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My Brief History Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (12 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846573874
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846573873
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 1.1 x 12.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Hawking is Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time which was an international bestseller. His other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universe and The Universe in a Nutshell.

In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. Since 1979 he has held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Professor Hawking has over a dozen honorary degrees and was awarded the CBE in 1982. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Science. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.

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Review

"Stephen Hawking [has] a brain of enviable vastness, seeing and understanding things that lie way beyond most of us... His modesty is engaging" (Daily Mail)

"Hawking writes movingly... we hear his voice radiating directly from the black hole of his motor neuron disease, without the amplification and elaboration supplied by the co-authors with whom he wrote his last few books" (Financial Times)

"A concise, gleaming portrait" (Nature)

"Powerful... [his] brevity makes for a bold picture" (Guardian)

"Read it for the personal nuggets... But above all, it's worth reading for its message of hope" (Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

The extraordinary personal autobiography of the world's most famous scientist, written solely and exclusively by Stephen Hawking.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By George Stevenson on 18 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover
My Brief History
The tone of this book is immediately obvious from its title. We have had and admired 'A Brief History of Time': and here is a 'Brief History' of the life of the author. Excellently written, as one would expect, interesting, candid and upbeat it tells of triumphs and struggles which few of us experience or are likely to be subject to. A great read, and highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Koopa90 on 27 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, well, well!
What can I say. Mr. Hawking truly is a remarkable man.
And while I'm not overly educated and got lost mid way when he went into detail of particles, black holes and the universe, I did, from page 1 right to the end, enjoy this read.

It's truly amazing how much of his life is covered in this relatively short book.
From birth, to a childhood of playing with toy trains, moving on and up through the educational system like a rocket.
University life not only as a boy genius but a party boy. Sure didn't expect THAT when I read it. And then ofcourse the unfortunate decline in health and abilities outside of his amazing mind, as his body refused to work correctly for him gradually over the years.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - Just trying to say it is hard enough, without having to live with it.
But LIVE he did and still does. Married twice. Children. And to this day still teaching at the University of Cambridge. Wow.
I simply cannot express just how much I respect this man and how much I loved reading about his life.

** 5 STARS **
Out of this World great read.

Recommended?
YES. And don't worry, its not a hard read if like me you don't know advanced Physics or how he universe really works.
He does talk about it for a about 30 pages and I found myself skim reading that section. That aside, all round great book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maev B. Gallagher Kelly on 3 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stephen Hawking deserves praise & admiration for coming to terms with a dreadful affliction. He shows no self-pity & he continued with all his mathematical research & teaching against all odds. He has seen two marriages crumble. Keeping a marriage going
is difficult enough even under the most ideal circumstances. Unfortunately, his irreversible condition would have put a huge strain on both wives & the first one suffered from depression - - quite understandably. He has taken those blows with a philosophical approach & gets on with life as best he can.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By sussex girl on 27 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised how much I have enjoyed reading Hawking. Interesting and understandable,I thought the tone would be overly academic but it is actually very down to earth and engaging. It is a pick up and put down sort of book, you don't have to read great chunks to maintain the flow. Definitely worth giving it a go.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The physicist has written a simple, short memoir. He grew up in London just after the Second World War ended, having been born in Oxford; the book is illustrated with charming photos of Hawking and his sisters, of blitzed London, of the Oxford rowing team. Hawking's father had grown up poor and got scholarships to train as a doctor, so it was inevitable that his son should be sent the same route. Like many very bright kids he was not an exceptional student at school. While one of his sisters did become a doctor, he concentrated on physics, chemistry and maths. In 1959 he gained a scholarship to Oxford, aged seventeen.

Having graduated Hawking went to Cambridge to become a physics researcher. Cosmology and general relativity had not progressed since the 1930s. Hoyle, Feynman and Sciama were the top people in the field at the time, but Britain was losing researchers in a brain drain to America, where nuclear physics was the trendy field. The student was getting increasingly clumsy, falling on stairs. A doctor just assumed that he was overdoing the beer. After a fall while skating his mother got him to hospital, where a progressive disease was diagnosed. Hawking was only twenty-one and he says that while he was depressed he did not drink heavily as has been reported. He enjoyed working hard for once, hampered by becoming less able to type or write, and was lucky enough to find and marry a student called Jane Wilde in 1965.

Concentrating on cosmology meant the starting point of the universe, black holes and the like were awaiting mathematical proof by the research student, who had ample material for his PhD. From 1970 he was using a basic wheelchair; his wife coped with their three children.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rabbit Moon on 12 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Starts off well - nice, brief passages describing his richly eventful childhood. Its a different time indeed where someone of poor parentage still gets to spend years abroad at a time, have a large house in London, get into Oxford, and never seem to worry about money.

His fast, efficient progression into academia swiftly turns into some ridiculously complex prose - terms, theories and jargon are relentlessly thrown out as if its a private conversation with someone of equal knowledge for such things. I couldn't help but wonder if there was some slight agenda going on here, to purposefully lose the audience and (unnecessarily) prove some intellectual superiority. I tried my best with A Brief History of Time and there were only certain bits I couldn't get my head round. I couldn't understand MOST of what he was writing about here, which was especially undermining and frustrating as it followed something that read like a school essay.

Why is this book annoying? Because it completely avoids the human element - there's no real mention or discussion of struggle, personal challenge, changes of mind, heart or motivation, friendships, love, personal humanistic realisations about mankind or man's relationship to the earth and technology. An autobiography would have been the ideal opportunity to learn about his thoughts and reflections, but instead it just becomes another scientific jargon-purge.

This shift in tone, as well as absence of humanity is so overt and remarkable, that I was left feeling that he might have dissociated a large part of his emotional world. Maybe because of unresolved grief or trauma, maybe a resistance to the press snooping over the years, who knows.
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