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Publisher's Summary

This landmark book is for those of us who prefer words to equations; this is the story of the ultimate quest for knowledge, the ongoing search for the secrets at the heart of time and space. Its author, Stephen W. Hawking, is arguably the greatest mind since Einstein. From the vantage point of the wheelchair, where he has spent the last 20 years trapped by Lou Gehrig's disease, Professor Hawking has transformed our view of the universe. A Brief History of Time is Hawking's classic introduction to today's most important scientific ideas about the cosmos. It is read here by the Emmy Award-winning host of The Michael Jackson Show on KABC-TV.
©1988 Stephen W. Hawking (P)2005 Phoenix Books, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"A masterful summary of what physicists now think the world is made of and how it got that way." (The Wall Street Journal)
"Lively and provocative, Hawking clearly possesses a natural teacher's gift, easy, good-natured humor, and an ability to illustrate highly complex propositions with analogies plucked from daily life." (The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By James on 05-19-04

Easily Digestible Presentation of Complex Topics

Content - This is a "pop physics" classic. Fairly complex topics are covered in an entertaining and clear manner. There is a "leap" in the book in moving from the macro to the micro, but this isn't so much a function of the book, but of the science at this point.
Math isn't really needed, but a scientific mindset helps

Adaptation - as it is unabridged, there is little in the way of adaptation. The "voice" of the book is of a "lecture" type which translates well. There are figures in the printed work that help clarify things, but these are few and only minimally impact the experience

Narration - Solid. It is a fairly emotionally even subject and the reader doesn't attempt to "overdress" the text.
I have heard Hawking lectures read by Hawking and, sadly, the mechanical voice can be stressful to listen to at first (you do get used to it), but a professional human reader is easier

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26 of 26 people found this review helpful

By Austin on 03-16-05

Uncommonly good!

As you already know what this book is about, I will tell you how it affected a student with limited mathematical background and none in physics. Well, it was wonderful- this is one of the only audiobooks for which I must abandon all other sources of distraction. Hawking's descriptions and analogies are spot-on for my taste, and I rarely had to re-listen to any of it to grasp the concepts.
The narration is good too. Jackson, thankfully unique from most stoic-sounding professionals, actually gets caught up in what he is reading! I believe that speaks volumes, as it were, about the book itself. Even (and perhaps especially) if you're not a fan of these topics, take this chance to culture yourself with this mind-expanding prize.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Andrew on 04-17-06

Fascinating and bewildering.

I have read the book, and thoroughly enjoyed it, however the audio version assists understanding of more complicated hypotheses, by providing the listener with a passive and more comfortable viewpoint.

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9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 02-03-16


I thought Hawking was a genius. After this I'm pretty sure that someone will write a book after his death about how he was a fraud with an exceptional grasp of enough physics to silence the few who could see through his fabrications. He could just as well have written a scifi novel as much of this. It's an important work to demote Hawking in your own mind as should be read for that if nothing else.

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2 of 28 people found this review helpful

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