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Cosmos

Written by: Carl Sagan
Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (238 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 23.51
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Publisher's Summary

Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Featuring a new Introduction by Sagan's collaborator, Ann Druyan, and a new Foreword by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.

Includes introductory music: Heaven and Hell by Vangelis from Cosmos: A Personal Voyage used with permission from Druyan-Sagan Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

©1980 Carl Sagan Productions, Inc (P)2017 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Foreword © 2013 by Ann Druyan. “Reflections on Carl Sagan’s Cosmos” essay © 2013 by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

LeVar is like listening to a breathy James T. Kirk

I so want to listen to this. I really do! I haven't listened to a science based audible and was looking forward to listening to this classic book while I drive to/from work every day. But I just... (short dramatic pause) can'T (extra emphasis on the T). LeVar reads every sentence with emphasis and drama when it's simply not needed. (he has a capital V in his name, does that have emphasis on it too?) High, intense phrasing and sudden drop to low breathy end word. Every sentence. Up down up down. It's like a roller-coaster, but not in a good way. I do want to feel awe in the cosmos, I want to feel awe in Carl Sagan's words... but not every darn sentence. Way too over dramatic. I do plan on returning the book to get my credit back. I actually wish Seth MacFarlane read the whole book, because he was quite good. I'm sorry Carl, I guess I'll have to enjoy the book the way you intended it... by reading it.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Brrilliant

Carl Sagan does an amazing job of sharing his wonder and excitement while guiding you through the relevance of the cosmos.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The sound quality is plainly terrible.

Can't believe this can be considered professional recording. Amazon compressed the audio so much it's unbearable. Reminds me of overseas meetings on webex with Indians and chineese. You have to concentrate to understand what's being said. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Still relevant

Should be read by everyone. Makes you re-examine the way you look at mankind.

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Love it!

Carl Sagan's love and hope for humanity and all earth's inhabitants is evident in every sentence. Burton's reading is amazing and captures the essence of Sagan's voice.

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Don't bother.

If you took science in junior high, then you don't need to read this. It is very elementary and dated. As a tv show in the early 80's, it would be mildly interesting, but as an audio book, it was boring. Connections was a better TV show and gravity is 9.8 meters per second per second, not 10 as was stated numerous times in the book.

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Unimpressive Rhetoric

Interesting at times, but boring & redundant at others. Historically interesting, but wanted more on actual astronomy instead of evolutionary beliefs

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very cool. makes me think how nothing I am.

very interesting to say the least, just wish there was more Neil Tyson DeGrasse. He speaks with so much passion.

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must read

this book is so well-written it should be taught in classrooms across the world world. offers amazing end up understanding of the cosmos

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loved it!

LeVar Burton was pitch perfect for this. Somehow I missed this book when I was much younger; it would have had a huge impact.

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  • Seph
  • 2017-11-09

Over-acting voice actors

The story is great. And I loved LeVar Burton in Star Trek. My critique is that the majority of the book is narrated by LeVar and his constant over-acting of every line and the immense emphasis on every word makes it extremely tiring to listen to. He even does voices. A lot. It turns ridiculous.
Likewise, Ann Druyan is also audibly squinting, straining her voice, and reads every line like it's the most important revelation. When everything is important, nothing is.
Their voice-acting muddles the message, slows down the reading, and I feel less connected to Carls message as a consequence. I found myself increasingly annoyed with each chapter. Seth MacFarlane is much better.

I've stopped in chapter 8. Their over-acting has ruined this book for me. I cannot finish it.

181 of 194 people found this review helpful

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  • DM
  • 2017-09-11

Levar Burton channelling Captain Kirk

What made the experience of listening to Cosmos the most enjoyable?

The book is wonderful but it is exhausting to listen to Levar Burton. I am a fan of his; don't get me wrong, and he should be a genius choice for this. But why is he channelling the classic James T. Kirk delivery? Weird spacing of phrases, strange emphases that distort sentence structures...after a while it gets too distracting and I have to take a break. This is disappointing as I typically listen to audiobooks on long drives.

The content is fascinating and Carl Sagan's enthusiasm, knowledge and love of science shines through regardless. Every few minutes I learn something new.

74 of 79 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben Engelke
  • 2017-07-26

Inspiring. Innovative. Intelligent.

