Guide My Brief History

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The mentality at Oxford is interesting - either you were so talented and intelligent that you didn't have to study, or you should accept your incompetence and get bad grades.

My Brief History

If you worked hard to achieve good grades, you were a so called grey man. During his three years at Oxford, Stephen Hawking took a test before staring there, and the final exams before getting his degree. He started as a research student at Cambridge When 21 years old, he got the diagnosis ALS and learned that he had two year left to live.

Having met Jane Wilde around the same time, he started to work hard for the first time in his life, to get a job and be able to marry her.

The first half of the book is very interesting. Then, something happens in the book. Stephen Hawking leaves the story of his life and delve into the world of time like curves, singularities and black holes, which doesn't fit in a biography, but perhaps another book. When he wrote A brief history of time the publisher made him simplify some of the content so a regular reader would understand it, before it was published. Then he wrote A briefer history of time, which of course demands concentration but is understandable and very interesting.

What's not understandable is this transition from biography to facts about time travel. But probably physics are a part of him and he is a part of physics. Except that, the book is written straight forward, without much digressions. Stephen Hawking uses a matter of fact-tone. He is not much for shape and dramaturgy, but tells the story straight out, and that makes the book somewhat uneven. It contains much about his achievements and conferences around the world, which is fine, but it would have been interesting to learn more about him, his family and his struggle with life.

He got two more years, but is still alive today, and continues to captivate a whole world.

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View all 4 comments. Nov 20, BigJohn rated it liked it Shelves: audio-books. I'm giving this a neutral 3-star rating. From the description of the book, I thought this would be a biographical telling of Stephen Hawking. Then the accelerator is floored, as he zooms through childhood and into his college and post-doc years. From there, it's physics, ph I'm giving this a neutral 3-star rating.

From there, it's physics, physics, physics.

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Or whatever it is he's talking about. I admit I have very little knowledge of physics or the nuances of the varied disciplines that comprise his chosen fields of study. For this reason, I was utterly baffled and consequently bored with the lengthy discussions of background for his various works. Every once in a while, he'll throw in a humorous bit, which is refreshing, but they are few and far between.

At one point, he says, "The doctor told my wife he was sending me home to die.

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I have since changed doctors. For example, he'll say something like, "This person did that, which I didn't like. This happens on multiple occasions, and left me wanting more of the human side of his biography, and less of the cerebral side. Even though he says that he wrote it specifically for people with little understanding of physics, even the brief points he touched on in his biography were over my head. So my neutral rating is because I felt that it was insufficient as a biography, but perhaps others would find that it meets their needs for providing more information and background on the pedantic side of Hawking.

Audiobook note: I listened to the audiobook, so unfortunately I did not get to see the photos that are part of the printed version. It was capably narrated by Matthew Brenher. I was joking to myself that it might be read with Hawking's trademark voicebox, and was surprised to find the book indeed starts out with it! For just a few sentences at the beginning of each chapter, Hawking narrates, then Brenher's voice overlays Hawking, and eventually Hawking's fades out for the rest of the chapter.

It was an interesting conceit, but I don't know why they kept doing it for each chapter.

The novelty of it wore off pretty quickly. This book was short and sweet! Mar 23, Helga Cohen rated it really liked it Shelves: biographies-and-memoirs , science , physics , astronomy. My Brief History was a brief memoir by Hawking. It was written not as a long detailed autobiography but a brief history of his life which included pictures which I liked. It includes a little bit about his parents, childhood, education-preparatory school and college, his marriage, children and his career which detailed his areas of interest in astrophysics.

He also detailed a bit about working around his disability. In this book, I found he had a sense of humor and would make bets with peers a My Brief History was a brief memoir by Hawking. In this book, I found he had a sense of humor and would make bets with peers about cosmology and always paid his bets. He was married twice but always spoke well of his family as he knew how difficult it was for them to take care of him with his disability. This was a good introduction about the life of this brilliant scientist who lived for 56 years with ALS a disability he was only to survive with for a few years.

His passion for science and his ambition to achieve success in spite of his disability makes his life inspiring.

It could have been a bit longer but when one realizes that he could only write 3 words a minute every chapter is priceless. More adept biographers can write a longer narrative with much more detail. Jan 19, Elaine rated it really liked it. I have always been intrigued and fascinated by Stephen Hawking but knew very little about him, his work and his life. After seeing the movie, "The Theory of Everything" based on the book by his first wife Jane, I became even more interested and wanted to learn more. My Brief History is truly that. A very short, quick insight into the man and the scientist; touching briefly on his personal life and two marriages.

It is a very small window we are given to look into this great man's life. There is I have always been intrigued and fascinated by Stephen Hawking but knew very little about him, his work and his life. There is a bit more here of his work in science and physics and his research Interesting too is his research into time travel with his conclusion being that he doesn't think time travel will ever be possible but he still encourages discussion and further research of this question.

If for no other reason than to show why it is impossible. As fascinating as black holes, theory of relativity, quantum physics are they are no where near as interesting, to me at least, as this man's life and how he overcame so many obstacles to be where he is today. Dec 08, Franziska rated it it was ok Shelves: readings. For me it was a nice read.

But I would have liked more personal topics, less explanations of physical theories because Mr. Hawking seems to be an interesting and extraordinary human beeing even without his achievements in science, but this book did not deliver this. Jan 09, Margaret rated it it was ok. It is not what one expects from a biography. Very little information about the man's personal life, his beliefs , his friends , his enemies, his relationships with children, relatives, students, the world!

And too much science!

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But he already wrote about it in other books! So better watch the movie! Jun 14, Bayanola92 rated it it was amazing.