Get Your Free Audiobook

After 30 days, Audible is ₹199/mo. Cancel anytime.

OR

Editors Select, June 2017

As a big fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson's recent documentary series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which honors Carl Sagan's original work from 1980, I was excited to listen to Sagan's companion book - now available in audio for the first time. While I was a bit too young to catch Sagan's docuseries, LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow did heavily influence my childhood, and this may be why my brain seemed primordially attuned to learn from Burton's voice. He's the perfect narrator for untangling complicated scientific subjects as well as highlighting their moments of majesty. I legit feel smarter for having listened to Cosmos, and I'll also never be able to forget why medieval Catholic monks first domesticated rabbits (hint: it wasn't because they were cute). —Emily, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

RETURNING TO TELEVISION AS AN ALL-NEW MINISERIES ON FOX

Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.

Includes introductory music: "Heaven and Hell" by Vangelis from Cosmos: A Personal Voyage used with permission from Druyan-Sagan Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

Praise for Cosmos

“Magnificent... With a lyrical literary style, and a range that touches almost all aspects of human knowledge, Cosmos often seems too good to be true.” - The Plain Dealer

“Sagan is an astronomer with one eye on the stars, another on history, and a third - his mind’s - on the human condition.” - Newsday

“Brilliant in its scope and provocative in its suggestions...shimmers with a sense of wonder.” - The Miami Herald

“Sagan dazzles the mind with the miracle of our survival, framed by the stately galaxies of space.” - Cosmopolitan

“Enticing...iridescent...imaginatively illustrated.” - The New York Times Book Review

©1980 Carl Sagan Productions, Inc (P)2017 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Foreword © 2013 by Ann Druyan. “Reflections on Carl Sagan’s Cosmos” essay © 2013 by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

What listeners say about Cosmos

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    94
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    69
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    79
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Cosmos - Fascinating Listening To

Finished listening to Carl Sagan's Cosmos over a period of 12 days while having my morning walks. Now realising how small we are in this endless Universe and there is so much more to discover.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best Popular Science Book Ever

An awesome view of every interesting detail of the universe. The best part is the human touch to all those details and a path for the future. Kudos. !

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a book for ages

I haven't read any book that so finely connects humanity's achievements and downfalls with the history of the universe. this book should be a most read as part of the school curriculum.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

Every moment is memorable. Beautiful narration and a dreamy story -of ourselves ! Must listen

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A very inspiring book

A odyssey into the cosmos and our own earth. A must read for anyone interested to know about the history of our discoveries in astronomy. Very interesting as well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

For anyone who wants to appreciate the universe!

This is a perfect book for anyone who wants to appreciate the universe, human achievements and scientific angle of looking at any phenomenon.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Cosmos - The story of us

I'm sure most of us would have heard the name of Carl Sagan. If not, it is a good time to check him out. Voyager & Pioneer series of spacecrafts were the first of long distance missions, which were aimed to go beyond our solar system into interstellar space (space between stars - our star being sun). NASA which pioneered these missions gathered all important information about humanity in a gold anodised disc and placed in these spacecrafts. This was aimed to serve as a medium or information banner for any alien civilization to know about our civilization, should they encounter the spacecraft at some point. This historical exercise was done under the leadership of Carl Sagan. He is not only a great astronomer but an eloquent story teller and a terrific author. This book Cosmos aims to expand upon topics in more detail, on topics which were published as television series "Cosmos". The audible version of Cosmos is nothing short of spectacular work with the narrators doing a wonderful job of narrating the story with a soulful involvement. The book encompasses a whole lot of things not just astronomy but physics, biology, math etc. For anyone who is queered about the things around us and how as humans we evolved to see things throughout history, this is an absolute read. For him, Science meant learning through evidence with daring nature to accept the fault and learn from it. He said elsewhere _"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring"_

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!

