First, a disclaimer. I have a degree in Physics so have studied Quantum Mechanics (QM) at degree level. Therefore I didn't read this as a lay person (First, a disclaimer. I have a degree in Physics so have studied Quantum Mechanics (QM) at degree level. Therefore I didn't read this as a lay person (it's intended target audience), so YMMV.

I was hoping that if anyone could make QM accessible to the layman it would be Prof. Brain Cox. Sadly, in my opinion, this isn't the case.

The book starts with a brief history of the beginning of the subject (which I found interesting), but when the author starts to describe the actual theory things start to unravel. In what I assume is an attempt to reduce the amount of maths in the book, he uses a 'clock system' to try and explain the theory. To my mind trying to explain it this way made no sense - if you don't have a solid understanding of the basics of the subject then you stand no chance of understanding the harder stuff once you reach it, and to truly understand the basics you need to understand the maths.

Approximately half way through the clock system is retired and maths starts to assert itself. I could almost hear the author think 'hmmm, this clock thing isn't really working, I'm going to have to start using maths'. However by then I think it's too little too late.

It wasn't all bad though; I enjoyed the last chapter on the death of stars. However overall this book reinforced my opinion that it's not possible to understand QM without a suitable high level understanding of maths (despite how elitist that may sound!).