- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 4 hours and 30 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Abridged
- Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 15 Dec. 1999
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0046ZR9J0
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays Audio Download – Abridged
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Top Customer Reviews
The first 3 essays, "Childhood", "Oxford and Cambridge", and "My Experience with ALS" are autobiographical, drawn from talks presented to various Motor Neurone Disease Societies in 1987, with material added in 1991. Much of this (particularly "My Experience with ALS") should be familiar to anyone who watched Errol Morris' A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME or read the transcript (STEPHEN HAWKING'S A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME: A READER'S COMPANION, edited by Gene Stone). To me, this material is most interesting taken together with the film and with Jane Hawking's MUSIC TO MOVE THE STARS. For example, the filmmakers followed up the professor's childhood friends who once bet a bag of sweets on whether he'd ever amount to anything, while Jane Hawking in her book discussed her theory that the professor (like their sons) is probably dyslexic, explaining why he learnt to read relatively late.
"Public Attitudes Toward Science" (October 1989) isn't a history of science, but instead (after pointing out the drawbacks - and impossibility - of putting the clock back to a 'simpler' age) a talk about the need for basic scientific literacy for the general public to be able to make informed decisions. Hawking is careful to make clear that understanding the concepts, not the math, is fundamental.Read more ›
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This is every bit as good as A Brief History of Time. Hawking once again delivers, giving us those trademark chilled out narratives which put across his view of the Cosmos is an endearing, easy-to-understand way. Hawking writes in a language which is very entertaining and readable, rather than putting across topics in a haughty, full-of-himself way, like some theoretical physicists do. And in many ways, Hawking goes into much more depth about it all in this book. The subjects discussed in A Brief History are all really elaborated on in this book, which makes this book every bit as fascinating as that one, and perhaps even more so in places. Mind, I would recommend reading A Brief History as well, as a bit of a supplement, so that you can really get a thorough bedrock of understanding.
In common with A Brief History, the best aspect of this book is arguably the chapter on black holes. This section makes for thoroughly interesting, enlightening reading. Mind, there is one aspect of it that I don't like: the chapters on Stephen Hawking as a person. They are rather boring, and completely unnecessary. And I REALLY don't like that Desert Island Disks interview script at the end of the book. That REALLY was a step too far.
This is a true gem of easy-to-understand theoretical physics, which despite having some out-of-context, rather boring chapters, is exquisitely written and thoroughly engrossing.
The whole `feel' of Hawking's discourses reminds me of the stories I have read about Einstein at work - placid, orderly and without excitement (or should I say `perturbation'?). Genius of this kind seems to be a kind of glorified knack - such minds just operate naturally with concepts of this kind, and there is no sense of effort or struggle. Sandwiched between some biographical material and a radio interview, the main material in this book is a collection of essays and lectures. They include Hawking's inaugural lecture at Cambridge where he occupies the chair of mathematics once held by Newton, and all are intended in the first place for an audience of his peers. On the other hand, where Newton and Einstein did not try to address the general public, Hawking, like Russell, seeks to do just that, and he does it superbly. The style of writing is both literate and unpretentious, and the occasional jokes are very good. Readers who, like myself, are intensely interested in the subject-matter but entirely lacking in natural aptitude for it, ought to find this book enormously helpful. There is a certain amount of repetition inevitably, but the more of that the better so far as I'm concerned. Any amateur trying to get a handle on mathematical concepts like these has to get into a mathematician's way of thinking as best he can and stop thinking as a layman.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A book not to be put down until the end. Captivating and educational, however, easy for any one to grasp the theory. What am out standing account of the Universe.Published 11 days ago by Sherrel
This book is a pretty quick read that touches on some deep subjects – from the way that the universe works to Hawking’s own struggle with ALS, what we have here is a selection of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by SocialBookshelves.com
Another great read.if you have an interest in these subjects,you wont be disappointed.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
In this book Hawking talks about his life and about his major areas of interest in his researches.
The book is a collection of updated essays and speeches concerning the... Read more
very good and interesting to read
it has very good insight things of space which I found very absorbing certainly good for people like me not very mathematical
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