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Travelling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  5,250 ratings  ·  694 reviews
Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous and remarkable scientists of our age, and author of the scientific bestseller A Brief History of Time, which sold over 25 million copies across the world. In this compelling memoir, his first wife Jane relates the inside story of their extraordinary marriage. As Stephen s academic renown soared, his body was collapsing un ...more
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Published July 4th 1905 by Mehta Publishing House
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Jenya Yuss In my opinion it is the movie that does not do this wonderful book it's due justice! …moreIn my opinion it is the movie that does not do this wonderful book it's due justice! (less)
Manuel No. This is more like a compressed journal. There are many instances of introspection. But the breadth of this book is about selections of day-to-day …moreNo. This is more like a compressed journal. There are many instances of introspection. But the breadth of this book is about selections of day-to-day itinerary and events that transpired to create an atmosphere of resilience, reluctant communication, and mountains of effort in management of daily struggles for a family living with someone with severe disabilities. (less)

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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Beth Bonini
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
In some cases, it is best to see the film first -- and this is one of them. I was extremely moved by The Theory of Everything, and particularly impressed by the central performances of Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and Jane Hawking (Felicity Jones). In the film, Jane Hawking has a steady strength and a calm presence. Even when she becomes increasingly ground down by the demands of Stephen's physical deterioration, there is the sense that she is the strong centre of their marriage and family - ...more
Mazola1
Jun 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Jane Hawking's story of her 25 year marriage to Stephen Hawking, who is arguably the most famous physicist since Newton. Stephen Hawking's improbable and inspiring story is well known -- how he made significant scientific breakthroughs and achieved great fame and celebrity despite being the victim of a debilitating and progressive neurological disease (motor-neuron or Lou Gehrig's disease) which eventually took away almost all of his ability to do anything for himself but to think. He ma ...more
Kitty
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing and too long. I wanted to learn more what it was like living with a genius with a serious progressive illness. She was overwhelmed most of the time trying to be there for her demanding husband and the needs of the children, but it was more a complaint than trying to convey the situation. I wanted to know more about day to day life and not so many details of her houses, renovations, gardens, friends etc.
Elizabeth
Jan 24, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to enjoy this book, but it just wasn't what I was hoping for. I honestly am not sure what I was wanting, but I guess it was something more learned and/or intimate than this. This felt like it was hundreds of pages of Jane trying to justify her life by writing about every last friend that they had over their shared past however-many years of marriage and all the daily activities she did to tend house, care for children, do grocery shopping etc.
Maybe I wanted to know more about th
...more
Amber
Oct 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A long overdue book finally read!
Jane talks about Stephen's difficult personality n challenges with loving care, compassion n protective aura which makes the books all the more beautiful and authentic, its removed from any kind of vendetta, she even talks sympathetically about the Palestinian plight at the hand of Israeli soldiers in a brief passage while recounting the horror of holocaust n the irony of situation. Over all it gives u a peep into various human being's minds from the perspective
...more
Laura
This the kind of book which you either love or hate.

Certainly, if you watched the movie, you'll love it, even if I haven't done yet. All the romantics aspects would be some way exacerbated.

If you are a fan of memoir/biography books you will find a mixture of everything in this book, such as: their personal lives (yes!), mixed with some hints of physics (of course) and history of science (in a biography?).

In summary, even the idea of the author seems brilliant, she looses the main plot by trying
...more
Shaikha Alahmad
I've been trying to finish this book since high school but I ended up dropping it every time; it was a bit long for me at that time. But after watching the movie, I was determined to finish it and I found it absolutely overwhelming and compelling! I did enjoy the movie more since the book had a lot of unnecessary details. Nevertheless, this book is incredible and deserves to be read at least once in a lifetime! 👏🏼 ...more
Jemiah Jefferson
(As written for Google Books page on this edition)
Compelling and unforgettable, if not exactly enjoyable or fun reading, Jane Hawking provides a richly detailed personal memoir of her own life, starring not herself in the leading role, but rather her then-husband, the world-famous scientist Stephen Hawking. It is a horror tale in the truest sense - not only in discussing the brutality of ALS, or motor neurone disease, and its ravages on Stephen Hawkings's body, but the staggering and shocking em
...more
Susan
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't what I was expecting. After seeing the movie Theory of Everything, I wanted to read the book to get more insight on the relationship between Stephen and Jane Hawking as well as the struggles with motor neuron disease. I was expecting a narrative, and instead got what at first seemed like a laundry list of their everyday tasks for twenty-five years.

