web site hit counter Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics

Availability: Ready to download

An intimate and inspirational exploration of Stephen Hawking--the man, the friend, and the physicist. A BEST SCIENCE BOOK OF 2020 (The Telegraph, The Guardian) A BEST BOOK OF 2020 (New Statesmen) One of the most influential physicists of our time, Stephen Hawking touched the lives of millions. Recalling his nearly two decades as Hawking's collaborator and friends, Leon An intimate and inspirational exploration of Stephen Hawking--the man, the friend, and the physicist. A BEST SCIENCE BOOK OF 2020 (The Telegraph, The Guardian) A BEST BOOK OF 2020 (New Statesmen) One of the most influential physicists of our time, Stephen Hawking touched the lives of millions. Recalling his nearly two decades as Hawking's collaborator and friends, Leonard Mlodinow brings this complex man into focus in a unique and deeply personal portrayal. We meet Hawking the genius, who pours his mind into uncovering the mysteries of the universe--ultimately formulating a pathbreaking theory of black holes that reignites the discipline of cosmology and paves the way for physicists to investigate the origins of the universe in completely new ways. We meet Hawking the colleague, a man whose illness leaves him able to communicate at only six words per minute but who expends the effort to punctuate his conversations with humor. And we meet Hawking the friend, who can convey volumes with a frown, a smile, or simply a raised eyebrow. Mlodinow puts us in the room as Hawking indulges his passion for wine and curry; shares his feelings on love, death, and disability; and grapples with deep questions of philosophy and physics. Whether depicting Hawking's devotion to his work or demonstrating how he would make spur of the moment choices, such as punting on the River Cam (despite the risk the jaunt posed), or spinning tales of Hawking defiantly urinating in the hedges outside a restaurant that doesn't have a wheelchair accessible toilet, Mlodinow captures his indomitable spirit. This deeply affecting account of a friendship teaches us not just about the nature and practice of physics but also about life and the human capacity to overcome daunting obstacles.


Compare

An intimate and inspirational exploration of Stephen Hawking--the man, the friend, and the physicist. A BEST SCIENCE BOOK OF 2020 (The Telegraph, The Guardian) A BEST BOOK OF 2020 (New Statesmen) One of the most influential physicists of our time, Stephen Hawking touched the lives of millions. Recalling his nearly two decades as Hawking's collaborator and friends, Leon An intimate and inspirational exploration of Stephen Hawking--the man, the friend, and the physicist. A BEST SCIENCE BOOK OF 2020 (The Telegraph, The Guardian) A BEST BOOK OF 2020 (New Statesmen) One of the most influential physicists of our time, Stephen Hawking touched the lives of millions. Recalling his nearly two decades as Hawking's collaborator and friends, Leonard Mlodinow brings this complex man into focus in a unique and deeply personal portrayal. We meet Hawking the genius, who pours his mind into uncovering the mysteries of the universe--ultimately formulating a pathbreaking theory of black holes that reignites the discipline of cosmology and paves the way for physicists to investigate the origins of the universe in completely new ways. We meet Hawking the colleague, a man whose illness leaves him able to communicate at only six words per minute but who expends the effort to punctuate his conversations with humor. And we meet Hawking the friend, who can convey volumes with a frown, a smile, or simply a raised eyebrow. Mlodinow puts us in the room as Hawking indulges his passion for wine and curry; shares his feelings on love, death, and disability; and grapples with deep questions of philosophy and physics. Whether depicting Hawking's devotion to his work or demonstrating how he would make spur of the moment choices, such as punting on the River Cam (despite the risk the jaunt posed), or spinning tales of Hawking defiantly urinating in the hedges outside a restaurant that doesn't have a wheelchair accessible toilet, Mlodinow captures his indomitable spirit. This deeply affecting account of a friendship teaches us not just about the nature and practice of physics but also about life and the human capacity to overcome daunting obstacles.

30 review for Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    I have always wondered how Stephen Hawking had coped with his condition. This book answers this question somehow: he had an immense ego and his desire to live matched that ego; without them, he would not have lasted this long. But I'm not sure if this portrayal of him as the man behind the genius makes him more esteemed; on the contrary. For all the money in the world I would not have chosen to spend even a minute nursing him. I've had my share of caring and I must say, no matter how much you lov I have always wondered how Stephen Hawking had coped with his condition. This book answers this question somehow: he had an immense ego and his desire to live matched that ego; without them, he would not have lasted this long. But I'm not sure if this portrayal of him as the man behind the genius makes him more esteemed; on the contrary. For all the money in the world I would not have chosen to spend even a minute nursing him. I've had my share of caring and I must say, no matter how much you love them, it gets to you. To do it for a stranger, I believe is even worse. If that makes me callous, so be it; it's just that when you have an idea what's it like, you'll never want such an experience ever again. Anyway, Mlodinow' story is an honest account of his time spent with Hawking. He shares a lot of his thoughts, frustrations and some good moments too. However, I could have lived without some details such as when SH needed to relieve himself or how he drooled. These are normal for a man in his condition, but by no means should they be brought out. There is also the story of how the two worked together on The Grand Design and he admits it was a tough experience. It's hard enough to work with a man with so many disabilities, but it's even harder when he is also stuborn and have no respect toward deadlines or agreements. He had some good parts, of course: he cared for all those around him and a statement of his really moved me. When being asked "which, of his many discoveries, accomplishments, creations, had been his favorite", his answer was: "My children." The book itself is a mix between these glimpses in Hawking's life, a bit of gossip too, his trajectory on how he became famous, how A Brief History of Time made it possible to have such a big staff of carers around the clock and of course, the author's personal opinions and how, despite all the barriers in communication, the two became good friends. As for my experience with it, I think it would have been better not to read it, because it left me with a bitter taste: on one hand I felt so sorry for him (although, accordingly to the author, he never did) and on the other, no one should profit from their condition to make others misserable, especially when those are your wives, carers and friends. All this do not diminish his achievments as a scientists, but it lowers the respect a bit. >>> ARC received thanks to  Penguin Press UK – Allen Lane, Particular, Pelican, Penguin Classics  via NetGalley <<<

