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Bang!: The Complete History of the Universe Hardcover – April 10, 2008


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Bang!: The Complete History of the Universe + Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; First Edition edition (April 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801889855
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801889851
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Highly recommended for community library astrology collections and for anyone who wants a unbiased look at the universe itself.

(Midwest Book Review)

The story is told in clear, straightforward terms, in the strict order in which the events happened, and uses no mathematics.

(Steve Goddard History Wire - Where the Past Comes Alive)

There's at least one rock star who knows a thing or two about real stars.

(Jeff Foust Space Review)

The scope of the book is ambitious; its hard to cram in antimatter and inflation in one chapter and then skip to planetary science and biology in the next. Still, the authors do a wonderful job tackling a broad array of cosmic subjects. This is just the kind of book that would have fired up my imagination as a kid!... In the end, Bang! is an excellent illustrated compendium for what are perhaps weightier and less accessible tomes.

(AstroGuyz.com)

Stunningly illustrated... breathtaking views of galaxies.

(Journal for the History of Astronomy)

It basically takes the reader on a tour of the entire universe, and tells you everything you wants to know... It's beautifully described, accurate and they feature fantastic photography. If you like astronomy and those Hubble pictures on the Internet, don't know much but would love to learn more, this would be a great book for you.

(Philip Plait FiveBooks)

About the Author

Brian May is the founding guitarist of the rock band Queen and a longtime astrophysics enthusiast. He recently was awarded a Ph.D. in the field by the University of London. Patrick Moore has been studying astronomy since long before mankind made it into space and was knighted for his service to the science. He is the host of The Sky at Night, the author of more than 70 astronomy books, and the co-founder and former president of the Society for Popular Astronomy. Chris Lintott is an astrophysicist who specializes in star formation.

Customer Reviews

Still, a very attractive and interesting book.
Craig MACKINNON
Compiled by May with BBC presenters Sir Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott, it's a handsome volume with plenty of helpful illustrations and color photographs.
John L Murphy
I would recommend it to anyone interested in astronomy.
Margaret Frank

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It has taken 13.7 billion years, but the Universe has finally produced a coffee-table quality book to commemorate the Big Bang and its consequences. _Bang! The Complete History of the Universe_ (Carlton Books) by Brian May, Patrick Moore, and Chris Lintott is not massive, as coffee-table books go, but its big format is perfect for the dramatic sorts of pictures that the Hubble Space Telescope or the larger Earth-bound telescopes can give us. It isn't just pictures, however. The text does an exemplary job of covering a huge amount of information. Necessarily, in 190 pages laid over with photos, details are skipped; on one page are both the disaster of the Permian Extinction 250 million years ago and the Cretaceous Extinction (wiping out the dinosaurs) 65 million years ago. There is the most detail in the earliest pages of the book, dealing with the events before around 700 million years ago, when there started to be discrete objects like galaxies that we could have actually seen, had we been there at that time. (In a sense, we do see them at that time, as the Hubble's lovely deep field images can show.) This is also the part of the book that makes the least sense to those of us who are stuck in a Newtonian world. There are books with fuller explanations of the strangeness of the Universe immediately after the Big Bang, but none quite so much fun.

For fun is obviously part of the trip the three authors have taken, and it starts right on the cover, which above the book's title shows a huge, glowing, fragmented fireball, obviously the Big Bang in progress. "Our cover artwork is for fun only. There is no suggestion that any part of the Big Bang ever looked like this.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Hoots on June 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have to come clean, I was interested in this book because of Brian May's role in the authorship. I am also a musician that prides himself on having outside interests, so seeing what he has accomplished is inspiring. The book itself is an interesting look into the History of Time. Science isn't the main function of this book, not to say that it isn't accurate. It doesn't read like a textbook, explanations are thought provoking, yet easier for the non-PhD to comprehend. I can recommend this to anyone who has spent time watching Discovery Channel and wished for something more, something you could poor over for a moment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chappa on December 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sir Patrick Moore (an amateur astronomer and music composer) and his two colleagues Brian May (astronomer/guitarist/songwriter from Queen) and Chris Lintott (astrophysicist) combined forces to produce an excellent book on the history of the universe!

From the cool 3-D cover concept (designed by May) to the theory of the big rip about the end of the universe, the book contains detailed information about many different topics such as the sun, neutrinos, the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) that gave the big bang theory a boost, Sir Isaac Newton's prism experiment to split white light into its component colors, supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, the emergence of life, and not yet fully understood topics such as the mysterious dark matter and dark energy.
The book also features stunning color pictures by the Hubble Space Telescope, some made by the authors themselves, a glossary, and 'practical astronomy' section designed to help you make the best of your sky observations.

If you have an astronomy interest, then try this great book and learn about the leading theories about the universe's formation and how it may end!
Thanks for taking the time to read!
Later...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Lee on March 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very comprehencive. Lots of great pictures and information. This book is geared to an adult mind. If you are looking for something to explain things to a younger mind you should keep looking. I, however, found it wonderful. (age 63)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J M Dho on January 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard a Brian May NPR interview shortly after this book was published and was fascinated by his passion for both rock music and astrophysics - quite a combination. I'd known that May studied the subject before Queen hit the big time but hadn't heard him speak about it before so this book, and his Doctorate degree came as quite a surprise.

I was a bit skeptical about "Bang!! The Complete History of the Universe" but intrigued as well, especially when I saw the two co-authors, Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott, and I must say that the book did not let me down. "Bang!" is a quite comprehensive, but very approachable primer on the latest 'birth of the universe' theories. Written in a highly engaging, but not simplistic, style and beautifully illustrated, it is an outstanding introduction to astrophysics for the novice and a great review of current theories for the more knowledgeable.

The fact that Dr. May's name on the cover may bring readers that would not normally pick up a book like this is just icing on the cake.

Kudos to all involved!
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on July 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gene Simmons, a college graduate, has a degree in English; Paul Stanley graduated from New York's (FAME) High School of the Performing Arts--and was born without hearing in one year; Tom Scholz ("Boston") has a Master's Degree from MIT (Engineering), and Brian May (Queen), has co-authored a VERY readable, heavily illustrated interpretation of the history of our universe (with well-known astronomer Patrick Moore). My point: If you have children who sit around at home, listening to their iPod's, and think, for ONE minute, they have what it takes to succeed in this world being rock-stars, they're wrong. It takes intelligence, integrity, and an EDUCATION to succeed. None of the rock-stars mentioned above (and several others I could easily name) have succeeded in life, or business, without an education. Gene Simmons speaks four languages, fluently, Paul is TONE deaf in one year, and Brian May has a Ph.D. thesis in astro-physics. The next time your child says to you, "I want to quit school and play guitar," show him/her this book. Enough said. Excellent reading 5/5 stars--and it supports the notion that extreme intelligence can co-exist with rock music.

Having said all of this, the book is splended. It is full of color, simple explanations, and with an outstanding co-author, it should find its way into the hands of anybody interested in basic astronomy. It is about 1/2" thick, glossy black pages. The information is introductory...but fun reading and looking. It isn't meant to be definitive or authoritative and shouldn't be taken as such. But for simplicity, easy reading, great color photos, and well-written text, it earns its "stars".
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