The Questionable Authority

A few weeks ago, I read, enjoyed, and reviewed Phil Plait’s Death From the Skies. After I caught my daughter looking at the book a couple of times, I managed to bribe convince her to write a review of the book. The result is the following review. I fixed the formatting a little bit, but I had absolutely no role in the development of the text.



Death From the Skies

When I got death from the skies I thought that it would be about people getting an unpleasant visit from flaming meteors, I was wrong. It was about the ways the world will end. I then got depressed and then got an unsettling rush of emotions all at once. Now many people are convinced that I’m bi-polar! But seriously, the book is good. I’ll give it that much.

I like that the book isn’t full of made up stuff. I like that it has something to do with people getting a wake up call from meteors as well. But what I like the most is that Philip Plait addresses it calmly. He says it as calmly as saying that dinner is ready. So that makes me a little calm instead of losing my mind and making my will with crayons.

What I hate about the book is that the calmness in his voice makes it a tad bit more depressing. It’s like he doesn’t care about the world ending. I also hate that the book isn’t a fantasy or sci-fi book. I don’t like non-fiction that much, but it makes sense. But that’s MY opinion about the book.

In YOUR opinion this book could be boring, fantastic, ok, perfect, imperfect, etc. But that’s for you to find out. I’m not the kind to tell you straight out about something. So my advice is to buy the book. But to be on the safe side (since I don’t have a lawyer just yet) say that this is a good book again. So visit your local Barnes and Nobel’s, get a Starbucks coffee of your choice, find this book, get a seat, and read a few pages of it. If you like it buy it. If you don’t then don’t buy it. It’s that simple!

PS I’m serious about the bi-polar thing.

Comments

  1. #1 KeithB
    March 6, 2009

    Excellent review!
    Very apropos considering the recent near miss!

  2. #2 llewelly
    March 6, 2009

    I loved Death From The Skies . I didn’t find it depressing at all. Phil is so clear on how unlikely these things all are. With the exception of asteroid collision, they’re all so unlikely as to be insignificant. Asteroid collision itself is unlikely to happen before we develop the technology to divert them. ( Though there is a 1/45,000 chance of a hard smack in 2036. ) It also seemed to me Phil was irrepressibly excited about all of these things. As Phil says – you’re far more likely to struck by lightning than die from an asteroid strike. In turn, car accidents, heart attacks, and dozens of other dangers are far more likely to strike us down than a lightning strike.

    (By the way, the chance that AGW could cause more damage than a collision with 99942 Apophis is probably much greater than 1/45,000. )

  3. #3 QA's Mom
    March 6, 2009

    Two totally unrelated bits of Dunford data. Mike has failed to point out that his talented daughter is not quite 12 years old.

    Also while the chance of being hit by lightening may seem remote, it doesn’t matter if you’re the one it hits –as it did me 40 yrs ago.

  4. #4 blf
    March 7, 2009

    A to-the-point review, the sort I like to read, especially when I’m already minded to buy the book / see the movie / whatever, and have no wish to see it discussed in exhaustive detail again. Having not read the book (yet!), I cannot comment fairly on the review’s accuracy, but it does jive with what I’ve read elsewhere; namely, Phil’s written something well worth reading, interresting and informative and a bit of fun…

    Thanks!

    And now for the far more important issue… What was the bribeconvincing?

  5. #5 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 7, 2009

    Excellent review! You should start your own blog!

  6. #6 Isis the Scientist
    March 8, 2009

    If you like it buy it. If you don’t then don’t buy it. It’s that simple!

    This is a fantastic review and I might just take your advice!! Mike, your daughter is an excellent writer. Don’t let her guestblog too often or you might find yourself out of work.

  7. #7 Crystal D.
    March 8, 2009

    This was one of my christmas gifts, yay! It’s a great book.

  8. #8 Gary
    March 13, 2009

    “So that makes me a little calm instead of losing my mind and making my will with crayons.”

    That’s a great line, and writers should use more like it!

    I bought the book a couple weeks ago and I’m almost done reading it. It’s fascinating, written in a light tone, and anybody with even a cursory interest in astronomy or the end of the world will like it.

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