My favourite book of all time. Sagan's last book is not about science or physics in particular-although it offers a good insight into the progression of science - particularly astronomy- over human history. But this book is about humans, about humanity, about religion, economics, politics, hopes for the future, environmental problems and more. this book offers an insight into one of the greatest communicators of the 20th century. I'd HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone wishing to learn more about the Billions and Billions of humans, stars, and planets out there. ultimately, it helped me open my eyes to the big problems out there. a phenomenal piece of work. the last chapter is brilliant (as are all the rest). RIP Carl Sagan.
I've ordered this used copy from Amazon and received a library copy with a reader card still attached to it. The card was empty, which may imply no one has ever borrowed it from that library. This may very well be the case, judging from it's pristine condition. It probably wasn't a bestseller, as I'm the first to review this edition here on Amazon, along with a handful of other reviewers of the Headline edition Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium.
I'm writing all this because I feel it's such a shame. This is really an out of this world book by an extraordinary man.
Sagan's fascinating observations and deep thoughts on various subjects ranging from physics, astronomy, biology, evolution to charged subjects such as god, religion and abortions make a great read and always thought provoking. Even those who may oppose some of his stands on controversial issues won't find it hard to read about them given his delicate approach, good nature and style.
In the last chapter "In the Valley of the Shadow", written on October 1996 (two months before his death from cancer), he shares with us his moving thoughts when looking backwards on his life and life at general, along with thoughts of the looming end. Some of it actually gave me goose bumps. He could easily re-use the cite from the "Travels in Space and Time" chapter in Cosmos, taken from a Tombstone epitaph of two amateur astronomers : "We have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night".
The book concludes with a touching epilogue by Ann Druyan written two months after Carl's death.
A short look at the Table of Contents using the Look Inside feature was more than enough for me to know there's a very slim chance that I won't enjoy this book, and I wasn't disappointed.
I've already ordered 3 other books by him, that are waiting to be read, not to mention the excellent Carl Sagan's Cosmos [DVD]  that was not surprisingly the first work by Carl Sagan that I have ordered.