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25 Reviews
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Long Look at the Sun
The sun is all around us, both literally and now, with Richard Cohen's comprehensive, compelling tome, figuratively.

The author does a wonderful job tackling an enormous subject and observing it from both scientific and cultural perspectives. The reader learns of the sun's relationship to Earth and its people through seven years of research and travel to 18...
Published on November 17, 2010 by K. Kasabian

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed
Richard Cohen has compiled an encyclopaedic book covering every aspect of the Sun - in mythology, culture, the arts, astronomy and the other sciences. It is well worth reading for the many interesting facts and anecdotes.

However, it does contain many flaws - for one thing, it wanders off-topic at times. He talks about Arthur C. Clarke's story "The Star" (my...
Published on June 22, 2012 by Mr. A. J. Clark


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, January 8, 2012
This review is from: Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives Us Life (Paperback)
Well written, highly entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. I read a chapter at a time and then time to reflect. What am amazing story about the star that affects every living thing on the planet. Well worth a read. As Phillip Pullman says; On every single page there is something utterly fascinating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Kaleidoscopic View of Our Sun, July 29, 2014
By 
aron row (Davis, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives Us Life (Paperback)
Within our universe the sun is rated as a mediocre star, but within our solar system the sun is the nucleus and regulator of all aspects of life, and thus stands out as our unique shining orb. After seven years of researching the sun and its influence on man, journalist Richard Cohen has recorded this epic account of how the sun has been viewed, examined, and used throughout history. Starting with mythology, he describes the Inca’s worship of the sun, stonehenge, sun dances and sacrifices for the health of this star. Chapters cover scientific explorations of the heavenly bodies by the early astronomers, and how light and its photons affect life on Earth. Fascinatingly, stories of how perceptions of the sun influenced different cultures in art, music, photography and literature pique the imagination. The sun is a dying star, what will the future hold (not in our lifetime) but the narrative ends with wonder of the consequences when the sun eventually burns out. The narrative and anecdotes are engaging, would you paint your face with arsenic to retain a fashionably pale white complexion as was done some centuries earlier, the treatment will eventually kill you. Encompassing history, science, culture, and wonderful stories, this is a read that is enthralling.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too much, August 26, 2011
By 
Jonathan A. Turner (Nashua, NH United States) - See all my reviews
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This is a book that would be better if there were a little less of it. It's full of wonderful information, but the sheer quantity of it--and a certain lack of imagination in its organization--means that many readers will have trouble recalling much of it.

The premise of _Chasing the Sun_ is that it's about *everything* sun-related. It follows through! Thus we get individual chapters on solar origins, solar astronomy, solar astrology, solar culture, solar dances, solar cooking, solar philosophy, solar psychology, solar imagery, solar folklore ...

It's all great stuff, taken one chapter at a time. Taken all together, it's a little overwhelming. There's no unifying principle that leads from chapter to chapter (contrast this to, for example, Bill Bryson's _A Short History of Nearly Everything_). The upshot is a collection of pieces that are better individually than collectively.

There is a dazzling quantity of research on display here, and the writing is fluid, so I can recommend the book to anyone with an interest in the subject matter. You might, however, be better served by dipping into it than by trying to absorb it all in sequence.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Open a door to a new view of the sun., December 15, 2013
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Requires a lot of concentration to absorb the ideas but worth the effort. A broad sweep of scientific and historical views.
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4.0 out of 5 stars engaging, lots of great info, April 5, 2013
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The sun, as we all know, is huge. And it makes for a huge topic as well. I don't know if Cohen covers everything there is about (or under) the sun, but he certainly makes a valiant effort. So we've got eclipses, the way the sun uses fusion, the past, present, and future life (and death) of our sun, its effect on climate, sunspots, the history of science surrounding the sun, its role in art, its role in music, its role in mythologies across the globe, a bit on Tycho Brahe's nose, a section on sunbathing and lots more. All of it, OK, almost all of it, is fascinating. And it's almost always told in engaging, enthusiastic, clear prose with a sense of personal voice. It's a book filled with details, digressions, and footnotes (some longer than this review). It's not a book to read straight through; at least, I couldn't do so. But it's definitely a book to have by your bedside for several nights (or weeks) running. And since you couldn't possibly retain all this fascinating detail, I'm sure it's a book that will reward rereading as well. Highly enjoyable and informative--a good combination
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!, February 7, 2013
By 
Steven Magee (Tucson, Arizona, USA) - See all my reviews
This is the most comprehensive book about the Sun that I have read. I was astounded at the wide range of subjects that are detailed in it. If you want to fully understand the Sun, this book is a good place to start.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating, January 29, 2013
I came across this book at a bookstore in Bangkok and became engrossed in it during periods when I preferred to be inside an air conditioned room rather than being out in the intense Sun here so I am biased already in favor of having it do what a really good book should do which is to keep one turning the pages because the subject and the way it is handled so deftly holds the reader. For the past 25 years I have worked on solar energy projects and invented a workable solar cooking stove but like so many of its cousins is probably not culturally acceptable in many areas of the world where it might be most useful as the book well points out in one of the chapters. Without repeating what others have said I will add what I believe to be the most useful thing about the book: it gives one a thorough understanding of the complicated nature of global warming and its human causes. Worth every baht I spent on it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A clear labor of love; hard to sit down and read straight through, January 20, 2013
By 
Jill Florio "HippieGeek with Aspergers" (Asheville, NC, and the Desert Southwest) - See all my reviews
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This is an impressive encyclopedic resource of all things Sun-related. Clearly this is a labor of love for the author, who covered more solar connections than I'd ever considered existed. Some of it is a bit of a stretch, but I give Cohen props for excitement and comprehensiveness. There's science, history, stories, myth, culture and many random tidbits.

Unfortunately, I found the writing a little dry. The subject is also overwhelming, and I couldn't finish this off for quite some time. Eventually I decided to attack reading this book in chapters, not sequentially.

I would have liked color pictures and illustrations, and found myself wishing this could be translated to a large, thick, impressively beautiful coffee-table book.

As it stands, this is an amazing collection of information on one theme, and kudos for Cohen in tackling a wide-ranging topic in a such a well-organized manner.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Sun from antiquity to present, January 18, 2013
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In "Chasing the Sun", Richard Cohen presents to us a masterpiece of the history and impact our little star has had on the influence of mankind throughout history to the present. This is a very good read for one to understand the influence the Sun has had on all the myths, religions, and progression of mankind in influencing the evolution of mankind. An interesting read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars How to learn everything about the sun, November 20, 2012
By 
Jadecat (Lake Orion, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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This is an extremely comprehensive book about the sun. It includes past history of how the sun was viewed by earlier cultures and the role it played in their lives. I found it difficult to read as a normal book with a storyline. This was more like a book you read a little here and there, at least to me. As to the other reviewers who found the history part of it off, well, I guess my history knowledge is not that strong, so I didn't notice anything obviously wrong.
For those truly interested in astronomy, the solar system, various cultural histories, then this is a great book to delve into. At over 600 pages long, it covers more than you can ever imagine. Granted, I haven't finished the entire tome, but I pick it up and read sections at a time. It is something I will keep around because I never know when I will want to look up something interesting about the sun.
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Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives Us Life
Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives Us Life by Richard Cohen (Paperback - September 13, 2011)
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