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Wineberg

    Leonard Mlodinow was "selected" by Stephen Hawking as someone he'd like to collaborate with. How one collaborates with a cosmology genius trapped in a useless body - and write two books together - is the central thread of these memoirs of those times. The result is simply titled Stephen Hawking. The book is a careful braiding of three streams: the memoirs of those times, snippets of Hawking's life story (outside Leonard Mlodinow) and explanations of physics, cosmology, quantum theories, black hol Leonard Mlodinow was "selected" by Stephen Hawking as someone he'd like to collaborate with. How one collaborates with a cosmology genius trapped in a useless body - and write two books together - is the central thread of these memoirs of those times. The result is simply titled Stephen Hawking. The book is a careful braiding of three streams: the memoirs of those times, snippets of Hawking's life story (outside Leonard Mlodinow) and explanations of physics, cosmology, quantum theories, black holes and the other issues where Hawking dominated. This makes for a constantly varied read, in which Mlodinow starts a story and finishes it 10 pages later because the other strands of the braid get their turn in between. Hawking had a staff of nine. There was a gatekeeper, an IT person and carers, round the clock: "Stephen’s carers had to watch him closely. Whenever he awakened, they’d try to figure out if he needed something. A dozen times each night he’d ask, with his eyes, to be turned and for his pillows repositioned. He couldn’t shift his weight from time to time as healthy people do, so he’d get uncomfortable. His bones hurt. In addition, his carers would have to listen to make sure his stoma was clear so he could breathe. And every couple of hours, as he slept, they gathered his vitamins, mixed them with liquid, and fed them directly into his stomach through the peg." “What you do for a newborn baby you did for Stephen. All of us,” said his carer Viv. “When I came off shift and he was still alive, I felt I’d done a good shift. Because he was alive. Because I’d kept him alive.” Without his round-the-clock care, Stephen once said, “I would last exactly five days and die.” He was so weak that carers had to place his head at just that peculiar angle or it woud fall over. When his glasses shifted, an alarm would sound because without them he could not type and speak. He lived this way for decades, and still topped the charts in radical propositions, and worldwide fame. Hawking communicated two ways: he could smile or grimace, or he could type with his cheeks. His glasses had sensors that detected flexing in his cheeks. He could pick out letters, words or phrases from lists on the computer screen. When he lost control of his last finger, he was still capable of producing six words per minute. As he aged, that declined, to two. Working out mathematical equations was therefore out. Instead, he invented a way of analyzing problems using mental geometry. His prodigious memory allowed no detail to escape, as Mlodinow found out working in the fourth year of a year and a half book project. Maddeningly, he says, Hawking would be right, even if it made no difference to the book they were writing. He could remember passages and illustrations with great accuracy. Hawking said he would not have been the same physicist if not for his illness. Given his near complete physical limitations, he was forced to focus. He was totally obsessed, checking for new papers and journals daily, always pondering the many physics problems he posed for himself. He traveled with an entourage, requiring multiple rooms and special accommodation for his many and constant needs. He therefore had money problems. He managed to live off grant money until his book A Brief History of Time went big time, but the money went out more quickly as he aged. In his case, it really was publish of perish. Which is is where Leonard Mlodinow came in. Working with a writer capable of six words per minute takes a special kind of person. Arguing with a man who cannot speak, who is constantly interrupted by carers and people dropping by all made Mlodinow's challenge near exhausting. Privacy, concentration and hard work were all but impossible when they were together. He took to smoking and drinking, as most of the carers did. Hawking did that to everyone, including two wives, and nearly a third. Hawking was king of own little world. He ignored deadlines, made unilateral decisions, and dismissed people at his whim. This is about all that remained of his pre-illness state, when he was a reckless driver, a bad coxswain, and a generally wild child among Cambridge students. There was no hesitancy about taking chances. The young Hawking took them. Locked in his cage of a life, he focused on physics. The humanity of Hawking was almost startling. He thrived on interruptions, because they were human contact. He loved to travel and meet physicists, present papers and theories publicly, and dine out. He had a soap opera of a staff, with a hodgepodge of personal problems and attitudes that kept him engaged. At no point was he bitter or self-pitying, although his wives might point out he was selfish, self-centered and inconsiderate of them. His situation was beyond medicine's means, and he made the absolute best of it, shrugging off down times and setbacks. What temper he had he saved for arguing with other physicists. He was also the poster boy for science. Hawking would proclaim new theories with absolute certainty, then walk them back when they proved faulty or just plain wrong. That process is what science is all about, and everyone is wrong most of the time. It comes with the territory, though many stubbornly persist against all evidence to the contrary. Hawking was pleased to accept and move on. It meant progress - a definitive solution to an uncertainty. It was all good. As Mlodinow puts it: "Reconciling contradictory theories and ideas was one of his great strengths. It came as naturally to him ... He was a man both dead and alive, both powerful and powerless, both daring and careful. With Stephen, contradiction was not just a philosophy of life, it was a way of life." A most unusual life, well lived. David Wineberg

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Williams

    Some reviewers complained that the details about Hawking's physical condition were TMI. But that sort of candidness is precisely what I hope for in biographies. The point is not to gawk or merely to satisfy curiosity. Glimpsing the parts of others' lives that are normally hidden allows us to gain a better sense of where our own experiences lie within the space of all possibilities, and - hopefully - to find new strategies or inspiration for dealing with our own problems. Hawking's life should be Some reviewers complained that the details about Hawking's physical condition were TMI. But that sort of candidness is precisely what I hope for in biographies. The point is not to gawk or merely to satisfy curiosity. Glimpsing the parts of others' lives that are normally hidden allows us to gain a better sense of where our own experiences lie within the space of all possibilities, and - hopefully - to find new strategies or inspiration for dealing with our own problems. Hawking's life should be inspiring. What he suffered is close to my idea of the worst thing that could happen to someone. Not only did he endure it, he saw positives in it (saying that his physics research was helped by his condition making him more focused), and apparently continued to approach life with enthusiasm and determination. I must admit that I find such strength mystifying. I feel that, in his position, I would have despaired.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wendelle

    not maudlin or banal or insipid or obsequious; neither an attempt to enshrine Hawking as a flawless saint or to fleece Hawking fans in the wake of his passing. Rather, readers get new information and insight into Hawking's character-- on one hand, kind and brilliant and strong and with abundant dose of prankster humor; perhaps on the other hand, willful and impatient with undesired guests. This just seemed like an honest account of Mlodinow's experiences and impressions of his writing collaborat not maudlin or banal or insipid or obsequious; neither an attempt to enshrine Hawking as a flawless saint or to fleece Hawking fans in the wake of his passing. Rather, readers get new information and insight into Hawking's character-- on one hand, kind and brilliant and strong and with abundant dose of prankster humor; perhaps on the other hand, willful and impatient with undesired guests. This just seemed like an honest account of Mlodinow's experiences and impressions of his writing collaborations with Hawking, in good and bad. He provides unfettered record of his impression of Hawking's disabilities, relationships, behavior..

