Wolf pretends he's writing for people without science or math backgrounds. What he is really doing is propogating his own philosophy of reality, using quantum physics as his vehicle. The reader, not having been given an adequate treatment of the subject to form his/her own conclusions, lacks the firepower to resist.
This would be all right if it was his understanding of quantum physics that led him to this philosophy. Maybe this was the case, but it's impossible to tell from his presentation of the material. In any event, the physics should be presented BEFORE the philosophy in this so-called lay person book (and then presented competently). Then the non-expert would have an alternative to taking the experts word for things when he draws his far-reaching conclusions.
I have several beefs with the way this book was written. My primary one is that most of the examples he uses are flat-out BAD. Use of example and analogy are crucial for demystifying such a subject. His examples are usually as difficult and esoteric as the topic. And often, they are used merely to reinforce a point before the point itself is even adequately explained (through any sort of USEFUL analogy).
From the very first page, he presents "discontinuity vs. continuity" as the fundamental issue in viewing reality. (Why? Aren't there countless more?) The scientific material is then presented within this framework. A more objective approach would be to draw the conclusion from the evidence, not build the evidence around a foreordained conclusion. (He clearly sides with the discontinuists.)
Much of the material is fascinating, because the subject itself is. But for every three pages of actual FACTUAL relevance, there are ten more of his own philosophical evaluation of what it all means. Often he seems to be making a "quantum leap" between the material he's covered and the conclusion he's drawn, so the reader can only guess at whether his grand picture of things is palatable. And, since he's the expert, I imagine most readers are more than happy to accept his conclusions.
If you've read the book, you'll recognize a perfect example of what I'm talking about in his treatment of the "paradoxal cubes." His claim that once the two representations of cubes have been "correlated" (how? His illustration is bogus - these are just two-dimensional representations on paper and cannot be joined and disjoined as he suggests) then two unrelated observers will automatically start perceiving them in the same way is outright ludicrous! And if it isn't, he should've explained why this is the case! He didn't! He just created the most fantastic and unlikely scenario, presented it as fact, and used it for his sole analogy to clear up another, very other-worldly point.
I read this book because I really wanted to understand 1) what the tenents of quantum physics were, and 2) what the ramifications were on an experiencial level. I'm no dummy, and I had to read this book twice even to understand what the hell he was talking about. I am still unsatisfied on both points.
Can you explain quantum physics to the guy on the street in 300 pages? Maybe. But to do so, you'd have to use all three hundred pages being lucid and down to earth. Wolf's problem is that he goes over the most difficult portions of the material in just a few pages per chapter, reseving the remainder for his (probably bogus) philosophising. I'm going to have to get another book on the subject. I hope I can find one written by a clearer and less biased author. Frankly, I'm amazed this guy is a prof at UC San Diego. He's exactly like the professors you'd expect to find at UC Santa Cruz.
If you just want to swallow whatever is presented to you and then claim to have an understanding of quantum physics, then this is the book for you. If you want to challenge your mind, dig deep, and truly understand, forget it! There have to be better books for the lay person on the market.