One of the best books I have ever read. You'll never be the same again after reading it. I wish I had read it in my teens. I shutoff have home into Astrophysics.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Masterpiece

Every human should read/listen this book at some point in life. This opens up a whole new prospective towards achievements, goals and future of the planet earth. This covers all the knowledge humans achieved in last 15 Billion years ranging from culture, society, science, medicine, technology and much more. Exceptional.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

gg

amazing brilliant good nice gravitational playing rain rain come again ong do uou another

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Deb JOHNSON
  • 03-10-17

Great except for the narration

Carl Sagan's writings are amazingly still so current today, that I am again struck by how much we missed when this genius died so young. My only criticism is that the breathless, rapid "gee whiz" style the main narrator uses is so opposite to the thoughtful, slow, deep voice of Carl Sagan that I longed for a return to those nights when I sat spellbound in front of the television enraptured by Sagan's own narration. This narrator completely missed the liquidity and thoughtfulness of the original work.

51 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Seph
  • 09-11-17

Over-acting voice actors

The story is great. And I loved LeVar Burton in Star Trek. My critique is that the majority of the book is narrated by LeVar and his constant over-acting of every line and the immense emphasis on every word makes it extremely tiring to listen to. He even does voices. A lot. It turns ridiculous.
Likewise, Ann Druyan is also audibly squinting, straining her voice, and reads every line like it's the most important revelation. When everything is important, nothing is.
Their voice-acting muddles the message, slows down the reading, and I feel less connected to Carls message as a consequence. I found myself increasingly annoyed with each chapter. Seth MacFarlane is much better.

I've stopped in chapter 8. Their over-acting has ruined this book for me. I cannot finish it.

288 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John Watton
  • 24-08-17

A powerful work that needs better narration

Cosmos is an important work on many levels. More care should have been chosen in the choosing coaching , and recruiting of narrators who are comfortable with the communication of cosmological language. LeVar Burton is an excellent actor, but does not (in my opinion) do well here.
It is a worthwhile purchase, but I recommend you watch both video productions of "Cosmos" as a precursor to purchasing this one.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DM
  • 11-09-17

Levar Burton channelling Captain Kirk

What made the experience of listening to Cosmos the most enjoyable?

The book is wonderful but it is exhausting to listen to Levar Burton. I am a fan of his; don't get me wrong, and he should be a genius choice for this. But why is he channelling the classic James T. Kirk delivery? Weird spacing of phrases, strange emphases that distort sentence structures...after a while it gets too distracting and I have to take a break. This is disappointing as I typically listen to audiobooks on long drives.

The content is fascinating and Carl Sagan's enthusiasm, knowledge and love of science shines through regardless. Every few minutes I learn something new.

110 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben Engelke
  • 26-07-17

Inspiring. Innovative. Intelligent.

A fantastic personal journey. Carl Sagan's vision of the Cosmos is enduring and spot on for being written 30+ years ago. Only good will come from this planet's population reading or listening to his words.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Beta
  • 18-08-17

Extremely Poor Narration

Would you try another book from Carl Sagan and/or the narrators?

I would try another book by Carl Sagan, as long as someone else reads the book the way that Carl would have read it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cosmos?

Extremely poor narration.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Their voices were extremely "dramatic". Accentuating every sentence. It was extremely annoying, and I gave up listening to it.

Do you think Cosmos needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes. As long as the same people do NOT read it.

Any additional comments?

I have the original hard back copy of this book. I have the paperback version. I have read them several times. I have the DVD version of the program. I have watched it several times. Carl Sagan is one of the most influential people in my life. I was extremely disappointed in the way this book was read. BTW, I also hated the remake of the TV show.

76 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike C
  • 07-09-17

Geordi LaForge Teaches you about the Universe

Great Content and Great Narrator! I grew up watching LeVar Burton on TNG and Reading Raonbow, so saying his narration was nostalgic is a bit of an understatement...but nostalgia aside, he does an amazing job. As for the content he reads, lets just say I am saddened that Carl Sagan died before I ever knew who he was.

While some of the more theoretical content in this book is now considered fact or debunked, Cosmos contains a fountain of knowledge about our universe. Sagan takes a detailed look at the process of the living universe attempting to understand itself, starting with a grand, intergalactic perspective, and slowly zooming in the lense all the way to our society, and our minds.

He does get a little heavy handed when it comes to nuclear war, but he wrote this during the Cold War, so good on him for trying to do something about it. I am a little depressed after finishing to realize our global society has changed so little since he released this book in 1980, but if you ignore the 37 year interval, it will give you a hopeful outlook on our future as a single species in a global society. Cosmos delves into the interconnectivity of our universe in a way most people never think of.

