- Hardcover: 294 pages
- Publisher: Current (30 Sept. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1617230065
- ISBN-13: 978-1617230066
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 450,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars Hardcover – 30 Sep 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
But I was in for a surprise. Billings has selected those elements of the stories that put the quest into context, and told each part of the story with passion. It really does make sense to tell the tale this way, as the human factors (economics, alliances, conflicts etc.) play such a key role in the development of the science and engineering of exoplanet discovery and the search for life around other stars.
The book is not overly technical, and can be read comfortably by those who just have an interest in the subject. There are plenty of notes and suggestions for further reading on each chapter for those who want to delve into a particular topic in more detail, and there's a very comprehensive index.
Overall, a superb book.
He ties neatly together themes of the human spirit, the creation of the universe, and the small but agonising part humanity plays within it.
Interviewing a range of diverse experts, he tells the story of key players in the exoplanet hunt, and clearly revels in the stories of the competition between scientific teams, and the growing knowledge base underlying it.
As a layman, I was never thrown off the compelling story of science and humanity moving forward. Occasionally, some passages become very heavily rich in scientific theory, but Billings's style is never stodgy, but rather light and lyrical, even with some of the most profound subject matter.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next.
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