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    This was such an amazing tribute to a man that made such an impact in the study of physics. Since this was written by a friend, there was a lot of information the public didn’t know. The perfectionism in getting every minute detail just right by Mr. Hawking is a characteristic many of us can adapt. I learned so much about this man that I hadn’t read before. I highly recommend this one!

  6. 5 out of 5

    toria (vikz writes)

    This book is the story of a friendship. It is the story of the creation of a book. It is a story of a great man. It is a story of a troubled man. It is the story of a disabled man. Mlodinow worked with Hawkins on his major works. This book explores the relationship between Hawkins and his; work, family, friends, his disability and his own identity. In addition, it places Hawkins, and his work, in wider historical perspective. This book has been written by a friend and it shows. It is broadly sym This book is the story of a friendship. It is the story of the creation of a book. It is a story of a great man. It is a story of a troubled man. It is the story of a disabled man. Mlodinow worked with Hawkins on his major works. This book explores the relationship between Hawkins and his; work, family, friends, his disability and his own identity. In addition, it places Hawkins, and his work, in wider historical perspective. This book has been written by a friend and it shows. It is broadly sympathetic to its subject. In fact, the start of the book, it takes the shape of hagiography, continually speaking of Hawkins as an inspirational character who overcomes his disability. The account becomes more nuanced as the book, and the relationship on which it is based progress. The tone changing as; the relationship grows and the individuals develop. However, Hawkins was not just a disabled individual. He was a physicist. His work was an important part of his life. This book looks at his work and the way that it fitted into, and changed the wider physics debates. It would act as a good introduction to modern day physics. Although, the long discussion of theory could prove off-putting to the impatient reader. I enjoyed this informative work. It is a good place to start if the reader wishes to understand Hawkins; his life and his work. I highly recommend the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Celia Sánchez

    “What is more important than solving problems is posing them, because the questions you ask govern the answers you find. Questions are both a reflection of, and a determinant of, the way you look at the world.” (S.Hawking) Amazing tribute to Hawkings the legend of our times ..Contains lot of information public did'nt know ... Mlodinow worked with Hawkins on his major works. This book explores the relationship between Hawkins and his; work, family, friends, his disability and his own identity ..St “What is more important than solving problems is posing them, because the questions you ask govern the answers you find. Questions are both a reflection of, and a determinant of, the way you look at the world.” (S.Hawking) Amazing tribute to Hawkings the legend of our times ..Contains lot of information public did'nt know ... Mlodinow worked with Hawkins on his major works. This book explores the relationship between Hawkins and his; work, family, friends, his disability and his own identity ..Stephen Hawking presented in this memoir is a man of passion and resolve. We learn more and more about a man who values life as a whole....This is an affectionate and very readable account of friendship but also of a working relationship. found this book very readable, interesting and quite inspirational....stimulated my current interest in theoretical physics......

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Stephen Hawking is a true legend of our times. Not only did he have a brilliant mind but also the type of personality to embrace his illness and continue with his academic work. I watched the poignant film ‘The Theory of Everything’ in 2014. It starred the talented actor Eddie Redmayne, who later on won an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen in a film based on "Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen," a memoir written by Hawking's ex-wife, Jane. When I saw the physicist Leonard Mlodinow’s ne Stephen Hawking is a true legend of our times. Not only did he have a brilliant mind but also the type of personality to embrace his illness and continue with his academic work. I watched the poignant film ‘The Theory of Everything’ in 2014. It starred the talented actor Eddie Redmayne, who later on won an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen in a film based on "Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen," a memoir written by Hawking's ex-wife, Jane. When I saw the physicist Leonard Mlodinow’s new memoir subtitled ‘A Memoir of Friendship and Physics’ I felt the itch to read his true-life story of their friendship which started when they met in 2003 and endured with their work together to create ‘The Grand Design’, published in 2010 and further down the line this memoir, both collaborating together at the invitation of Stephen, their friendship grew but so did his understanding of Stephen’s personal life and struggles, borne with such resolution, bravery, acceptance and humour. Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8th 1942 and shared his birthday with the death day of astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei who died 300 years earlier. He was diagnosed with motor-neuron disease, when he was studying at Oxford University and aged only 21. The doctors initially diagnosed that he would not live beyond the age of 25 years. He was not ready to go then so his life eventually ended when he was 76 years of age, having tirelessly worked on many different disciplines. Using technology he found a way to communicate and became the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University. He continued working on explaining the origins of the universe and black holes and developing the theory of Hawking radiation. I was drawn to this memoir because I hoped to find out more about the personal life he lead and the intimacies of his friendships, indeed to learn about him in more detail. I think the book achieved this aim and I liked the story of taking the adventurous Stephen punting on the Cam. I could imagine the buzz that it gave him with his open and enquiring mind and zest for life. He even wanted to have the thrill of experiencing weightlessness, and why not? This is the nature of the memoir that drew me to feel more understanding of Stephen, for which I was very grateful. I would like to thank NetGalley and publisher Penguin for my copy of this memoir, sent to me in return for an honest review. I enjoyed reading it and definitely felt as though I knew the man for himself, together with his academic brilliance and his humanity. The memoir was therefore a good read and met my expectations.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    This is a really hard book to rate - and review. On the one hand, it's an eye-opener into Stephen Hawking's life and work. On the other hand... it just felt a bit wrong, with parts almost like a tabloid exposé. It was interesting and well-written, but didn't chime well with me. My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an advance copy to review. This review is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion. This is a really hard book to rate - and review. On the one hand, it's an eye-opener into Stephen Hawking's life and work. On the other hand... it just felt a bit wrong, with parts almost like a tabloid exposé. It was interesting and well-written, but didn't chime well with me. My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an advance copy to review. This review is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jemima Pett

