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Brief Answers to the Big Questions

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  34,209 ratings  ·  3,111 reviews
The final book from Professor Stephen Hawking, the bestselling author of A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME and arguably the most famous scientist of our age, BRIEF ANSWERS TO THE BIG QUESTIONS is a profound, accessible and timely reflection on the biggest questions in science.
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published October 17th 2018 by John Murray (first published October 16th 2018)
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Berislav Jozic Yes, as in audio version there really is a sentence or two of his voice in every chapter.
Diego Fernández Of course, it needn't knowledge about cosmology and astrophysics. He's good at teaching you by reading. I highly recommend you read this book and his …moreOf course, it needn't knowledge about cosmology and astrophysics. He's good at teaching you by reading. I highly recommend you read this book and his other boo Hawking changed my life and he's my rock star despite we have different disability. :)

You'll enjoy for sure and hopes it be of your great. :D(less)
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Khurram
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great book, by a great man. I had heard the name Steven Hawking, but never read any of his theories. Simply for the very reason the something coming from the smartest men of the previous 2 generations would be overly complicated and beyond my understanding. What I discovered in this book is Steven Hawking was just a great man as we was a scientist, but an incredible teacher as well. His method of writing allows people like, who have a passing interest in but only a vacation of his ability in s ...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Quick book answering some Big Questions while learning a bit more about Stephen Hawking.

Is there a God?
Is there other intelligent life in the universe?
Is time travel possible?
Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?

It was great - recommend the audiobook too!
Florencia
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A few years ago, The Times newspaper ran a headline on the front page which said 'Hawking: God Did Not Create Universe'. The article was illustrated. God was shown in a drawing by Michelangelo, looking thunderous. They printed a photo of me, looking smug. They made it look like a duel between us. But I don't have a grudge against God. I do not want to give the impression that my work is about proving or disproving the existence of God. My work is about finding a rational framework to understand
...more
Sean Barrs
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
“While there’s life, there is hope.”

Stephen Hawking was such an inspirational man. When he first received his diagnosis, he was ready to give up on life; he was ready to abandon his studies as his body slowly diminished, but with the help of a few friends and loved ones he managed to carry on and complete his work. And, to his surprise, he carried on living beyond what he thought was capable. So, he made the most of every moment as he pursued his academic goals.

“Be brave, b
...more
Barbara
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition



Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist who's considered one of the most brilliant scientists since Albert Einstein. In addition to making huge contributions to physics, Hawking strove to share his discoveries with the general public, and his book "A Brief History of Time" was a best seller. Moreover, Hawking did most of his research while battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which makes his accomplishments even more remarkable.



In 'Brief Answers to
...more
Jenna
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Hawking 6 GIF - Hawking GIFs

Well, this was certainly a bitter-sweet read, knowing it is the last book of Steven Hawking. I wish I'd borrowed the e-book instead of the print because there are so many things I'd have loved to highlight.

In Brief Answers to the Big Questions, Stephen Hawking attempts to answer 10 big questions, such as:

•How did the universe begin?

•Is there a god?

•What is inside a black hole?

•Is it possible to time travel?

•Will AI outsmart us and if so, should we be worried?

These and other questions are answe
...more
André Oliveira
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
In this book Stephen Hawking, possibly the last book written by him, answers some big questions and makes some predictions for the future taking into account the current state of science. How did it all begin? Is there other intelligent life in the universe? Is time travel possible? Obviously, I wasn't expecting solutions for these questions, but Stephen Hawking is able to explain complicated questions in a way that everyone would understand.

Also, I love how Stephen Hawking answers those questi
...more
Manuel Antão
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



Closed Time-like Curves: “Brief Answers to the Big Questions” by Stephen Hawking



“Is there any point in hosting a party for time travelers? Would you hope anyone would turn up?
Hawking’s answer: In 2009 I held a party for time travelers in my college, Gonville and Caius in Cambridge, for a film about time travel. To ensure that only genuine time travelers came, I didn’t send out the invitation until after the party. On the day of the par
...more
Giorgio
Why 3 stars if the book is well-written?
Well, there is NOTHING NEW.
He just said again and again what he always said...
Maybe it should be sold as "Hawking in 90 minutes" or "Hawking for Dummies"...
Yes, his life was really RICH in experiencies, and pain, and fight to overcome an ammount of things that almost nobody could... but...

