6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2000
This book is a real masterpiece both for the manner it is written and for the content. It gives a profound and touching description of the life of a well-known family. The book, contrary to rumours, is a very balanced one with no gossip whatsoever. As a man and as a Physicist I learned a lot from this book.
12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2001
Jane Hawking apparently gave up everything to marry Stephen, who was already afflicted with, but not yet massively disabled by, motor neurone disease. This very large and extraordinarily detailed account of her 25 years with Stephen is most remarkable for the purpleness of its prose. Jane seems to have written with early nineteenth century speech patterns in mind, and a large thesaurus at her elbow. What it markedly lacks, however, is the voice of Stephen himself. In this account, he appears as an increasingly despotic, single-minded and uncaring man, content to allow Jane to struggle physically and emotionally with his illness. Illuminating for those of us who knew only that he had left his wife for one of his nurses, however, is the carefully-drawn picture of Jane's infidelity for some years prior to the break-up of the marriage. Jonathan Jones is presented as a living saint, happy to give large amounts of his time to support the Hawkings for (Jane would have us believe) no more than the opportunity to be near to Jane. That she gives no thought whatsoever to how Jones' constant presence in Stephen's house might make the severely disabled man feel (and, indeed, how he might feel about Jane regularly taking Jones on holiday with her and the Hawkings' youngest son)is remarkable in itself.
A very interesting read, but it tells us much more about Jane Hawking's inability to empathise with others than it tells us about the cleverest man in the world.
4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2013
Sadly I read the 600 pages (YES! SIX HUNDRED!!!!!) of Jane Hawking’s “Music to Move the Stars, A Life with Stephen.”
When you are interested on Stephen Hawking’s biography, read his own, new book “My Brief History, A Memoir.” There, on 90 pages (yes! NIGHTY), you’ll find short and very interesting story of his life and additionally to it you may learn something about time travels and imaginary time! A great book!
On the other hand, you may waste your time with this monstrous volume written by Stephen’s first wife. There you’ll find an elongated story of Jane Hawking’s self-love, anxieties, and insecurities. She is writing mostly about herself, her children (mostly Tim), and her boyfriend of 13 years, now husband, Jonathan. Yes, by the way, there was also somebody else… … … oh yes, friends and parents, further family and others. She is writing about those many, many pages. So around 90 % of the entire book.
And what does it mean the subtitle “A life with Stephen?” Forced by the subtitle, there was a need to mention Stephen Hawking, the one of the greatest scientists alive. She never understood him and so she is writing about him.
Waste of time. Do not read it.
Jane Hawkins has also written an abridged version of this book, “Travelling to Infinity.” No need to read it either, this is more or less the same book minus 100 pages.