    So, I've read Brief History, and I've seen the film starring the ubiquitous Eddie Redmayne. That pretty much confirmed my view of the great physicist. But what happened next?  How did he manage through all those unexpected years of life, and what else did he do? I confess I missed his other books: even Briefer History, brought out in a 'simplified' version. During this book by Leonard Mlodinow, I laughed many times, but particularly at the following assertion. They had to make considerable change So, I've read Brief History, and I've seen the film starring the ubiquitous Eddie Redmayne. That pretty much confirmed my view of the great physicist. But what happened next?  How did he manage through all those unexpected years of life, and what else did he do? I confess I missed his other books: even Briefer History, brought out in a 'simplified' version. During this book by Leonard Mlodinow, I laughed many times, but particularly at the following assertion. They had to make considerable changes to Stephen's original prose in the first book, because he started off preaching to a reader who knew nothing, but quickly turned it into a post-graduate lecture. I hate to say it, but that was one of my criticisms of the finished book! This memoir does not suffer from those short-comings. Dr Mlodinow still teaches physics at one of the most prestigious physics universities in the world, but he also communicates complex theories in a way the lay person can understand, more or less.  And we lay people do not necessarily wish to enter the theoretical debate, just get an idea of what the debate is about. I found it most helpful to know that physics is about the why, and engineering about the answers and application, since that's what I've thought for years! The narrative does dodge about a bit. I suppose when you're writing about space-time it's sensible not to take things in a linear process.  I'm not sure if this always helped the story, but we got the basics of Hawking's life and struggles fitted in between other diversions, including the about-turn on radiation from black holes. This discussion was exceptionally interesting, if you enjoy the science side. What comes across? A picture of a warm, funny, caring man, loved by those who knew him, but incredibly difficult to live with. He inspired dedication. I don't think people felt sorry for him, even if they might have started out that way. Reading of Stephen's love of adventure and even recklessness, you can understand they cared. It must have driven his loved ones crazy. Altogether a very readable account of a friendship based on theories you might not follow, but highs and lows you certainly will.  Recommended.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Val Robson

    The author, physicist Leonard Mlodinow, first met Stephen Hawking in 2003 and became a friend until Stephen’s death in 2018. Stephen was born into an academically able family. Both his parents were students at Oxford, the town where he was born. Stephen did his undergraduate degree at Oxford before moving to Cambridge University in 1962 to do a PhD in cosmology. It was in that first year at Cambridge, at the age of 21, that he was diagnosed with a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor The author, physicist Leonard Mlodinow, first met Stephen Hawking in 2003 and became a friend until Stephen’s death in 2018. Stephen was born into an academically able family. Both his parents were students at Oxford, the town where he was born. Stephen did his undergraduate degree at Oxford before moving to Cambridge University in 1962 to do a PhD in cosmology. It was in that first year at Cambridge, at the age of 21, that he was diagnosed with a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neuron disease (MND) also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). For most death comes within two to five years of diagnosis and only one in twenty survive twenty years or more. Incredibly Stephen survived fifty five years. Undoubtedly helped by his ability to earn sufficient money to find the large team of people he needed to simply stay alive, especially in the last thirty years of his life. Stephen fell very ill in 1985 and his only hope of survival was a tracheostomy. He did survive but from that point was unable to speak and needed 24/7 care which the British National Health Service was unable to fund. Initially Stephen survived thanks to a grant from the Macarthur Foundation but within years he had written A Brief History of Time which sold over 25 million copies and meant he could fund his own care. Leonard Mlodinow had turned down approaches to write a biography of Stephen but liked the idea of writing a memoir about him and physics. The resulting book focuses on the period 2005-2010 when Leonard and Stephen worked together as co-authors of The Grand Design, a popular-science book. As well as seeing Stephen at his annual visits to Caltech in Pasadena, Leonard now spent weeks at a time with Stephen in his office in Cambridge, UK as well as frequently dining with him at home or in Gonville and Caius College. This memoir alternates personal sections of Stephen’s day to day life with explanations of major topics in physics as they were theorised, researched and debated over the five decades of Stephen’s career. These include quantum physics, general relativity, unified field theory and black holes. All these, and others, are introduced in a way to give the non physicist a chance of understanding the concepts. These concepts are so vast though that I suspect they will go over the heads of most readers unless they are physicists or already have a passion and knowledge of these subjects. I was keener to read the personal sections about Stephen and learn more about his relationships with family, colleagues and friends so skimmed some of the physics sections but I do feel inspired to go back and reread these at some point. Some of the sections about Stephen’s life got a bit too personal for my liking when writing about some aspects of the personal care that he received from his team of carers. Stephen came across as being extremely sociable and driven with little sense of ‘woe is me’ apart from occasional periods in his life when health setbacks took away a bit more of his independence until he was eventually only able to communicate via a computer at a word of so a minute. It’s hard to imagine just how challenging every second of Stephen’s life must have been and yet quite awesome to think how his large team of carers, family, colleagues and friends did their bit to keep him alive and in good mental health. For someone with his health condition he did indeed live the most extraordinary life with travel world wide and a very good circle of supportive friends. I found this book very readable, interesting and quite inspirational. With thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Press UK for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kon Frankowski

