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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and understandable
I have heard many people complain that this book is impossible to read, that you'd need be a physicist to understand it. This is true in some sense as the first few chapters will be a lot more enjoyable if you have a basic knowledge of relativity and QM, but frankly you could attain this by watching youtube videos.

The book itself is truly fascinating. As...
Published 13 months ago by chez198

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Black Holes, Singularity and Spaghetti!
I decided to read this book as it came as a bundle together with two other books on relativity. It is a well known work and so I felt I should read it. The first thing to say is that it was first published in 1988 and as we all know, modern science can be a bit erratic when it comes to consistency. What may have been ground breaking nearly thirty years ago may seem like...
Published 9 months ago by Herr Holz Paul


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and understandable, 9 Oct 2013
By 
This review is from: A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes (Paperback)
I have heard many people complain that this book is impossible to read, that you'd need be a physicist to understand it. This is true in some sense as the first few chapters will be a lot more enjoyable if you have a basic knowledge of relativity and QM, but frankly you could attain this by watching youtube videos.

The book itself is truly fascinating. As someone who has read many popular physics books before, I will say the explanations of concepts such as the uncertainty principle and the curvature of spacetime are the easiest to understand that I've ever read. Refreshing. The most interesting chapter is definitely the short but nonetheless intriguing one on string theories near the end - again, a simple explanation of what is an extremely complex idea. In fact, the only parts of this book I struggled at all with were the descriptions of imaginary time and inflationary expansion of the universe.

The only complaint would be that Hawking does venture off occasionally into philosophy, and as someone who loves physics so much, this made some parts a little dull.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for for the layperson of cosmology, 23 Oct 2000
By A Customer
A disagree with another reviewer who insists on seeing mathematical formulae. You have missed the point, mathematics is not required for understanding principles only for proving them. I do not believe this would add anything to the content for the lay reader who it was intended for.
The importance of this book cannot be underestimated in its ability to fundamentally shift the common mans (or womans) perceptions of the world around them. You will rarely feel as close to understanding your god (whom or whatsoever it may be) and his work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally I can understand, 13 Aug 1999
By A Customer
The content is mind bending, the explanations are simple for such complicated issues. I feel that he rambles, and tries too hard to show many sides of the coin at the same time, but without a doubt, the most interesting read I have had for a long time. I would definately recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not by chance a best seller!, 2 Jun 2009
By 
George Spiros (Athens, Greece) - See all my reviews
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Well it combines the profile of a genius with movement disabilities, something enough to draw attention, with being one of the first books to popularize science!

It is a spectacular book, emphasizing on cosmology (the birth of our universe), and it is one of the best introductions to popular science. Though i think that there are other as good or even better popular science books, this still remains a must have on everyones library. It is Stephen Hawkings best book, that established him in the public reader (his others books barely reach the level of this one)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, 15 Oct 2011
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes (Paperback)
I've taken an interest in philosophy lately and reading it has led me inexorably to finding out more about science ,which appears to have usurped the role formerly held by philosophers. All of the big questions are now being answered by theoretical physics and biology and for that reason I purchased Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time". This book tries to explain how the universe works and how it has evolved over time. It investigates the quantum realm as well as exploring the consequences of Einstein's theories upon our understanding of the universe. It is all fascinating stuff, but to be honest I found large chunks of the book very difficult to understand. I only have an average GCE O Level in Physics and to make total sense of this book, I would suggest that an A Level or degree in the subject would be required. That said Hawking does try to present simplified,accessible arguments and I was able to get the gist of a lot of what he was saying. For the interested amateur I would recommend an easier introduction to this subject ,rather than delve into this book and get lost. I intend to do that and then reread this excellent book along with Hawking's latest book "The Grand Design" at a later date.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time and a word, 13 Jan 2014
By 
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes (Paperback)
I recall the stir this book made when it was published in 1988, and had the impression that - owing to its abstruseness - there were many more copies bought than read. I'm not proud to say that, for a brief period, I pretended to be one of those people who had actually read (if not understood) it. Finally reading it now, I was struck by the familiarity of much of the material it discusses: elementary particles and forces, the nature of spacetime, black holes and theories of everything. That the general public have become (somewhat) more familiar with this stuff is, I think, a testimony to the book's popularity, and all the explicatory books and films (e.g. the nice work of Brian Cox) that have followed in its wake over the past thirty-odd years.

As others have previously said, it's written in an easy yet precise style which attempts to convey complicated concepts in cosmology such as the nature of time and the extent of the universe. The author considers the efforts (some of which are his) to connect quantum mechanics to general relativity to produce a unified theory of gravity, and describes his own research on the nature of black holes, including his prediction that quantum effects allow them to emit radiation. The book's not a particularly easy read (especially for those who've remained immune to the charms of science), but the author does his best to engage the general readership. Thus, for example, at one point, he notes that [p82] "a machine that was powerful enough to accelerate particles to the grand unification energy would have to be as big as the Solar System - and would be unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 2 Dec 2009
This book is the perfect start for those with an interest in the universe. Its not too complicated and easy to get your head round. I have learnt more from this book than any physics classes at school and i am 42. I imagined quantum mechanics as impossible to learn but i now understand what protons, neutrons and electrons really are. Give it a go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was impressed at how easy to read this book was, 18 July 2014
By 
N. K. Kingston (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes (Paperback)
I was impressed at how easy to read this book was. The ideas flow naturally together and the metaphors make complex ideas easy to understand (such as how the universe can be finite but have no edge). Hawking's self-deprecating humour comes through well and keeps the tone light.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the mind of God, 26 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Sometimes we are used to study physics like mathematics, like an abstract subject. But what happens when we take our equations, our knowledge of the nature and we put them together, creating a unitarian view of the world around us? We are not just studying an equation, we are studying physics, the Universe's behaviour and, finally, understanding the meaning of it all. And Hawking does make this happen without any unusual/tough matematical formula!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Complicated simplicity., 1 April 2009
By 
stephyj "book bod" (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
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A Brief History of Time

This is a rather complicated book which I feel is best read in a quiet environment......space would be good!

Complicated in parts but Stephen Hawking has attempted to make it an easy read.
I doubt I could describe its contents acurately in this short text, but all you need to know is; this is a most interesting book with a content which will help to explain the wonders of the universe in a Hawking style simplicity.
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A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes
A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes by Stephen Hawking (Paperback - 18 Aug 2011)
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