Title: How I Killed Pluto (And Why It Had It Coming)
Author: Mike Brown
Narrator: Ryan Gesell
Genre: Nonfiction; Science
Audio: 7.8 hours
Publisher: Random House Audio
Source: Personal Collection
Book Rating: 2.5/5
Audio Rating: 3.5/5
Mike Brown claims responsibility for Pluto’s demotion from one of the nine planets in our solar system. How I Killed Pluto tells the story of his search for the tenth planet that led to Pluto’s demise.
I am a Pluto sympathizer. I was heartbroken when it was demoted. I kept this cartoon on my fridge for years:
I understood that Pluto was different, but I, like a lot of people, just loved Pluto. So I wanted to hear the story from the man responsible.
But it turns out the story isn’t really that complicated. Or it wasn’t the way Brown told it. To make up for the lack of substance, he weaves in his personal life. While I found some of it interesting solely due to my own situation (like listening to his newborn experience while nursing my days-old baby), I really didn’t read this book to find out Mike Brown’s personal life story. I wanted Pluto’s. So I was disappointed.
There were moments I enjoyed this book, but overall, I would pass on it.
With first person nonfiction, I often have a hard time remembering that the narrator is not the author. To my brain, Gesell IS Brown. Which I think means the audiobook production was successful. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to redeem the book.