Top positive review
Definitely worth your time even if you aren't a fan of Hawking.
14 August 2015
The book My Brief History by Stephen W. Hawking is a biographical work, a memoir. And that's principally the reason I bought this book- to get to know something of one of the most celebrated scientists, or maybe the most celebrated (theoretical) physicist of all times.
The book came a couple of days before the expected delivery date(or maybe that's what they want us to think by deliberately predicting the delivery date ahead of the real one, not sure). The book was neatly packed and only had minor scratches which are but usual.
When you begin this book, if you are a fiction reader, you might find it a little dry. The language is simple, almost too simple- so much as to make it too dry at a few instances. But as the book progresses, you start to get a hang of it. How plainly this man describes himself is still unfathomable for me. His life history has been described by the author in a most direct fashion- a very likable fashion. And you are introduced to all that transpired in his unusually remarkable life. His research background, the environs in the Hawking family, their situation during the war and after and his journey from St Albans School to getting a scholarship to Oxford and then to Cambridge have all been recollected very well, with occasional humor mingled within. The photographs that have been presented in the book add much to the presentation of the matter inside this memoir, giving a very kindling feeling to it.
This book depicts the competition that goes on in research fields- a race to getting there first- as well as the complications of making a career in teaching.
Through Hawking's account, we also get an insight into the life of a disabled person- how he has to endure challenges in his personal as well as professional life, but more so in the former. The breakdown of his two marriages was unarguably due to his disabilities.
The real fun in the book begins- both for the reader and the author- from chapter 10 because through the chapters 10 to 13, the author talks a lot about science and so naturally his tone seems to change to one of heightened excitement and interest. In these chapters we find a person who truly loves his work. Although they are a little tricky to comprehend, it is in these pages that we see Hawking for who he really is- a man of science. We also see a very optimistic person in the author when he says that though his disease has several minuses, they are more than outweighed by the pluses. Rather than throwing himself into gloom over his disease, Hawking tried doing something that he was well able to and emerged victorious- defining the people whom the world sees as disabled but they are, in fact, differently-able.
Adventurous, driven, devoted and inspirational, Stephen W. Hawking's life is one that even the most accomplished can look up to and shall be so for ages to come.