As someone who has read numerous of Hawking's previous books, I was very interested to find out more about his personal life. The narrative of his lif...moreAs someone who has read numerous of Hawking's previous books, I was very interested to find out more about his personal life. The narrative of his life focuses quite heavily on his early years and education, and then as he moves into his work as a scientist the emphasis shifts to his scientific achievements with discussions of his family being largely secondary. There are some interesting anecdotes and he is candid, if curt, about controversial details of his own life, such as his first divorce. As someone who knew little about Hawking's life beyond the broadest strokes, it was a nice read, particularly considering how brief it was. It gets a 3 star review because I liked it, but didn't love it.
I was really disappointed with how much of the short story of his life was filled with direct scientific explanations. I felt like the book should focus most strongly on his life and relationships with others, and less upon the scientific details of the theoretical insights he has made, having been amply covered in other volumes. The writing style is remarkably brisk, whizzing through whole segments of his life in a few short sentences. I cannot think that a reader who is not already interested in Hawking would find the book compelling ... as opposed to say, one of Feynman's autobiographies, which a reader would enjoy even without any scientific interest whatsoever.(less)