    Physics, friendship and the looming invevitabilities Stephen Hawking made science cool. As an esteemed physicist, he popularised and explored a number of theories, many of which became known to the public, quite perversely, through the disability of this incredible scientist. What we often hear about Stephen Hawking is how sharp his mind was and how much strength he drew from his work. But we don't hear enough about Stephen Hawking - the person. Not THE scientist. Not THE man in the grip of a con Physics, friendship and the looming invevitabilities Stephen Hawking made science cool. As an esteemed physicist, he popularised and explored a number of theories, many of which became known to the public, quite perversely, through the disability of this incredible scientist. What we often hear about Stephen Hawking is how sharp his mind was and how much strength he drew from his work. But we don't hear enough about Stephen Hawking - the person. Not THE scientist. Not THE man in the grip of a condition that should have killed him much earlier in life. But THE person. A man who loved rowing, a man who loved steak and good wine, a man who was a great friend and phenomenal conversationalist... Leonard Mlodinow's career is indeed a prolific one. As one of the most influential theoretical physicists of our times, as well a phenomenal writer, he was chosen to become Stephen Hawking's long-time collaborator. And "Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics" brings all these elements together. Mlodinow talks a lot about his work with Stephen Hawking, in which he delves into two areas: physics (including quantum physics, a theory of black holes, cosmology, a theory of everything, and more) and his friendship with the man who redefined modern physics. These two elements make this memoir truly unique. Mlodinow provides a riveting science lesson, delivered through the prism of his life with Stephen Hawking. The latter aspect of the narrative, which on the surface is the entire premise of the book, allows us to understand why Stephen Hawking was so dedicated and passionate about physics and all its elements. His love for science conveyed by Mlodinow in the memoir is infectious and captivating. But on the other hand, we see a picture of a man, who knows he has not enough time and wants to explore, discover and understand as much as possible before putting his books away. Stephen Hawking presented in this memoir is a man of passion and resolve. We learn more and more about a man who values life as a whole. Warts and all. We learn about a man who deals with his progressive disability through patience and understanding of the human condition. But also we experience the immense loneliness of a person who is locked inside his own head with no physical outlet to his emotions. Finally, we learn about Leonard Mlodinow and how he navigated the friendship with one of the most incredible minds of our times. And this is where things get really interesting. Mlodinow doesn't embellish or whitewash the flaws of Stephen Hawking's character, but neither he ponders on them. His casual narrative style allows us to discover Hawking first and foremost as a human being. Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics is a truly riveting read and I would recommend it to everyone. It's a poignant story of forming a friendship with a severely disabled person, that also touches upon and explores the challenges that come with it. But this, in many respects, is overshadowed by the second aspect of the bond forged between two men; the love and passion for science. I would wholeheartedly recommend. Many thanks to Penguin Press UK and NetGalley for my copy of the memoir. It really is a deep, emotional and touching read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fraser Kinnear

    Lessons from Hawking’s life: Necessity as mother of invention. Hawking’s popular books perhaps started as a fluke, but he quickly realized that he needed to become rich if he was ever to afford the support staff necessary for his professional ambitions. His eventual inability to manipulate pen and paper also forced him to problem-solve differently, and study problems in physics best suited to his capabilities. Accept the deficits alongside the merits of someone’s character traits. Hawking’s indepe Lessons from Hawking’s life: Necessity as mother of invention. Hawking’s popular books perhaps started as a fluke, but he quickly realized that he needed to become rich if he was ever to afford the support staff necessary for his professional ambitions. His eventual inability to manipulate pen and paper also forced him to problem-solve differently, and study problems in physics best suited to his capabilities. Accept the deficits alongside the merits of someone’s character traits. Hawking’s independence and stubbornness were key to his professional success (and perhaps his longevity, although Mlodinow passes over this idea in silence). But that same stubbornness resulted in a variety of stories that range from funny to disappointing. If we want to continue to draw inspiration from someone, we need to accept conflicting judgments on their character. Love is complicated. Mlodinow discloses some very private accounts of infidelity (or perhaps they’re open secrets in their community?). Any biography worth its salt ought to include warts and all, since we all have them, but I’m astonished that Mlodinow would take this step, due to his close relationship to Hawking and the family. The conclusions one can draw from an empirical mindset are complicated. Hawking had a faith in nutritional supplements recommended by his father (who was a doctor), when he first contracted ALS. At best, these were placebos. But Mlodinow used Hawking’s behavior as a subject lesson in the open-mindedness of an empiricist: “In physics, Stephen could use mathematics to test [hypotheses]. With regard to his illness, that was not possible, and so he clung to the recommendation of his loving physician parent, and embraced the prescription that was his legacy. Given Stephen’s natural skepticism, his belief in the pills seemed out of character. Not that he wasn’t open-minded. He was willing to consider, at least provisionally, any theory that didn’t contradict known facts. And he wasn’t bothered when different theories conceptualized the world in vastly different ways.” Belief is complicated. Hawking had an unempirical belief in nutritional supplements that were suggested early in his disease by his father, who was a doctor. Memento mori. model-dependent realism, which sounds like a repackaging of Pragmatism. Life has deep contingencies “Change the strength of the strong nuclear force by half a percent, the electric force by 4%, or the mass of the proton by one part in five hundred, for example, and we wouldn’t exist”. I’m not sure why Mlodinow didn’t call out the anthropic principle, perhaps they explore such ideas more deeply in the books they wrote together. “If you like asking questions and searching for answers, become a physicist. If you learning the answers and applying them, become an engineer!” ;-) “What is more important than solving problems is posing them, because the questions you ask govern the answers you find. Questions are both a reflection of, and a determinant of, the way you look at the world.”

