Customer Review

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, but the voice of Stephen Hawking is missing., 3 Jun 2001
This review is from: Music to Move the Stars: A Life with Stephen (Hardcover)
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.
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