Summary

Stephen Hawking's worldwide best seller, A Brief History of Time, has been a landmark volume in scientific writing. Its author's engaging voice is one reason, and the compelling subjects he addresses is another: the nature of space and time, the role of God in creation, the history and future of the universe. But it is also true that in the years since its publication, readers have repeatedly told Professor Hawking of their great difficulty in understanding some of the book's most important concepts. This is the origin of and the reason for A Briefer History of Time: its author's wish to make its content more accessible to readers, as well as to bring it up-to-date with the latest scientific observations and findings.
Although this book is literally somewhat "briefer", it actually expands on the great subjects of the original. Purely technical concepts, such as the mathematics of chaotic boundary conditions, are gone. Conversely, subjects of wide interest that were difficult to follow because they were interspersed throughout the book have now been given entire chapters of their own, including relativity, curved space, and quantum theory.
This reorganization has allowed the authors to expand areas of special interest and recent progress, from the latest developments in string theory to exciting developments in the search for a complete unified theory of all the forces of physics. Like prior editions of the book, but even more so, A Briefer History of Time will guide nonscientists everywhere in the ongoing search for the tantalizing secrets at the heart of time and space.
©2005 Stephen Hawking (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"Readers will come away with an excellent understanding of the apparent contradictions and conundrums at the forefront of contemporary physics....Throughout these discussions, the authors maintain the same wry, lively tone that made the original Brief History such a delight." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Balor of the Evil Eye on 17-07-13

An accessible introduction to complicated ideas

This is a really good summary of some of the more complicated laws, theories and events we use currently to help us understand our universe. Thankfully there is little included that would require the listener to have a solid background in the physical sciences, and the analogies provided in the text assist competently in illuminating the theories that Hawking presents. From the elements to relativity or the age of the universe, or from Newton to Einstein and the more earthy events that influenced the great thinkers of the modern age, this publication really is great place to learn some of the basics about our anything but basic universe.

Good narrator, easy to listen to.

I'd be happy to recommend - I'm definitely going to listen to it again.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By David Parks on 08-07-08

Stick with the original: A brief history of time

I mistakenly purchased, and listened to this book when I meant to get the original "A brief history of Time" by Hawkins.

So now I have listened to both. In my opinion the original is a more rich and detailed book. Of course, that's the point of this book, to consolidate that one.

But I ask why? The original wasn't beyond most readers ability to understand, and if it was, they probably weren't the type of people reading it.

So my advice: Stick with the original.

Perhaps if you want you bright 6 year old to read such a book, this one would be a better option.

The irony: The beginning of the original (more detailed, and complex version) starts with a sound bite from "Audible Kids", this one does not - that seems backwards. Or perhaps I am just living time backwards - as Hawkins explains - our current theories of physics can't conclusively prove that this isn't the case. :)

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28 of 30 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Kevin on 04-07-06

Refreshingly understandable

I am currently listening to this audio and I have to say after having tried to decipher several books covering the same or like subjects I think that Mr. Hawking and his partner have finally given me something I can use. After listening to this I can say that I have a greater understanding of these principles and am not frustrated by their complexity. Things are more understandable when plain English and clear examples are used to describe various phenomena without overly complex language and mathematics being used to complicate things. A good book and a solid read if you are looking for an intro to the topic.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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