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I love this book. I shouldn't have to tell you of its grandeur and importance. I have total respect for Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan; I am ever thankful for their work. This review is souly regarding the recently released Audible edition.
I understand the thinking behind releasing a new digital conversion of the original masters, as they are now, with silences contained within the degraded tapes. But, I would have much preferred the previous audio book release sound files, lower fidelity as it may be, to have been spliced in where there is silence. In this release, entire paragraphs are unintelligible from the tape degradation.
Also, the sections where Ann Druyan narrates have a very noticeable and distracting noise gate. Her performance is wonderful, but the background hiss pops in when she speaks and pops out when she stops. My amateur home studio has a better noise to signal ratio than this recording, and even still, leaving the gate off with the background hiss playing continuously would have been less distracting.
I am not sure why the previously released audio book version is not able to be purchased, whether it's due to copyright or licensing or some other absurd reason. That is the version I would like to get my hands on.
All that being said, I do not regret purchasing this, as it supports Druyan and the Sagan estate, but I don't think I will be using it much. I hope at some point a good copy of the first release is found and sold once again.
33 of 33 people found this review helpful
When does an unabridged audiobook come out for the first time 20 years after its author has died using the author's narrative voice? It's almost unheard of in the audiobook world, and yet in this case it happened. And it's not just any author--it's none other than the greatest popularizer of science of the 20th century---Carl Sagan.
"Pale Blue Dot" was the only book Carl ever did an audio recording of before his untimely death in 1996. It was an abridged version on audiocassette, now long out-of-print.
Now, his four decades-long co-writer, "Cosmos" collaborator, love of his life, and surviving wife Annie Druyan has found Carl's original master recordings of his voice and has filled in to make the first unabridged recording of this book---a book long famous for the soliloquy-excerpt bearing the same name, now deservedly a part of modern pop science culture. "Consider again that dot." I always will, Carl. Thank you for this, Annie! Thank you, Carl. You are proof that, although life isn't fair, good things sometimes happen to deserving, good people.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
For wanderers everywhere: Pale Blue Dot is, for me, an essential, magical and thought-provoking experience.
I had read Pale Blue Dot before, and loved it. I was delighted when I learned this audiobook was in the works again. Having finished it, this version has exceeded my, frankly, stellar expectations.
As other reviewers have noted, the opening chapters are Carl Sagan's original recording - remastered. The rest is then read by Ann Druyan. Personally, I thought both parts are a fitting reflection of their partnership - exploring and connected through space and time. Ann, in my opinion, does a beautiful job.
For the unfamiliar, the book is named in reference to the image of the Earth, captured by Voyager 1, then 6 billion miles away on Valentines Day, 1990. The story behind the picture, and the 4 ships humans had then sent to the stars is hugely moving. Just one example of the brilliant storytelling throughout.
Like the image itself: the nuance and depth of the perspective in this book is powerful and inspiring. A perspective we may be gaining just in time.
I'd have liked to have listened to it whilst stargazing. The chapters take you beyond any darkness, to beautiful points of intellectual and, subtly, almost spiritual light, again and again.
I would recommend it for anyone interested in how our humanity can keep up with our technology. Also for anybody concerned with exploring other worlds and/or our doing right by this one, and all the Earth's inhabitants.
Thank you Ann, and all involved, for re-making this. Thank you for helping wanderers out there from all meridians to make the many crossings, as we find our way...
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Tapes with Sagan narrating perished so his wife does 90 percent of it. absolutely awful!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
it's always a joy to listen to Carl Sagan words - he was a legend.
As much as I love Carl Sagan and everything cosmos I really struggled staying focused on his narration, it's like it was either really late at night or he just wasn't into it