32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Falling between two stools,
This review is from: The Planets (Hardcover)
A brave attempt to bring science to a lay audience.
The bibliography leaves no doubt about the depth of the research which has gone into this book, but I ended up feeling that I had learned more about Dava Sobel's immense skill as a writer than I had about the planets as such. She is particularly impressive when she gives her imagination free rein, as at the end of the chapter on Mars, and her fascinated enjoyment of the subject and admiration for those who have helped to develop our understanding of it over the centuries are obvious.
Ultimately, however, the marriage between readability and the need to convey complicated scientific concepts is not an altogether happy one. The book ends up falling between two stools, not offering enough new for the specialist but being too detailed for the layman.