon, and I learned an incredible amount. It even helped me have the confidence needed to answer a question I was asked shortly after finishing. I couldn't help but holler, "I know this! I just learned it from Neil deGrasse Tyson!"

116 people found this helpful

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  • Author Adel
  • 06-05-17

Condensed, concise science meets social philosophy with humor and wit

I was expecting science, I got it. I was expecting meta science, I got it. I was expecting wit, I got it. I was expecting humor, I got plenty of it. Neil deGrasse Tyson delivered on all fronts, satiated my hunger for it all. Astrophysics and science in general are not for everyone but it should be! This book paves the way to reset our ego and places us in a framework that we are participants in this ever expanding universe.... a dust particle within a pale blue dust particle. Thank you Neil.

214 people found this helpful

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  • Rob Hahn
  • 15-07-17

Disappointing - not much physics

I was hoping for an entertaining, lay person's overview of quantum theory, the Standard Model, string theory, etc. This book doesn't even touch on astrophysics. There is a little discussion of dark matter and dark energy, but this book is more about the history of astronomy, how the planets were named, the relative prevalence of elements in the universe, how aliens might discover our radio transmissions, and other non-physics stuff.

393 people found this helpful

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  • Gillian
  • 03-05-17

From The Department Of Exotic Happenings...!

Yes! We are all stardust!
Only the truly knowledgeable might not like "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry." I'm sure they're into much more in-depth works. But for those of us who dream up into the sky, it's a pure delight. Heck, even the knowledgeable might like it as Neil deGrasse Tyson is the best narrator out there, one of the best writers there is. Period.
Filled with wonderful ideas, galaxies devouring dwarf galaxies (ooh, bad karma!), massive radio telescopes, a fun run through the periodic table of elements, comets, a study of time, so much is packed into just over 3 1/2 hours. Yes, you do come out wanting more, more info, more ideas.
More deGrasse Tyson! Only he can make the strange ominous on one hand, fantastically enthralling on the other. Only he can make comparisons that are laugh out loud funny on the one hand, complete and utter poetry on the other.
Worth the price, worth the woefully short time, you'll be engaged and smiling the whole way through all these well-written essays that'll have you looking up at the sky again, fascinated, laughing in your heart and soul. Maybe you'll lose sight of the vast, vast, oh so vast picture, but you'll be delighted by the many small and provocative wonders you're left with.

99 people found this helpful

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  • RockyToTheMoon
  • 19-12-17

Arrogant in my opinion

I used to think a lot about Dr. Tyson... but after the last chapter this book got old. He basically called anyone who hasn't dedicated their life to science "inconsiderate". That's my take.

In addition, the book seems to cover more of what we don't know, versus what we know. And how much we assume to know that there isn't any proof of.

I have enjoyed so many other books on the topic, and it's nice to dwell upon the infinite, but find another book for that.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Federico
  • 15-10-17

Nothing new if you follow Star Talk

I was expecting something more... It's basically a shortened version of what you can hear in Tyson's podcast. I was expect some extra details.

7 people found this helpful

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  • L. K. Sterling
  • 07-06-17

Hear it In Dr. Tyson's own rich & resonant voice!

Would you consider the audio edition of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry to be better than the print version?

I do not own the print version. I bought the audiobook specifically to hear him reading it.

Any additional comments?

I like to listen to his lectures on YouTube and this is like having a whole book full of lectures at once! The more I listen the more I learn and after repeated listenings I am beginning to feel like I know what he is talking about. It is not simple enough for people who have absolutely no familiarity with the subject, but if you have heard some of his talks before or seen his version of Cosmos then you will know enough to follow along. He's a born teacher whose enthusiasm for each topic is infectious. He brings real personality to his public speaking, and makes what was could be a dry subject very engaging and even funny. This one is AN ABSOLUTE MUST for NdGT fans, and will make new fans out of people who don't know him already. A great gift for anyone of any age with an inquisitive mind!

17 people found this helpful

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  • alex
  • 21-11-17

Not as meaty as I’d hoped

Well narrated. I’m going to listen again.
Has some political pushing in it which is annoying. But I just wish it had been slightly more educational

6 people found this helpful

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  • Michael C. Heaton
  • 23-06-17

I was not smart enough

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

It depends on their knowledge of the topic already. NDT discusses a large amount of material without defining words or giving details to help someone understand that doesn't have a good knowledge.

What could Neil deGrasse Tyson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

If he would have just given more details about everything, I would have enjoyed it more. He glosses over important theories I had never known.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed listening and he does talk about things I remember from high school, but my knowledge was just not to the point of understanding everything.

57 people found this helpful

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  • ian
  • 23-06-17

Fascinating, if a little short

Fascinating, but as I said in the title, just up there, a bit short. I mean, I know its for people in a hurry, but mate. I'm not in THAT much of a hurry.

61 people found this helpful

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  • J. SYMES
  • 18-05-17

Fantastic!

An informative and entertaining account of modern astro physics. This book is well written, and well read. My only complaint is that the book ended. Thank-you Dr DeGrasse Tyson!

20 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-07-18

A fairly straightforward walk through the basics

Not a bad book at all, but it's very much a cursory glance over the basics of the subject. Neil's narration is fantastic though.

