Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos

The Story of the Scientific Quest for the Secret of the Universe


By Dennis Overbye

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$31.99 CAD



  1. Trade Paperback $24.99 $31.99 CAD
  2. ebook $11.99 $15.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around November 2, 1999. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award: the "intensely exciting" story of a group of brilliant scientists who set out to answer the deepest questions about the origin of the universe and changed the course of physics and astronomy forever (Newsday). 

In southern California, nearly a half century ago, a small band of researchers — equipped with a new 200-inch telescope and a faith born of scientific optimism — embarked on the greatest intellectual adventure in the history of humankind: the search for the origin and fate of the universe. Their quest would eventually engulf all of physics and astronomy, leading not only to the discovery of quasars, black holes, and shadow matter but also to fame, controversy, and Nobel Prizes. Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos tells the story of the men and women who have taken eternity on their shoulders and stormed nature in search of answers to the deepest questions we know to ask.

"Written with such wit and verve that it is hard not to zip through in one sitting." —Washington Post


  • "Superb...It is by mixing the personal and the cosmic in his reporting, just as the scientists mix them in their lives, that Mr. Overbye has managed to write such a good book."
    The Economist
  • "One of the great intellectual dramas of the twentieth century comes blazingly to life in this passionate, challenging, and intensely exciting book."
    Wendy Smith, Newsday
  • "Written with such wit and verve that it is hard not to zip through in one sitting."
    Martin Gardner, Washington Post
  • "This is one of the most ambitious popularizations of science to be attempted in recent memory. Seldem has any science journalist said so much, so well, in so few pages." 
    Timothy Ferris, Scientific American
  • "For his sense of the culture of science — the traditions, the slang, the rivalries, the unwritten rules — Mr. Overbye makes a wonderful tour guide."
    James Gleick, New York Times Book Review

On Sale
Nov 2, 1999
Page Count
464 pages
Back Bay Books

Dennis Overbye

About the Author

Dennis Overbye, who studied science at MIT, is also the author of Einstein in Love. He is Deputy Science Editor at the New York Times and his writings have appeared in Time, the New York Times Magazine, and many other publications. 

Learn more about this author