Book Review: Cosmos, by Carl Sagan

Overall Impressions

I had always meant to read this book but had never gotten around to it. About a year ago I checked out the DVDs from the public library of the recent remake by NDT and enjoyed it for the most part, so I figured it was time to actually consume the original book.

I liked the book but I have to say that it's beginning to show its age. Even though Carl Sagan has been dead for a little while now, he still knew more about the universe than the vast majority of even well-educated humans, but there are a few parts in the book where he comments on things as undiscovered or undecided but that are actually settled science now. That's fine - you've gotta read a book like this with the day that it was from in mind - but you can't read it as cutting edge gospel science now. That said, it's so filled with wonderful information and presented in a great way that it has plenty of value still.

Carl Sagan had a rare gift of being able to cover complex concepts at a level that was consumable by less sophisticated readers and this book really shows that.

The Good

I never found myself reading sections and not learning things and I definitely never found myself knowing even most things that were being covered. That said, it wasn't so deep that I had a hard time following along - not like I was reading a book about string theory...

The Bad

Carl Sagan deeply wanted new generations of people to be interested in science and he takes to "selling science" a bit heavily at times. I didn't need that; I believe in science and found that this took away from the concepts at times.

Final Word

If you like science, you should read this book. It's fast and fun and Carl Sagan was a treasure. 4/5 stars.