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The Universe in a Nutshell Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Unabridged

4.1 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks (5 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856866661
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856866668
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3.5 x 13.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,354,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

The Universe in a Nutshell attempts to address the relative difficulty of Hawking's first foray into popular science, A Brief History of Time. While this sold in its millions, few readers got past the first few chapters. Helpfully, this new work is full of beautifully prepared colour illustrations and decorations, and has a "tree-like" structure, so that readers can skip from chapter to chapter without losing the thread.

In 200 highly illustrated pages, Hawking is pushing the frontiers of popular physics beyond relativity and quantum theory, past superstring theory and imaginary time, into a dizzying new world of M-theory and branes. It's a colossal venture--one Hawking is uniquely qualified to undertake--but it is crammed into far too small a space. When you consider the other rather good tomes being written on the nature of consciousness these days, the decision to limit The Universe in a Nutshell to the dictates of publishing rather than to the natural parameters of the material is an unfortunate one.

Worse, Hawking tries to paper over the complexity of his field. He rushes over the very concepts he should be helping us understand, only to belabour simple ideas, often by means of flip Star Trek metaphors. Also unfortunately, the illustrations--by turns trivial and opaque--mirror the faults of the text. The author's name alone will guarantee sales, but the book we long for--the long, ruminative, poetic celebration of Hawking's world--seems as far away as ever. --Simon Ings --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'One of the most brilliant scientific minds since Einstein' -- Daily Express

'One of the most brilliant scientific minds since Einstein’ -- Daily Express

'The publishing sensation of the last decade' -- The Spectator

Hawking clearly possesses a natural teacher’s gifts – easy, good-natured humor and an ability to illustrate highly complex propositions -- The New York Times

One of the most brilliant scientific minds since Einstein’ -- The Daily Express

‘The publishing sensation of the last decade’ ‘ -- The Spectator

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a massive John Irving fan so am completely biased. This book was as great on my kindle as I remember it as a book. His stories always have so much going on and I love the leaps backward and forward in the story line.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read Son of the Circus, I had trouble putting down, I thought I would give The Fourth Hand a try.
Not quite as unput down able as Son of the Circus but stoll a good read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
genius !
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a John Irving novel, this book is an 'easy read' and more lightweight than previous novels. It has traditional Irving trademarks - eccentricity, twists in the plot, coincidences (for example, the 'left hand' fertility symbol), loss and grief. There are some recurring themes, e.g. a Father's love for his son, but it is still refreshingly original - with the loss, gain and loss of a 'hand' being the central story. Patrick Wallingford isn't immediately likeable, but this is his story, and you grow to like him more throughout the book, and begin to hope that he finds his way, developing into more than the somewhat shallow, good-looking 'lion guy'. This novel will not give you the same gut-wrenching feeling as Owen Meany or Garp, but it is so, so much better than other books around. Well worth reading more than once.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy read
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
as described
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
good
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Format: Hardcover
in this colourful book.
Hawking attempts to correct his heavily linguistic approach of 'a brief history' in a well thought-out attempt at presenting a more coherent image of our universe and our current level of understanding of it. In order to achieve this Hawking quickly guides the reader through some of the complex theories using careful and well-thought out language and cartoons and graphics that support the text along with reasonable summaries of the main findings. He is also keen to point out and highlight the relevance of each area in our overall understanding of the universe.
Many of these concepts are however, despite Hawkins best intentions difficult and abstract being very different from the normal classical experience of humans living in the macroscopic world. Quantum theory, P-Branes, Spin Theory, Sum of Histories, string theory are all dealt with here. Hawking avoids the use of Mathematics in explaining these concepts but it is still inevitable that some of the theories and concepts are not suited to this light approach - often complicated points that require more background comprehension in the subject remain difficult to comprehend. Occasionally one is left puzzled by abstract sections that are not well supported in the rest of the book.
However not delving too much into any one branch or area -does have its advantages; conscieness keeps the various branches connected and allow Hawkings overall image of the universe to form in the readers consciousness. This together with Hawkins frequent good humour also appear to capture the most important aspects of each area. If one can subdue the frustration of not fully comprehending some sections and trust to Hawkings guidance, one is carefully guided to a current cosmological understanding of the universe.
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