DK over the years has perfected the pictorially driven, graphically sumptuous genre of reference type books, and this glorious book is a supreme example.
Captured between these covers is the simplified sum of man's scientific understanding of nature, life and the universe - stunningly presented with thousand of photos, cut-away diagrams and thoughtful full-colour illustrations, backed-up with comprehensible and useful text.
Typically, the book teems with time-lines, info-boxes and cameo pieces which help fill the gaps usually ignored by standard treatments, and help fix the knowledge in one's mind.
DK is also to be credited with treating science as a human story as well, giving welcome space to the personal details of the thousands of men (and women) across the ages, who with extraordinary ingenuity and perseverance have unlocked Nature's secrets - arguably mankind's greatest achievement.
Inevitably on such a vast subject there will be some carping about lack of depth and detail, and a bias (PC?) in material selection which seems to short-change the German contribution in favour of a wider spread of individuals from other nations.....for which as a payoff, I learnt about Spanish scientists (to name only one group) that I had never even heard of.....
In an instance of un-PC contrast though, Einstein's wife Mileva who apparently did the maths and co-authored several of his early papers, still remains unacknowledged even here, in one imagines is deference to the image of the icon....
But all this is a pretty trifling detraction from what is overall a brilliant, entertaining, enlightening and beautifully presented book.
Worth every penny.