"A Brief History Of Time"

A Brief History Of Time by Stephen Hawking

I have an interest in theoretical physics, but it's a regular person's interest. I like reading about black holes and event horizons and I like science fiction shows that play around with those concepts. I was well aware that Stephen Hawking is far out of my league, but I had read that he wrote this for non-scientists and such so I thought I'd give it a shot.

I had some specific things in mind before I started. I wanted a better understanding of black holes, Einstein's theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. And I wanted to know what the heck quarks are. I came away from the book satisfied that I'd gotten what I came for but wishing I'd been able to understand more of it. I got lost in his explanations a number of times and had to keep referring back to what I'd learned in previous chapters.

The writing itself wasn't difficult to read, it was the subject matter than got a bit beyond me. He writes clearly and in a reader-friendly style. He makes a few personal references that make the book even more interesting; his life is as fascinating to me as the science he writes about. He has lived with enormous physical challenges but hasn't let them limit him in his chosen work. The man is an inspiration.

I've just read a review of Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" at deadwhiteguyslit that sounds like it tackles the same topics. I'm hoping it might be a little bit easier to read, but that's not a deal breaker and I realize that the subject may too complicated to be written about simply. I hope to get a copy and read it before what I got from this one evaporates in my brain cells.

I do recommend this book for anyone interested in the topic. It took effort to read, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of mental exercise, and in the end I liked it a lot. If you read it I'd like to hear what you think so do come back and comment. 


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