I just spent two days on a sailing boat with no wind; luckily I downloaded this book. It is the best popular science book I have read and I have read many over the years. As Ben Miller explains early on, this book is about the highlights of science and it is to be enjoyed not learnt. The style reflects his excellent comic sense and timing as he gets to the point quickly and pithily with lots of juicy facts and figures that make you say "you won't believe this but... And "did you know..." to anyone sitting nearby. So read alone if you can...A key aspect of the books appeal is that Miller has not dumbed down the facts and theories to the point that you are not enlightened or indeed do not need to think, its just the way he explains the complexity that opens up subjects that previously were shrouded in mystery.
If you have ever wondered about the origins and potential fate of the universe, earth and man, all wrapped up in quantum physics, stars, nuclear fusion, global warming, E=mc2, human evolution, fossils, how the earth was formed, DNA, victoria sponges, the Maillard reaction, space travel, Gordon Ramsey, and aliens then this is the right book for you.