Top critical review
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As a big Sagan fan, I recommend one of his other books!
on June 5, 2008
PROS: Classic, elegant prose from one of the best science writers of all time. Sagan was a genius of making science interesting to the masses and his works reflect that.
(1) This book is disjointed. It feels like a collection of independent essays or lectures that were all brought together. There is little flow from chapter to chapter and the sections of the book are somewhat arbitrary and broad. It doesn't flow as well from chapter to chapter as Sagan's other books.
(2) The book is dated. It's not Sagan's fault, but this book is out of date. Written in the 1970s, we have since learned so much about the universe. It's interesting to hear Sagan speculate about certain planets and other things we now know about. It's cool to see how accurate many of his speculations were. Nevertheless, to learn more about the universe, you should read a book written in the 21st century.
CONCLUSION: I love Sagan! I enjoyed this book. But it's disjoined and dated nature made me give it only 3 stars. He has written other better books, like "Cosmos", "Billions and Billions", and "Dragons of Eden". I also enjoyed "Contact", which is fiction. Although all those books are also dated, they have a more timeless message.