A fantastic personal journey. Carl Sagan's vision of the Cosmos is enduring and spot on for being written 30+ years ago. Only good will come from this planet's population reading or listening to his words.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike C
  • 2017-09-07

Geordi LaForge Teaches you about the Universe

Great Content and Great Narrator! I grew up watching LeVar Burton on TNG and Reading Raonbow, so saying his narration was nostalgic is a bit of an understatement...but nostalgia aside, he does an amazing job. As for the content he reads, lets just say I am saddened that Carl Sagan died before I ever knew who he was.

While some of the more theoretical content in this book is now considered fact or debunked, Cosmos contains a fountain of knowledge about our universe. Sagan takes a detailed look at the process of the living universe attempting to understand itself, starting with a grand, intergalactic perspective, and slowly zooming in the lense all the way to our society, and our minds.

He does get a little heavy handed when it comes to nuclear war, but he wrote this during the Cold War, so good on him for trying to do something about it. I am a little depressed after finishing to realize our global society has changed so little since he released this book in 1980, but if you ignore the 37 year interval, it will give you a hopeful outlook on our future as a single species in a global society. Cosmos delves into the interconnectivity of our universe in a way most people never think of.

Get this book, and learn why we are an endangered species, why the big bang could have been a supernova explosion, and how each of us is made, of "star stuff".

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike D.
  • 2017-11-14

A Classic.

Carl Sagan is brilliantly able to explain the questions being asked of the cosmos. A true masterpiece of modern science which holds up pretty well even after 30 years. All that said, I’m more inclined to recommend the updated Cosmos tv series by Neil Degrasse Tyson.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Beta
  • 2017-08-18

Extremely Poor Narration

Would you try another book from Carl Sagan and/or the narrators?

I would try another book by Carl Sagan, as long as someone else reads the book the way that Carl would have read it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cosmos?

Extremely poor narration.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Their voices were extremely "dramatic". Accentuating every sentence. It was extremely annoying, and I gave up listening to it.

Do you think Cosmos needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes. As long as the same people do NOT read it.

Any additional comments?

I have the original hard back copy of this book. I have the paperback version. I have read them several times. I have the DVD version of the program. I have watched it several times. Carl Sagan is one of the most influential people in my life. I was extremely disappointed in the way this book was read. BTW, I also hated the remake of the TV show.

41 of 46 people found this review helpful

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  • Deb JOHNSON
  • 2017-10-03

Great except for the narration

Carl Sagan's writings are amazingly still so current today, that I am again struck by how much we missed when this genius died so young. My only criticism is that the breathless, rapid "gee whiz" style the main narrator uses is so opposite to the thoughtful, slow, deep voice of Carl Sagan that I longed for a return to those nights when I sat spellbound in front of the television enraptured by Sagan's own narration. This narrator completely missed the liquidity and thoughtfulness of the original work.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Carlos Rodriguez
  • 2017-06-08

Book for all Citizens of the Cosmos

As the title of this review implies, this book should be read by all those who can read and are inhabitants of the known universe. This truly uplifting masterpiece written by Carl Sagan should be taught to all children in school as one of humankind's finest literary works. The lucidity with which Carl delivers his insights about the Cosmos and our relationship to the Universe is eye opening and awe inspiring. If every human were raised to value the wisdom contained in this book, humans would finally set aside religious, political, territorial differences and disputes and achieve lasting peace across all parts of the earth. Resources will be shared, the environment protected, and scientific progress would lead the way toward a better life for all. It is my sincere hope that this book continue to be valued for millennia to come.

27 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • wbiro
  • 2017-07-26

Still Largely Up to Date

I can see now what most popular books on astronomy over the last 35+ years have tried to emulate (this book). I found the book largely still up to date - with phrases that current books still use. Then something pops up that makes you realize the actual date of the book (such as when he refers to a NASA mission scheduled for 1982).

46 of 57 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexander the Grouch
  • 2017-05-31

Simply Amazing

As i was growing up the television series was one of my favorites. I really enjoyed this audible version. It's great to get this message/knowledge in all different mediums. The narration is fantastic & will hopefully appeal to all mentalities great or small. It would truly be a wonderful thing to see all mankind (& womankind ((don't want to offend anybody;))) use their minds in a way that will benefit us, planet & all. I think it all begins with the right thoughts. Thank you Carl (& narrators) for a timeless message.

55 of 69 people found this review helpful