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Customer reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

VINE VOICETOP 100 REVIEWERon 29 April 2012
This book is not "A Brief History of Time" or any kind of sequel: it's something different. It's a "companion" (a kind of marketing spin-off) to the TV feature-documentary of Hawking's life, work and struggle against ALS. The book contains contributions from family, friends and professional colleagues filling out details the great man's bio and the evolution of his ideas, together with photos of said folks and of Hawking's life from childhood to the date of publication. It is not a serious book about astrophysics, though short vignettes summarising the various theories discussed in ABHOT are included throughout the book in italicised print, to distinguish them from the main text and to illustrate how Hawking developed his views over the years up to the date of the film documentary. Hawking himself says in the introduction that it's "The book of the film of the book."

As such, it's hard to recommend unless you're interested in having a celebrity-bio type book of Stephen Hawking's life-story which introduces some of the more esoteric concepts in astrophysics such as singularities and quantum theory in a more episodic and "Reader's Digest" format.

The first hardcover printing was an enormous run of 250,000, and you can pick one up for almost nothing - though you'd be better off reading the original text of ABHOT, especially the illustrated edition, or some of Hawking's more recent works like "The Universe in a Nutshell" or "The Grand Design".
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