Friday, March 6, 2015

Review Me Twice - A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

I was actually glad that Alex picked this book.  It was a short book, so I figured I'd get through it pretty quickly, I like stars and space and astronomy, so I figured I would enjoy it, and Stephen Hawking is supposed to be pretty funny, so I thought that would translate into the book.

None of these things happened.  Yes, it was a short book, but it was so dry, that it took me way longer than it should have to finish.  I do like astronomy, but the book was filled with a lot of technical jargon, making it hard to follow.  That's not to say that I didn't learn ANYTHING from the book, I did, but it was really hard to follow SO MUCH of this book, and if you didn't understand what he was talking about, he referenced back to things a lot later in the book.  I often found him referencing things I hadn't understood earlier in the book to explain things later in the book, making me then not understand them because I had grasped the earlier concept.

He also didn't let his supposed humor really show through in this book.  I felt like it was filled with hubris more than anything else.  A Brief History of Time is supposed to be the common man's version of physics, the stupid man's physics if you will, and I had a really hard time grasping some of it, which makes me wonder what the smart version is like.

This is a book that you need to read two or three times to really get a firm grasp of what he's trying to tell you, but it's such a dense book, I'm not sure I could get through it again.

I started off really liking this book. I thought it was pretty funny, in the way British humor (which I love) is funny. Later on, it got a little denser, like Cassy said, but I still enjoyed it. It's not something I would pick up for fun usually, or read over and over, but it was still interesting.

I definitely learned things, but there were also things that went over my head, which I fully expected. It was easy to start, harder to finish, but interesting all around. I'm glad I finally read it (it has been on my "someday" list for a few years). If you like physics/cosmology, but aren't a physicist/cosmologist, I would highly recommend this book.

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