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Stephen Hawking, science's first real rock star, may be the least-read bestselling author in history--it's no secret that many people who ownA Brief History of Timehave never finished it. Hawking'sThe Universe in a Nutshellaims to remedy the situation, with a plethora of friendly illustrations to help readers grok some of the most brain-bending ideas ever conceived.

Does it succeed? Yes and no. While Hawking offers genuinely accessible context for such complexities as string theory and the nature of time, it's when he must translate equations to sentences that the limits of language get in the way. But Hawking has simplified the origin of the universe, the nature of space and time, and what holds it all together to an unprecedented degree, inviting nonscientists to share his obvious awe and love of the unseen forces that shape it all.

Yes, it's difficult reading, but it's worth it. Hawking is one of the great geniuses of our time, a man whose life has been devoted to thinking in the abstract about the universe. With his help, and pictures--lots of pictures--we can seek to understand a bit more of the cosmos. --Therese Littleton

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ISBN-10:  055380202X
ISBN-13:  978-0553802023
Author:  Stephen William Hawking
Genre:  Science
Publisher:  Bantam
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review by . July 19, 2003
Stephen Hawking is truly an amazing person, one of the most talented physicists of all time and also a very good expository writer. This, his second book written for the general reader, is just as good as his first, "A Brief History of Time." What I found better about this book is that he ventures farther into the leading edge of physics speculation, all the while still holding firm to the current reality of physics.    He starts with a brief explanation of relativity, quantum mechanics …
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