Get Your Free Audiobook

The Planets

Narrated by: Samuel West
Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

Non-member price: $14.43

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Jupiter: The Ruthless One. Mars: The Doomed One. Sun: The Fiery One. Saturn: The Beautiful One. Pluto: The Mysterious One.

We’re living through an extraordinary time of exploration. A fleet of space probes are continually beaming data from their sensors back to Earth. Hidden in this stream of code are startling new discoveries about the worlds we share with the Sun. We will piece together these remarkable and often surprising findings to tell the greatest science story of them all - the life and times of the Solar System. 

What emerges is a dramatic tale chronicling the adventures of eight planetary siblings. Born from violence, they grow up together, in time becoming living and breathing worlds, only to fade away one by one as they age. Along the way each world takes on its own unique character which we will come to know as we cross the vastness of space and time to visit them. We’ll place our cameras on the surfaces of these worlds at moments of heightened drama. We’ll give listeners a glimpse of the most memorable moments in the evolution of our star system. 

Along the way we will meet all eight of the major planets, plus a supporting cast of moons, asteroids and comets, and a mysterious as yet unseen world way out beyond the Kuiper belt....

©2019 Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

Praise for Prof Brian Cox: "Cox’s romantic, lyrical approach to astrophysics all adds up to an experience that feels less like homework and more like having a story told to you. A really good story, too." (The Guardian)

"He bridges the gap between our childish sense of wonder and a rather more professional grasp of the scale of things." (The Independent)

"If you didn’t utter a wow watching the TV, you will while reading the book." (The Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just wonderful

A great listen, well written, well performed, a beautiful overview of our home star system.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • 18-07-2019

A fascinating journey

This is a superbly written and narrated book. Full of stories that make you think "oh wow". It is a logical and captivating journey from the beginnings of our solar system to the outer reaches, bringing into play the ingenuity of man's space exploration. Loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A fantastic review of the solar system

Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen give a phonemally punctual, well - directed look into the Planets of your solar system. A must read for anyone looking to learn more about the Planets.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for AJ Rothman
  • AJ Rothman
  • 27-05-2019

Msrs is no joke

Mars is unbelievable. All the planets are amazing but Mars has some shit that Earth cant Fock with.

3 of 12 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Majicat
  • Majicat
  • 25-05-2019

Worthwhile Update

It’s now 20 years since the BBC broadcast the original series of The Planets, a lot has changed since then; a wealth of new discoveries due to ongoing exploration. It’s now the perfect time for an update on the information provided by the original TV series and accompanying book. I bought this audiobook on the morning it was released and listened to all 8 hours in one session. Reassuringly the audiobook is narrated by Samuel West, who provided the narration to the original 1999 TV series which I’ve always been a huge fan of, so there’s a nice continuity to that. This book covers everything we already knew about our solar system 20 years ago, even briefly reiterating some of the same facts; however, so much has happened in the past 20 years, that the bulk of the text prioritises those new discoveries. All of the most important facts are here and Brian Cox being co-author, there’s more than a shadow of tongue-in-cheek grumbling about priorities and general laziness among current world leaders and their attitudes toward science and Earth environment issues among other things; and rightly so. I’ve been closely following astrophysics and space discovery all of my adult life as well as educating myself about the history of scientific discovery. It’s astonishing just how much we’ve learned in the past two decades alone, this book collects all of this together interspersing it with the relevant historical background. I enjoyed this book so much and by the time I’d finished it, I still felt I wanted more, so ordered the hardback too, as I feel the text alone can’t possibly do the book justice.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 24-05-2019

Good Stuff but is an Audiobook The Best Format?

I enjoyed this, I did know that I was no expert on our solar system and as it turned out I really didn't know very much at all! It's a genuinely fascinating subject, I had no idea quite how complex or indeed dynamic the solar system really is. Cohen, and it really is much more him than Cox I think, tells some great stories about the fate of Venus for example and the marauding force that Jupiter once was beating in and out of the inner Solar system! Some of this is quite inspiring and I'm off to try and find the TV series on catch up somewhere.

And there's the rub really. I suspect apart from a level of detail, which at some stages verged on being quite technical, the TV series with its visuals is going to be far more effective. Also, if you are in two minds about whether audio or print is the right format take a look at the Amazon page for the book as that looks impressive with great colour visuals which may help to bring this alive more than the audio. This looks like a case where if ever an audiobook could do with some supplemental material this really is it.

Samuel West does a good job of narrating, and the stories of some of these planets are really quite remarkable. The complex sequence of events and factors that created our Earth are, to me at least, absolutely mind-blowing. Talk about being lucky, us humans just don't know that we're born! And I have to say I loved Cohen's suggestion for dealing with anyone still in denial over climate change, maybe a little extreme but it made me smile!

So, this is good stuff, if like I was, you really don't have much insight into how our solar system was formed so I am happy to recommend it on that basis. Even if you know a little there is a goodly amount of up to date science included so there's likely something in this for most people.

It is worth a think though whether the TV series or the print book or indeed both would make for a better investment in time and money than the audio.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Giorgio Guglielmino
  • Giorgio Guglielmino
  • 07-06-2019

Fascinating

It really excite and fascinate me with solar system life. It contains great knowledge explained very simply.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Marryat's Child
  • Marryat's Child
  • 04-06-2019

A most enjoyable listen.

Remarkably enjoyable, I have listened twice already. The sort of thing that I wished would continue. A very impressive piece of work on a fascinating subject.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A S U Zaman
  • A S U Zaman
  • 01-06-2019

Great, easy reading/listening, informative!

listened to our over a few days and learnt soooo much. fantastic history of the formation of our solar system and insight into each planet and Pluto. this is a great listen for young and old. children will love it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-06-2019

excellent addition to the series

another excellent read. add this to human planet & wonders of nature. so brilliantly narated by sam west.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Occam's shaver
  • Occam's shaver
  • 23-06-2019

Fantastic - a tribute to all the people who have dedicated themselves to discovering our solar system

Might have preferred the lovely Brian to narrate and it was slightly repetitive in parts, particularly on the principles behind the Greenhouse effect. I wonder if this was because of the way it was co authored?

But I love the TV show and I love the book. I particularly like the mission details and I am in awe of the people behind them. Our solar system is clearly an amazing place and so too is the ingenuity of the people behind it’s continued discovery and long may it continue.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for idris
  • idris
  • 11-06-2019

Captivating!

This was such an interesting book! The narration was excellent, and the content was really thought provoking. Ive bought the hardback so that I can enjoy the visuals. 10/10

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Russell
  • Russell
  • 09-06-2019

The Planets - Brilliant

I couldn't wait for the TV series to finish and wasn't disappointed. I will now enjoy watching even more. Thank you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-08-2019

excelent

amazing. going to listen again right away.
all very interesting a massive amount I did not know and all told as the story of how we discovered each planet going out deep into the solar system.