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alison Starnes

    I am not a scientist, and theoretical physics is certainly not an area I would have chosen to write a book about; however, for Stephen Hawking, this was his life's work. Leonard Mlodinow worked with Stephen Hawking on a book called 'The Grand Design' and the two became close friends. The Stephen Hawking that emerges from his account is a man with a prodigious memory, able to focus on the smallest detail - sometimes to the point of frustration for those around him - but who, when asked what was hi I am not a scientist, and theoretical physics is certainly not an area I would have chosen to write a book about; however, for Stephen Hawking, this was his life's work. Leonard Mlodinow worked with Stephen Hawking on a book called 'The Grand Design' and the two became close friends. The Stephen Hawking that emerges from his account is a man with a prodigious memory, able to focus on the smallest detail - sometimes to the point of frustration for those around him - but who, when asked what was his greatest achievement, didn't reply with "Hawking radiation" or one of his other discoveries, but simply said, "My children". Diagnosed at a young age with ALS (motor neurone disease), Stephen Hawking wasn't expected to live many more years; however, he proved one of those exceptions - the 1 in 20 or so that survive decades beyond the normal expectancy for someone living with this condition. Consequently, Stephen decided to focus on achieving as much as he could and succeeded. Whilst a lot of the discussion of the physics went over my head, I was fascinated by how Stephen came across as a person. He was married twice (a third marriage was proposed but never took place) and provoked deep affection in those who chose to share his life, whether carers, students, or fellow scientists. Stephen faced battles every day just to stay alive and depended on an army of carers. He also relied on interaction with others, even though it took several minutes to frame a verbal response to questions. He loved food, had an impish sense of fun, and wasn't afraid to be wrong. A particular favourite reminiscence of mine is when Stephen wanted to go punting, and Leonard was convinced this was not a good idea; however, Stephen got his way. This is an affectionate and very readable account of friendship but also of a working relationship. You don't have to share Stephen Hawking's conclusions about the universe, but you can respect the man who by sheer determination and self-will managed to bring science to many who might otherwise have ignored it. I was sent an advance review copy of this book by Penguin Press UK (Allen Lane), in return for an honest appraisal.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    My background for reading this book is I started it not really knowing much about Stephen Hawking other than what I have seen in the media over the years. I also have practically no knowledge of physics, though I have always had an interest. So, I opened this book not really sure what to expect but ended up being really pleasantly surprised. This is a book written by someone with obviously a great deal of affection for his friend Stephen Hawking, but he hasn't allowed that to stop him having an h My background for reading this book is I started it not really knowing much about Stephen Hawking other than what I have seen in the media over the years. I also have practically no knowledge of physics, though I have always had an interest. So, I opened this book not really sure what to expect but ended up being really pleasantly surprised. This is a book written by someone with obviously a great deal of affection for his friend Stephen Hawking, but he hasn't allowed that to stop him having an honest account of the man and his work. Stephen Hawking comes over as a brilliant (obviously), funny, kind, caring man with a wonderful streak of recklessness that I really didn't expect. He appears to have been an extremely sociable and likeable man who coped with the cards he was dealt, particularly of course Motor Neurone Disease, without bitterness and no hint of "why me". There is a lot of theoretical physics between these pages though Leonard Mlodinow has managed the impossible, and presented it in such an accessible way that I almost understand some of it! Even the stuff that goes over my head is still really interesting. This book was an unexpected pleasure, and one I will probably reread at some point because I would really like to understand more of Stephen Hawking's work. Ultimately however, it is about a unique, courageous man who refused to let a certain death sentence destroy his life and quench his brilliant spirit, Because I don't like reading book reviews that give away too much of a book's storyline, I never want to spoil a book for anyone reading my reviews. Therefore, they are always spoiler free, and reveal only what is immediately obvious, plus my thoughts on my personal reading experience. This will sometimes mean my comments are a little vague so if you prefer more specific details on the storyline etc, please refer to the publisher's synopsis.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lou Barber

    This was a wonderful memoir of an inspirational man, written by his friend and co-author. Leonard says of Stephen, 'it was human bonds, love, and not just his physics, that nourished him'. A maverick, a man who loved to live life to the full, he was initially devastated to receive the diagnosis that he had ALS at only 21. Life expectancy after diagnosis is generally 2-5 years, but Stephen Hawking lived for 50. Receiving the diagnosis 'steered him toward a richer life' and whilst his body was shu This was a wonderful memoir of an inspirational man, written by his friend and co-author. Leonard says of Stephen, 'it was human bonds, love, and not just his physics, that nourished him'. A maverick, a man who loved to live life to the full, he was initially devastated to receive the diagnosis that he had ALS at only 21. Life expectancy after diagnosis is generally 2-5 years, but Stephen Hawking lived for 50. Receiving the diagnosis 'steered him toward a richer life' and whilst his body was shutting down, his mind became more focused and led to him being recognised as one of the great minds of the 21st century. Stephen Hawking was a complex man. Married twice, divorced twice and father to three children, there were times when his physics took precedence over everything. He was surrounded by love, but it was not always easy to love someone who by necessity, demanded everything, and could give perhaps less than was needed to sustain a healthy relationship. It's certainly true to say that both his spouses felt they lost their own identity in being the partner of someone who became so famous and adored around the world. In all honesty, for me, the science in this memoir was difficult for me to get my head around. It's not that it wasn't written in an accessible way, it's just that my strength does not lie in thinking scientifically. I still thoroughly enjoyed reading about Stephen's life, and was in awe of how he dealt with his disease in such a positive way. As Leonard wrote in the closing chapter, 'We can get used to anything and we can accomplish, if not anything, then at least much more than we give ourselves credit for. To grow close to Stephen was to understand this and to realize that we need not wait for a debilitating disease to inspire us to make the most of our time on earth'.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I really don't know how to feel about this book! In some ways I want to give the book five stars and in other ways I want to give it a one star! I don't read a lot of memoirs but I do enjoy science books, especially ones that tell the story of scientists overcoming adversity to solve important questions about the world (e.g. Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh). Stephen Hawking is someone I admire and find fascinating. Leonard Mlodinow is a friend and co-author of two books with Hawking and deci I really don't know how to feel about this book! In some ways I want to give the book five stars and in other ways I want to give it a one star! I don't read a lot of memoirs but I do enjoy science books, especially ones that tell the story of scientists overcoming adversity to solve important questions about the world (e.g. Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh). Stephen Hawking is someone I admire and find fascinating. Leonard Mlodinow is a friend and co-author of two books with Hawking and decided to write Hawking's biography with interviews with some of his nearest and dearest. This is a fairly quick read and I loved hearing about Hawking's upbringing. It gave a great insight into how he dealt with his deteriorating health due to ALS, and how this condition motivated him to continue trying to answer questions about the world and why we're here. The reason I mentioned wanting to give it a one star was that sometimes it felt like we were being given information that was too intimate, such as how he was fed by carers and how he relieved himself. Overall though it was great to find out more about the magnificent man, including how funny and adventurous he was. I'd love a similar book that focused more on his scientific achievements than his daily struggles and relationship issues. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dan Graser

    Having collaborated with Hawking on two of my favorite books, A Briefer History of Time and the incredible, "The Grand Design," there are few people more qualified to write on the life and workings of this incredible figure than an author and physicist as skilled as Leonard Mlodinow. Where this book succeeds is in continually being genuine. This is not some cheap attempt to catch a quick buck by writing about a more famous individual you happen to have known, this is a heartfelt remembrance of a Having collaborated with Hawking on two of my favorite books, A Briefer History of Time and the incredible, "The Grand Design," there are few people more qualified to write on the life and workings of this incredible figure than an author and physicist as skilled as Leonard Mlodinow. Where this book succeeds is in continually being genuine. This is not some cheap attempt to catch a quick buck by writing about a more famous individual you happen to have known, this is a heartfelt remembrance of a completely unique figure told against the backdrop of the writing of the most interesting book on physics (for the layperson), written in the past few decades, the aforementioned Grand Design. Where this volume also succeeds is being a complete picture but never getting lost in any one facet. Mlodinow writes of the personal life of Hawking without it seeming like a gossip column, he delves into his biography without going into needless anecdotery, he appraises Hawking's contributions to physics and his genius without pandering or getting excessively technical, and he allows you to see Hawking as a person without being cliché or trite with it. Frequently, when dealing with Hawking the person there is a barrier which we down't wish to admit because of the sheer renown for his intellect but also because of his condition and the voice with which he was forced to speak for years. Mlodinow does aways with all of these barriers and potential biographical pitfalls and writes a genuine appraisal and eulogy for his friend and collaborator. A great work that I commend to you all.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shell

