... part graceful memoir and part plea for keeping an open mind about the possibilities of what is out there in the universe — in particular, life ... well worth reading ... half memoir, half soaring monologue.
I have a lot of time for Loeb. He has a joy in conjecture and an omnivorous spirit of inquiry that are more reminiscent of 20th-century thinkers such as Freeman Dyson or Carl Sagan than most of his peers. His readiness to stake his reputation on such an unconventional hypothesis is a mark of uncommon bravery...But this is a pretty thin book. It’s thin in a literal sense: the core thesis, which does not amount to more than a Scientific American cover feature, is padded out about 200 pages with excursions into memoir, the Sherlock Holmes stories and the imponderability of black holes ... More pertinently, the list of observations about ‘Oumuamua that don’t add up is a tenuous strut upon which to build a vast bridge of conjecture that stretches into planet-sized beacons engineered to power space probes and rocks bearing life to Earth from distant stars ... All the same, it’s a commendable thing that someone of Loeb’s stature is prepared to ask these questions ... Perhaps with time ‘Oumuamua will turn out to be the most important anomaly in the history of science. Perhaps. I think, at any rate, that Sagan would have liked this book.
[Loeb] offers strong evidence to support this conclusion, but perhaps more valuable is how he uses this as a jumping-off point for much broader musings on the state of science ... Some of his digressions are a bit of a leap, but whether or not readers agree with him, his vision and curiosity are compelling.