The Life and Death of the Universe
By Caleb Scharf
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26.00, 256 pages
The story of the universe is a fascinating one that is hard for us to imagine on multiple scales. Gravity’s Engines tells the story of the most dangerous denizens of the universe, describing how they work and how they get to be so big. The author looks at what black holes are, how they grow, and what their place is in the galactic ecosystem. He tells this in the simplest terms as he examines our exploration of these galactic monsters, making for an interesting journey through astronomy.
This is an excellent book for those who want to brush up on their astronomy and want to look knowledgeable to others. The author covers his subject matter thoroughly and writes simply enough for anyone to follow, with just enough illustrations to make his point clear. This is a fun book for astronomers as well, as it sums up the history nicely, including some of the more interesting issues with which astronomers have had to deal. However, it is told like a university professor, making it a slow read at times. Gravity’s Engines is a great way to review one’s astronomy and should be on every student’s shelf.
Reviewed by Jamais Jochim
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