Get this book, and learn why we are an endangered species, why the big bang could have been a supernova explosion, and how each of us is made, of "star stuff".

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • luis
  • 15-06-20

It is an audiobook right???

Cannot-will not get through such torturous narrative,I do not deserve this type of psychological abuse m. Nope,not doing this.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • net
  • 31-10-18

Narration is unbearable

The book seems so interesting but the narration is so overacted and hard to understand. No wonder the audio preview of the book didn't include it.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mike D.
  • 14-11-17

A Classic.

Carl Sagan is brilliantly able to explain the questions being asked of the cosmos. A true masterpiece of modern science which holds up pretty well even after 30 years. All that said, I’m more inclined to recommend the updated Cosmos tv series by Neil Degrasse Tyson.

26 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrei S.
  • 23-01-18

Astronomy and so much more

While some scientific aspects in the book might have changed in the meantime, the book is still as valuable today as it was almost 40 years ago. For people just getting introduced to astronomy it is still close enough to present views of the universe to give a good introduction and understanding. For the literate astronomers this can also be regarded as a sample of history. Just like Carl Sagan was looking at early astronomers' work and appreciating it with the benefit of hindsight, today's amateur astronomers can look at Carl Sagan's book and get a better understanding of the recent scientific history, with its debates and evolution.
But above all that, I'd say the biggest merit of this book is it made me want to go outside and just look at the vast sky above and the stars that fill it. It also gives a wonderful history of astronomy, as mentioned before.
Finally, the last chapter is sadly as relevant today as it was back then. In the last chapter Sagan raises issues about the dangers and absurdity of nuclear proliferation and the ridiculous amount of resources spent on war or the possibility of war. He raises issues about anti-scientific movements in society and how an uneducated society is more likely to throw itself into irrational conflicts. He raises issues about sexism and misogyny, about chauvinism and nationalism. While he was hopeful that these problems are on the way to being solved, it's sad to see that the world has regressed in the recent past, on all these issues, and that they are all just as relevant today.
So this book is not just an astronomy book. It's a book of education and culture, a book of science and history, a starting point for people to educate themselves.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. Morris
  • 18-02-19

Not Quite What I Expected

I had heard of the old TV series, Cosmos, many years back and had caught snippets of that show here and there. I also knew of Carl Sagan as one of the luminaries of Astronomy and so felt I ought to have a look at what others have rated so highly. First off, my attention to the quality of this production was drawn to the superb if a little theatrical at times, reading of this epic work by LeVar Burton. Burton is an astonishingly good reader and delivers an effortlessly fluid reading. Those of you familiar with his role as Geordi LaForge in Star Trek: The next Generation may notice on one or two occasions his rendition of an English man rather like his version of Watson from Sherlock Holmes in that show. Burton is a pleasure to listen to and I cannot say enough about how well he handles this sometimes difficult material with precise pronunciations that do not seem to phase him at all. However, what struck me the most about this incredible work was how little of it is actually spent on discussion of the planets, stars and the nature of the universe in general. I had expected Cosmos to be a real deep dive into the workings of our Solar System etc but what amazed me was that Cosmos is much more about history and in particular ancient history. It reads more like a treatise on the history of the pursuit of knowledge rather than dealing with what we currently understand about astronomy. Sagan dives deeply into the various great men of science over the centuries and how their discoveries helped change the way we view the Cosmos. So, if you are wanting in depth analysis on Pulsars, Black Holes, our Solar System etc then this is not a work that focuses greatly on those elements. It does discuss these things but more as a secondary thread compared to the historical narrative. Still, the sheer scope of this amazing book will mean that the reader will likely learn quite a few things you did not know about the discoveries made in the ancient world. Yes, this is about the Cosmos but much more from an historical review of how the great thinkers of the past shaped our understanding of things today. A very enlightening read but some may decide to go elsewhere for more focused astronomical books.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jay
  • 22-06-20

A great book narrated poorly

This is one of the greatest books ever written, by on of the best minds, but we all know that; half of this audiobook the speakers are just talking about how great this book is; and what they are planning to add in the book...it was a real bore to wait till they spoke any actual substance...

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Honest Dude
  • 03-08-17

Journey of the cosmos interlaced with history

Would you listen to Cosmos again? Why?