    This book has three strands. Firstly the story of Leonard Mlodinow meeting Stephen Hawking and their experiences writing together, secondly a biography of Stephen's life and thirdly a very brief layman's explanation of the theoretical thoughts that they wrote about in "The Grand Design". I found Leonard's book to be very honest. He describes some of the discomfort that he feels when first meeting a disabled person, which is only natural. He does not paint Stephen Hawking as a saint, but describe This book has three strands. Firstly the story of Leonard Mlodinow meeting Stephen Hawking and their experiences writing together, secondly a biography of Stephen's life and thirdly a very brief layman's explanation of the theoretical thoughts that they wrote about in "The Grand Design". I found Leonard's book to be very honest. He describes some of the discomfort that he feels when first meeting a disabled person, which is only natural. He does not paint Stephen Hawking as a saint, but describes his faults very affectionately. So I always felt like I was getting a true picture from someone who was obviously very fond of him. I note that some reviewers have marked the book down because they didn't like the inclusion of some descriptions of the problems Stephen had with personal care. However, I feel that the book would not have been complete to leave out such details as disabled people constantly have to deal with these issues and the general public often is not interested in how frustrating it can be. Obviously we are seeing Stephen through another person's eyes, so who can say whether his conclusions as to the relationships he had are correct. But I felt Leonard always pointed this out through out the book too. So we can only draw our own conclusions from Leonard's personal musings. Other people have written about their relationships with the great man and I think this book has made me want to go and read their point of view too.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Vivienne

    Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics by Leonard Mlodinow is due to be published by Penguin Books Allen Lane on September 8, 2020. As I was reviewing an advance reading copy, I am aware that there may be additional items such as photographs included in the final hardcover edition. Leonard Mlodinow was not only a friend of Hawking but a fellow physicist, who was sought out by Hawking to collaborate on two books with him: ‘A Briefer History of Time’ and ‘The Grand Design’. Both books Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics by Leonard Mlodinow is due to be published by Penguin Books Allen Lane on September 8, 2020. As I was reviewing an advance reading copy, I am aware that there may be additional items such as photographs included in the final hardcover edition. Leonard Mlodinow was not only a friend of Hawking but a fellow physicist, who was sought out by Hawking to collaborate on two books with him: ‘A Briefer History of Time’ and ‘The Grand Design’. Both books made the often esoteric subject of physics more accessible to the lay reader. This was a moving memoir that combined biographical details of Hawking’s life with personal anecdotes from the years of their friendship that had begun in 2003. There are also brief explanations of the areas that Hawking’s work covers including black holes and quantum theories. Some of it went well over my head. The details of Hawking’s regular visits to Caltech did bring to mind his appearances on the highly popular comedy series, ‘The Big Bang Theory’, set at the university. Overall, I found this a fascinating tribute to Hawking and it stimulated my currently dormant interest in theoretical physics.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marie (UK)

    I received a copy of this book via net galley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the opportunity. I have read some of Hawking's work including A Brief History of Time. As non fiction they are not particularly easy to understand. This book mixes parts of his work with his personal life and information on a book he was writing with Leonard Mlodinow. The depth of the friendship between these two men is obvious. The picture the author paints is definitely a warts and all view of Stephen Ha I received a copy of this book via net galley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the opportunity. I have read some of Hawking's work including A Brief History of Time. As non fiction they are not particularly easy to understand. This book mixes parts of his work with his personal life and information on a book he was writing with Leonard Mlodinow. The depth of the friendship between these two men is obvious. The picture the author paints is definitely a warts and all view of Stephen Hawking. It would not necessarily enamour you to Hawking who comes across in some ways as selfish - perhaps this is what allowed him to survive. The physical concepts described are certainly much more understandable in this book but I think if you asked me in a month I would have retained very little. Some of the personal accounts of dining and working with Stephen seemed repetitive. I enjoyed the book but it isn't in my top ten

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jewels

    This has taken me quite some time to get through (albeit interspersed between other, lighter reads). An interesting book about an interesting and complex man, written by a friend and colleague of Stephen Hawking. Long ago, I attempted to read "A Brief History of Time", knowing nothing about Stephen Hawking at the time. I cannot claim to have understood more than the basics, nevertheless found cosmology fascinating. Over the years I found out more about Professor Hawking, and became full of admirat This has taken me quite some time to get through (albeit interspersed between other, lighter reads). An interesting book about an interesting and complex man, written by a friend and colleague of Stephen Hawking. Long ago, I attempted to read "A Brief History of Time", knowing nothing about Stephen Hawking at the time. I cannot claim to have understood more than the basics, nevertheless found cosmology fascinating. Over the years I found out more about Professor Hawking, and became full of admiration for his spirit. This book gives a human insight into the man himself, flaws and all - a brilliant, complex, determined, humorous, yet very difficult-to-live-with human being. This isn't a light read (there is quite a lot of science too, but well explained), and is at times an uncomfortable read. It's well worth persevering though.. My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC. All opinions my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Stephen Hawking was an extraordinary man, and this biography showed his personal side as well as his professional side, showed us that, though extraordinary he was still just human, with flaws, like all of us. A brilliant mind that people in all fields will find something to relate to and learn from. For me, having a personal background in Physics myself, it is always fascinating to learn more about the lives of people like Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and so many others. Being a biography, it's def Stephen Hawking was an extraordinary man, and this biography showed his personal side as well as his professional side, showed us that, though extraordinary he was still just human, with flaws, like all of us. A brilliant mind that people in all fields will find something to relate to and learn from. For me, having a personal background in Physics myself, it is always fascinating to learn more about the lives of people like Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and so many others. Being a biography, it's definitely not a book you can rush your way through, otherwise you will miss little details. I thought it was very well written, I enjoyed reading it and it is definitely a book that many people should read, despite being interested in science or not. Thank you kindly to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this in exchange for my opinion and honest review. #StephenHawking #NetGalley