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  • Mr Monti
  • 25-05-17

Neil rocks!

The book is very interesting and Neil reading it it's just fantastic. I highly recommend this book.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-01-18

Very interesting

I know nothing about this subject, and this book made me interested in learning more about astrophysics :)

6 people found this helpful

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  • D. Marsh
  • 01-10-18

A nice listen, liked more unproven theories

Good listen, but didn't cover too much over the standard model of the universe. Would have liked more differing / opposing ideas to dark matter, expansion theory for example and any problems we are encountering with this present almost fixed ideology.

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  • IainJan
  • 11-06-17

Good overview

My first Audible. Chilling by the pool, making a change from MOOCs. Well written, well read, mostly very enjoyable, interesting, and easy to grasp. The faults are due to my own bias, not liking quips, or analogous references to US items I don't know so can't visualise. Trivial compared with the depth of Science communicated in this excellent summary.

8 people found this helpful

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  • John.
  • 10-07-17

interesting

I enjoyed this book, I think Tyson is also a great narrator. I had to rewind it a few times just to take it in......well I probably only took about 10% in...:-)

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kwatz
  • 24-06-19

Bit simple

Good basics but little detail. Reason for the book I suppose! I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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  • S B.
  • 12-01-18

Good and intresting

well worth a listen to if as the title suggest you're in a hurry or need something to wonder about.

3 people found this helpful

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  • completeaerogeek
  • 01-06-17

This book is just brilliant.

Where does Astrophysics for People in a Hurry rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is by far, the best audiobook I have listened to, helped in no small part by the fact that Neil deGrasse Tyson narrates it. Neil's charming, entertaining, passionate and witty delivery makes the material accessible to everyone and you will not only enjoy the listening experience but also the ability to absorb meaningful concepts in a way that will allow you to drop the occasional mind-expanding fact into a conversation, leaving people to think you're the smartest person in the room.For those of us not gifted with the kind of brain that can dissect the workings of an impossibly complex universe, this book weaves information in such an interesting and entertaining way that you actually begin to feel that a conceptual understanding of astrophysics is actually possible.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Neil's narration. If you love 'Star Talk', you will love this audiobook.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Too many to mention.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I listened to this book while doing my regular run and at times I had to stop and absorb the enormity of what had just been explained. Other times I laughed out loud. Not sure what passers-by thought but I don't care!

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this audio book to anyone from teenagers on and interestingly for an avid reader, I would opt for the audiobook over the print version, just for the pleasure of hearing Neil deGrasse Tyson narrate it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-05-17

" Yes , Einstein was a Bad ass" :D

I found this book to be amazing , I'd listen to it while at work , it made the night go so quickly :)

3 people found this helpful

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  • Natalie Ski
  • 25-09-17

Challenging, inspiring and eye-opening.

For someone who has a rather basic understanding of the sciences and astrophysics, I at times found this book challenging. With concepts and vocabulary I had to search quite often, it took me a little while longer to listen to the average fiction book I indulge in. Regardless, I was driven to continue and often played back parts to fully grasp the information. A fantastic book and worth the perservance for one often intimidated by titles based in science. His voice is engaging and his passion is contagious.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ross McDougall
  • 23-07-17

an excellent intro into our big universe

I listened to the audio edition of this read by deGrasse Tyson himself - his style immediately makes it more interesting, even if it doesn't make the content more understandable.

This book is an excellent taster into molecules, space, gravitational waves, forces and all sorts of other mind-bending physics concepts. deGrasse Tyson keeps the reader engaged with interesting tidbits of information that are more digestible in each part so one never feels like they are being left too far behind.

After a while the facts and figures started to blur and I found myself confused, listening to deGrasse Tyson and catching pieces of the story intermittently. This is more of a reflection of my lack of concentration and general stupidness than any mis-pitching from deGrasse Tyson.

This is an excellent way to dip your toe into the zoomed-out universe that's all around us, and helps to give context and some answers to the royal 'why'. I loved it!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-07-17

Exactly as the title suggests.

Basic Astrophysics. Delivered by the soothing tones of Doctor Tyson. Plainly written for the everyday person but still filled with concepts that peak the intellect.

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  • Julian S
  • 31-03-20

Beautifully Delivered

Every chapter was delivered beautifully by the man himself. Riveting, scientific and dense, I'll be listening to this many times over.
The last Chapter in particular spoke to me. Be inspired!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-03-20

great

it was fantastic, has given me a new interest in space and astrophysics. would definitely recommend.

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  • Courtney
  • 18-01-20

just fantastic

Loved it. I will be listening to it over and over again - Neil explains everything so well and so clearly.

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  • Marita
  • 08-12-19

Glad I was in a hurry

Didn't really enjoy it. A bit too fast perhaps. I listened and endured - main problem for me was that I'm just too unfamiliar with basic terms. And not sufficiently interested to go and learn about them. I'd rather read philosophy to learn about the universe - seems much easier. On the plus side, mind blowing descriptions of the immensity of the universe. Now that's philosophical.

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  • Thomas
  • 03-09-19

Exactly what the title indicates

An informative and entertaining overview of the general concepts of Astrophysics. And what better narrator than Neil deGrasse Tyson himself.