I would probably only listen to a couple of chapters again.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

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

Aspects of this book, I would definitely want to listen to in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

This is a great book. Whilst the subject matter is focused on the cosmos and everything to do with it. Carl Sagan does a brilliant job of seamlessly interlacing the subject matter with other branches of sciences not directly related. He introduces other discussions and areas without you as the listener noticing until you realise - hey what's that was interesting.

Carl does a very good job in providing explanations on the subject matter in a way that is generally easily understood, although for some of the more advanced concepts you will need to concentrate and have a presence of mind. Having said that, if this is the first book you listen to regarding the cosmos, it provides a great introduction.

I have listened to other astronomy books including Welcome to the Universe and I found that book to be very technical. I think this was due to the fact that it probably wasn't really suited for audio book format.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bill
  • 08-12-19

Disappointing

Sadly I didn't think the narrator's voice did the book the justice it and I didn't enjoy listening to it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-09-17

Profound and moving

I had very fond memories on the tv series linked to this book, and this Audible version did not disappoint. Its profound and often moving messages are still as relevant and important as when they were first written- possibly even more so. Sagan provided a real understanding of what is known about the universe, and an idea of what is left to be discovered. It delivers some stark messages on the dangers of nuclear war (if only Donald Trump could read!) but is an ultimately hopeful and almost spiritual book.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Ribit
  • 07-06-18

Verbose

I think the writer was getting paid per page. I want to hear this stuff but it is very long-winded, story could be told in half as many words. I don't like the style of the narrator.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JohnWK
  • 24-12-20

A good book ruined by the narration

It is dated a little but still very good and impressive content, as per its reputation. The problem is that it is absolutely ruined by the narration. Sometimes narration can be difficult in audio books but you can live with it and adjust. I am afraid here, however, the narration is so incompatible with the subject matter that it really distracts and I don't think I am going to be able to finish it as a result. Great shame.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • P. Stewart
  • 21-03-18

Outdated unfortunately

It starts badly with introductory sessions that are patronising and justifying why they think the book is still relevant. I guess this was a warning! Science and astronomy has moved apace....this material hasn’t. Combine that with melodramatic narration and the disappointment rises too high. Each sentence is treated like an Oscar winning delivery. It gets tiring. Some great books are timeless. This is best left on the bookshelf of history. All too often you are left wondering how things are now...30 plus years later. On the plus side....I didn’t pay full price ;)

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Russell
  • 05-09-17

Inspirational Reading

I enjoyed the book as much as the TV series but some of the graphical visualisations were difficult to understand from an audio perspective.

5 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 24-08-18

incredible book doesn't translate well into audio

Narration by Burton is overly energised with erratic pauses, and unnecessary dramatization which detracts from the scientific content being conveyed.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Annem Chaudhry
  • 02-06-18

A humane perspective on our place in the cosmos

Sagan continues to enthral readers with his dessemination of the micro and macro cosmos with exquisite detailing that never dithers near boredom. If you ever needed your hope restored in humanity, or wanted to know what ego death feels like- this book achieves this all with the right balance of science, history, philosophy and narration.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Trevor
  • 03-06-17

Worth every cent.

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Still relevant after all these years. Wonderfully narrated. A must have audio book for everyone.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-17

incredible

an incredible insight into carl sagans cosmic perspective. An absolute must listen for anyone interested in astronomy or science in general.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brendan
  • 07-05-18

Brillant

Very easy listening, insightful and mostly still relevant today. Written by a true genius and read by amazing people. Loved it.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 26-06-20

though provoking

couldn't get enough of this book sad it ended. very good for going to sleep

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 29-08-18

Informative and interesting

Great book, so much information between the pages about our universe ranging from history to the imagination of what shapes the world around us. A must read to get information on what interests you in the universe and our world.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • waynepd
  • 26-08-18

This is a real eye opener.

Loved this book. Audible is the way to read it. Narrated well. Thank you Audible

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 18-04-18

horrible

Only listened to 10 minutes. Awful grating voice and repetitive boring rubbish. it may have got more interesting but I couldn't bear any more.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-11-17

literally out of this world

a stellar performance that blew me away with a big bang. download this now. it's one small click for you but a giant leap for your consciousness' (event) horizon.

1 person found this helpful