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    This book gave an insight into both the personal life of Stephen Hawking and for me, some clarity in my understanding of quantum physics. His personal life as described by his friend shows up the fortitude he displayed regarding his illness and the difficulty he seems to have had sustaining a stable relationship with the women close to him. One can now understand that his strength of character had to be as strong as it was and that translated into a demanding personality towards all those who tr This book gave an insight into both the personal life of Stephen Hawking and for me, some clarity in my understanding of quantum physics. His personal life as described by his friend shows up the fortitude he displayed regarding his illness and the difficulty he seems to have had sustaining a stable relationship with the women close to him. One can now understand that his strength of character had to be as strong as it was and that translated into a demanding personality towards all those who tried to assist in his healthcare and in the production of his books. Those who had the patience and their own strong personalities endured his foibles and established unique bonds that allowed him to use his amazing mental faculties to delve into and to solve, from his perspective, the origins of the universe. An enjoyable book that kept me enthralled looking at the man and his science.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim Chapman

    A memoir from Leonard Mlodinow about working with Professor Stephen Hawking for decades. Friends, family, loves and carers help Mlodinow to delve into what it was like to be close to Hawking’s. From meeting the influential physicist, working on 2 books (A Briefer History Of Time and The Grand Design), becoming friends all the way to Hawking’s death. Although some of the physics went over my head and had me feeling like I couldn’t finish the book, Leonard Mlodinow tries to explain it in a simpler A memoir from Leonard Mlodinow about working with Professor Stephen Hawking for decades. Friends, family, loves and carers help Mlodinow to delve into what it was like to be close to Hawking’s. From meeting the influential physicist, working on 2 books (A Briefer History Of Time and The Grand Design), becoming friends all the way to Hawking’s death. Although some of the physics went over my head and had me feeling like I couldn’t finish the book, Leonard Mlodinow tries to explain it in a simpler way for people outside their world to understand. I’m glad I did persevere and finish it. Hearing from behind the ALS and struggles that came with it truly showed how strong/stubborn Hawking was. It’s a nice tribute to an extraordinary man. Thank you to Penguin Press UK for this advance copy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I have always been fascinated by physics and the universe however most texts are wildly out of reach due to the language over complicating things for the normal person. This book manages to combine both the physics and a look into Stephen Hawkins life not only as a physicist but also as a friend. It manages to capture his sense of humour and gives an understanding to the struggles he faced. I personal.y really enjoyed this and found it super interesting. There were times when I just wanted to rea I have always been fascinated by physics and the universe however most texts are wildly out of reach due to the language over complicating things for the normal person. This book manages to combine both the physics and a look into Stephen Hawkins life not only as a physicist but also as a friend. It manages to capture his sense of humour and gives an understanding to the struggles he faced. I personal.y really enjoyed this and found it super interesting. There were times when I just wanted to read on and understand more and consume more. Don’t get me wrong it is not a page turner but it will keep you hooked! I would recommend this to anyone who has even a small interest in science or the life of Stephen Hawkins and that is why I’ve given it 4 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I received a copy of this book from the goodreads giveaway. Leonard Mlodinow writes about the friendship he had with Stephen Hawking. They met a couple decades ago when they talked about physics and worked together on a book about physics. He shares his years of being Hawking's collaborator and eventually becoming friends. He writes of the brilliant man Stephen Hawking was and his living with ALS. He has constant "carers" who take care of him around the clock. yet he remains positive. the author I received a copy of this book from the goodreads giveaway. Leonard Mlodinow writes about the friendship he had with Stephen Hawking. They met a couple decades ago when they talked about physics and worked together on a book about physics. He shares his years of being Hawking's collaborator and eventually becoming friends. He writes of the brilliant man Stephen Hawking was and his living with ALS. He has constant "carers" who take care of him around the clock. yet he remains positive. the author also offers some lessons on physics. I liked this book and getting to Learn a bit more of the brilliant man Stephen Hawking.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Stephen Hawking: A memoir of Friendship and Physics, by Leonard Mlodinow, provides a new look into the life of Hawking by a longtime friend and working collaborator of the famous physicist. As expected, this was far from a light read and sometimes a bit over my head, but I enjoyed learning more about Hawking and how he continued on with such a debilitating disease. This book is scheduled for release later this year. I highly recommend it to lovers of science and the genius of Hawking. I thank th Stephen Hawking: A memoir of Friendship and Physics, by Leonard Mlodinow, provides a new look into the life of Hawking by a longtime friend and working collaborator of the famous physicist. As expected, this was far from a light read and sometimes a bit over my head, but I enjoyed learning more about Hawking and how he continued on with such a debilitating disease. This book is scheduled for release later this year. I highly recommend it to lovers of science and the genius of Hawking. I thank the author and Pantheon for my uncorrected proof that I won on Goodreads Giveaways.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Schlotthauer

    * I received this copy from a Goodreads giveaway.* As someone who has only known Stephen Hawking from pop culture references and movies this was such a beautiful story that brought his humanity to the forefront. While his disease is certainly discussed, this book's focus is far from it and instead focuses on Hawking's relationships with the author, his colleagues, caretakers, and family. I appreciated Mlodinow's explanations of concepts and theorems as they were stated in easy to understand langu * I received this copy from a Goodreads giveaway.* As someone who has only known Stephen Hawking from pop culture references and movies this was such a beautiful story that brought his humanity to the forefront. While his disease is certainly discussed, this book's focus is far from it and instead focuses on Hawking's relationships with the author, his colleagues, caretakers, and family. I appreciated Mlodinow's explanations of concepts and theorems as they were stated in easy to understand language.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Wow. A wonderful insight into the working between the author and Stephen Hawkins. The struggles not only physically but the mental challenges he set himself. It is like eavesdropping on a conversation between two good friends as they talk at a table next to you. At times very personal and intimate at others funny and irreverent. It shows another facet to the character of a brilliant physicist. Anyone who watched or read the theory of everything will love this insight into the person not just the Wow. A wonderful insight into the working between the author and Stephen Hawkins. The struggles not only physically but the mental challenges he set himself. It is like eavesdropping on a conversation between two good friends as they talk at a table next to you. At times very personal and intimate at others funny and irreverent. It shows another facet to the character of a brilliant physicist. Anyone who watched or read the theory of everything will love this insight into the person not just the world renowned scientist.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.