The beginning was painful to get through because of the indiscriminate need to include even the most minute details of their lives.
...more
Renee
Nov 05, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
"Just as we thought we had escaped the worst of the winter's ills, the spring of 1976 lay in wait with a series of cruel tricks which made of it an obstacle course akin to a snakes-and-ladders board, though with many more snakes than ladders and with the dice weighted to land on the snakes."

"...it was obvious to everyone, except to Stephen and his subversive minions, that I would not be well enough to travel."

[During her second wedding] "There were the odd distracting moments -- such as the horr
...more
Janie Cai
Since it took me over two months to finish this book, I felt compelled to write a review. I was (and still am) strongly debating whether this book deserves three stars or four. As I remember Eileen once saying in a previous review, a three suggests mediocrity. However, a four suggests some form of brilliance to me. To rate this book a four would be comparing it to books like I Know Why The Caged Bird Sing and Brave New World (and other books that I've rated a four), and this book simply doesn't ...more
Stu Schreiber
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compelling story written by Jane Hawking the wife of Stephen Hawking for 25 years. Didn't know what to expect since I, like most, have been fascinated by the life and challenges of Stephen Hawking and his rock star image. Relationships, in general are complicated, and when you add Stephen's motor-neuron disorder and genius, Jane and Stephen's relationship becomes even more complicated. Despite his brilliance, Stephen is human. Jane writes of his bravery, inspiration and arrogance. I felt mysel ...more
Stu Schreiber
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually read the book after I had seen the movie. Always interesting to see what they include from the book. Enjoyed both but think I enjoyed the movie best.
Bonnie
Nov 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about Stephen Hawking's courtship and marriage to Jane Hawking, and their family life. Jane married Stephen when he was newly diagnosed with motor neuron disease and given about two years to live. That was over 40 years ago and he's still alive. She was terribly burdened with his care, on top of taking care of three children, without much money. She has genuine, legitimate complaints about his treating her like a slave? So why is she so irritating? I think it's because she has so ...more
Carolyn Walsh
Nov 20, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5 stars
This book has been described as optimistic and inspiring, but it seemed to me that the writer was very negative, complaining and demanding sympathy. There were many great challenges in her life and the reader could be more sympathetic if she wasn't complaining about everyday stresses that most everyone experiences.
She knew Stephen's medical condition when they married, but blames her time caring for him on delaying her work on her PHD in Spanish literature. But she describes endless
...more
Hether Belusky
Aug 25, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea when deciding to read this book that I had RSVP'd to a 487 page pity party. ...more
Liz Barnsley
**3.5 - 4 stars**

This was an absolutely fascinating read – Of course I have followed Stephen Hawking’s story just like everybody else, he always struck me as quite an enigmatic character but apart from his public persona I did not know a great deal. And I knew nothing of Jane Hawking, his first wife, who in this memoir tells it as it was for her and it is at turns emotional, funny and very engaging.

