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4.1 out of 5 stars10
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 23 February 2012
I was expecting this book to oversimplify things and make them easier to digest, as both the title and the format suggested. However, the balance between information and readability is perfectly achieved here. There is quite a bit more than fifty ideas inside, despite the title, with literally all major concepts explained in detail, yet never in a bothersome or overly scientific way. On the contrary, the language couldn't have been more down-to-earth, which is a magnificent feat when dealing with astronomy, physics and chemistry. Although perfectly readable by itself, the book requires a fair amount of attention (and imagination!), as you're likely to encounter many of the concepts it presents for the first time, and the pace is unyielding, so don't expect the author to revisit terms that have previously been explained. The chapters are short and concise enough for you to carefully sift through everything, and as the book progresses, you'll realise how much of a favour you've done to yourself by doing that. Above all, don't rush through chapters that explain things you think you already know!

I used to believe that there was a great deal that we didn't know about the universe. By reading this book, I've come to understand that we know many things - it was I who didn't know them. I literally feel as if I comprehend life and the universe on a greater scale now. My biggest conceivable commendation to the author. This needs to be introduced as a bona-fide schoolbook.
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on 12 March 2011
Bought this casually in a discount bookshop and I'm very excited about it. Joanne Baker writes very well and I feel I can trust her information. It's an accessible digest of highly significant scientific revelation!
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VINE VOICEon 2 January 2012
I've recently developed an interest in astrophysics having read a lot of philosophy and I want to know more about the philosophy of religion.Therefore it makes sense that I should at least try to understand scientific explanations for how the universe was created and how it works.I read a few Stephen Hawking books , but found them quite heavy going, so I was pleased to pick up this book in a discount bookstore as it seemed more accessible.Having now read it I am pleased to say that it is indeed accessible and does its best to explain some quite difficult concepts in fairly easy to digest bite sized chunks of information. To fully understand it requires a broader knowledge of astrophysics but hopefully , having read it, I now have a wider general knowledge about the subject ,can follow the debates on the subject more easily and will be able to revisit the Hawking books and make more sense of them.
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on 28 February 2013
Well structured and easy to read. A few errors though, our Sun is white not yellow and light from it takes 8 minutes not seconds to reach earth.
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on 16 May 2012
I have read many so called "popular science books" and this must be one of the poorest. I am referring to the Kindle version. The book is not well thought out with no logical progression between the 50 points. It is endlessly repetitive to the point of annoyance. It reads like someone has copied and pasted sections from inaccurate pages of Wikipedia.

I think it must have been ghost written by a non scientist because there are so many historical and factual errors it is embarrassing.

I give you just two; one from near the beginning and one from near the end. We are told that "objects become infinitely large as the approach the speed of light". Later "light from the Sun takes eight seconds to reach the Earth.

As any other, more robust, science book would state. Mass increases to near infinite size with the onset of near light speed and Sunlight takes approximately eight MINUTES to reach the Earth.

I can only surmise that these errors and others throughout the book meant it wasn't proof read, if read at all by the author. It was written by someone who didn't know a) the basics of relativity b) the speed of light and distance to the Sun. There are many other errors throughout the book.

The book might be fine for a teenager who has a GCSE grade 3 single science but for anyone else it is appalling. I am at a loss why so many other readers have given it 4 or 5 stars? Even for a teenager it would be near useless as the explanations are poor with no analogies used or the ones chosen being inappropriate. It has a style that takes theory as fact and that fact is correct, well because it is (often it isn't stated correctly anyway)!

The editing is non existent hence the endless repetition. It may well be that the author thought the book would be "dipped into" so felt the need to repeat previously made facts and points ad nauseum?

I fear this is merely a pseudo scientist cashing in on her TV fame and getting someone else to write it!
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on 13 October 2012
So, I'm a universe nut, that at least sets the scene. This is a good starter book. I like the easy to read chapters. You can dip in while snacking on custard creams and juice, leave it and return later. Every school kid should be given this. Make science exciting!
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on 20 August 2015
A good read for those interested in the more important things in life. Like many such books, one or two items claimed to be fact are based upon supposition but the author's intent to enlighten is very admirable!
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on 26 February 2013
To me I found this book very interesting and gripping to read, as every time I finished a chapter the topic of the next one always was intriguing so I read allot longer than I was supposed too.
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on 9 October 2013
This is filled with lots of very simple to understand facts about the Universe and is ideal for a person who is interested in such matters.
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on 23 February 2013
this book is good, not quite what i expected....a bit more kid like...but my dad loves it, so all is good
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