It is a love story, it is also the story of two people coming together and making a life, a life t
...more
Megan Quirk
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me quite awhile to read this book, but I think that's just a mixture of being busy & not wanting it to end! I became extremely attached to Jane & her family & my heart ached at how beautifully honest she is about both the triumphs & struggles of being married to Stephen. I was struck & inspired by her intelligence & drive, & I can honestly say I was sad when it was over because it was like saying goodbye to a friend. ...more
Aleishas Reviews
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, stand-alone
3.5 Stars
Sammi
Some parts of this were incredibly interesting and well written which is why I've given this book an overall 3 star rating. However, I found this book had little to do with her life with Stephen, in fact i feel this book only complains about how she had to look after someone who was EXTREMELY DISABLED. There's barely anything about his character or who he was as a person. The way she describes him is only when she found him 'unbareable' or when he was being 'difficult'. Basically this book was w ...more
Dawnie Temple
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never read something so in depth before. To hear the struggles the whole family have had to go through was inspiring,inspiring to see that at the end of it all they both could stay friends,i wish sometimes my Marriage had gone that way. But then again being controlled is not what a woman wants in life. Really want to see the Movie now to see how they can put a Brilliant Read into a Motion Picture..
Michael
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully written and poignant tale of Jane's marriage to Stephen Hawking. I loved watching A Theory of Everything and wanted to read this to understand more about these two fantasic people and their stories. ...more
Jo Weston
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rather long, perhaps, but I found it fascinating.
Laura Leilani
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies, brit-lit
Went into this book expecting some bitter bashing of her ex husband and was happily disappointed. Jane does a great job of telling her side of things in a fair manner. I also expected her to play the martyr card but she never does. She is human. She does her best. Sometimes she fails.

Her writing was top notch, much better than I was expecting. Reading this book after reading Stephens autobiography was the right move. I highly suggest that for others. Jane and Stephen both talk about the same ev
...more
Olivia
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To start with, I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars because there were some parts throughout the story in which I sort of lost track of what was going on and for me that brough down my rating because even though it was a great book and I throughly enjoyed it, some of the physics parts to it was difficult to understand and continually follow what was being said.
The writing style was good, nice, easy to read. The chapters however, some were long as some were short. The longer chapters sort of kept
...more
Elaine Mullane || At Home in Books
2.5 - 3

A very quick review: Travelling to Infinity is nicely written in terms of the language used, but very science-heavy with a lot of lengthy descriptions of events, people and interactions that at times feel unimportant. This book came across, to me, as being quite thesis-like, rather than the intimate and personal portrayal you would expect from a spouse.

Undoubtedly, Stephen Hawking is a brilliant mind but he lacks such essential social skills. He is portrayed here as selfish, arrogant and
...more
Shannon Lee
Jane Hawking is an excellent writer. She uses words and metaphors very well and paints some lovely pictures of the English countryside and Cambridge, in particular. This book, however, is l-o-n-g. Too long. I understand that a life dedicated to a debilitated genius and three children has been extremely challenging but reading about every luncheon, party, family vacation, child illness, and attendance at functions held in her husband's honour became tedious. Parts of this book read like that annu ...more
Heather Browning
I've always been impressed by Stephen Hawking; the strength it must take to do the type of work he does, while managing his disease. What I'd never thought of was the amount of strength it must take to be the other people in his life; those whose lives are taken up in providing support and care. Jane Hawking is fairly extraordinary in the life she managed to build for herself and her family while managing all these factors. She's completely honest about the level of challenge they faced, and the ...more
Doreen
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: public-library
I let out a long sigh of relief when I finished this book because it is so long and tedious. I was shocked to learn that it is “the abridged version of the original memoir” (405) which ran to over 600 pages! I guess I should be grateful my book club chose this version!

This memoir by Jane Hawking is the story of her life with the world-famous physicist, Stephen Hawking. She describes their first encounters, their courtship, and their 25-year marriage. The focus is on her struggles to cope with he
...more
Sara
This book was unusual in that when I have reached for memoirs before, the subject has been the most famous character. I found Jane Hawking's account of supporting her internationally famous and severely disabled husband while sacrificing her own ambitions and privacy very honest and modern. She fights for rights for the disabled in her daily struggles caring for Stephen and through her charity work, but I thought the bigger story in the book was her advocacy for herself and the wives and mothers ...more
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A moan to infinity would have been a better title? 2 14 Jun 18, 2015 06:25AM  

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