At the end, I did not feel any "answer", just plain stabilishment cientific thinking.

Not enough for me.
Mario the lone bookwolf
Part of the legacy of an exceptional genius, a source of inspiration and a science communicator.

Please note that I have put the original German text to the end of this review. Just if you might be interested.

Hawking understood how to use his life in many ways in exemplary fashion, despite his adverse health, and to research with full vigor. He was an inspiration to millions of people despite all the restrictions. And he used the nimbus as a genius, who is caged in his body, to achieve that goal.
...more
Hamad
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

“Be brave, be curious, be determined, overcome the odds. It can be done”


★ This is the book that I decided to start my year with and I am glad that I did so. I have been meaning to read more non-fiction and more science books and I believe that this was a very good choice! It was my first exposure to Hawking as an author and I certainly want to read his other book (which I already own) later this year.

★ As the name implies, the book asks ten
...more
Bharath
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first book of 2019. As a thought-provoking book from one of the leading thinkers till recent times, a good way to start the year. I have previously read his “A brief history of time” and “The grand design” both of which I liked for presenting serious science in a very readable form. This book released after Stephen Hawking’s death does not disappoint, and is a great compilation of the most important topics Hawking dealt with in his lifetime – and these topics are also those most of us ...more
Ladan
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Brilliant, wise, fun, and simple! yet a bit repetitive.
---------------------------------------
Just imagine Hawking was your teacher at school, were you going to pick the same major? were you doing the same job you have now? were you looking at the universe the same way you have been looking so far? I have a pile of friends who have grown a hatred for science merely because of the fact that their teachers couldn't simply explain and illuminate the stuff that Hawking has covered in his books.
In t
...more
Gabby
"Unleash your imagination. Shape the future."
I loved loved loved this book. I have always been fascinated by science and astronomy and I have never read anything by Stephen Hawking, and this book was absolutely fascinating and thought provoking to me. I loved hearing his theories about our future and I agree with a lot about what he has to say about religion and how human fascination with science and space travel is so important for our future. I really agree with that statement about having all
...more
Lou
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having always had much admiration for the way Stephen Hawking has lived his life, overcoming adversity to become one of the brightest stars in our sky (pun absolutely intended), I was intrigued to see what his last contribution would bring with it. One of the things I most appreciate about him and his books is that he makes often complex and complicated topics accessible to everyday individuals such as myself - those without a background or degree in the sciences, and here he explores some of th ...more
Paul
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best pop-science books I've ever read. Wonderful afterword by his daughter. Black holes are cool as shit.
Bryan
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A total page-turner, this book is quite remarkable it gives you a sense of a personal interview between Dr. Hawking and the reader.

The Big questions are:
Is there a God?
How did it all begin?
Is time travel possible?
What is inside of a black hole?
Is there other intelligent life in the universe?
Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?
How do we shape the future?
Should we colonize space?
Can we predict the future?
Will we survive on earth?

I highly recommend this book.
Jako
Dec 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Even though the book was meant to be as exoteric as possible, it is still rather thorough for the general public. To me, the answers were prolix and discursive. Much explaining was done, but I often found myself asking "How's that relevant to the question?".
Laura Noggle
Extremely readable—on par with Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

Would revisit this one in the future as it's so short and interesting—very light on the physics.

My favorite topic would have to be time travel, which Hawking believes is theoretically possible, but unlikely.

This book was published 7 months after Hawking's death and was finished by his scientific colleagues, friends, and family using his writings, lectures, and notes.

Included is a foreword from Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne,
...more
Yesenia Juarez
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always heard of Stephen Hawking growing up but I have never read into him. This man is all the hype! Wow, this book gave me chills every 30 mins. I’m convinced my IQ is 3 in comparison to his 160. Amazing!!!!
Gerhard
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as I finished reading Brief Answers to the Big Questions this morning, the power came on again. It had been off since 08:00 to about 12:00, and also from 09:00 to 00:00 last night, in what our South African electricity utility Eskom terms ‘load shedding’ (Stage 2). Due to unplanned breakdowns in its generating capacity, the utility effectively institutes rolling blackouts across the country to reduce peak demand, and to ultimately avoid a total system collapse, following which it will take ...more
Brian Bakker
Dare I say this book felt like an unnecessary addition to Hawking's work this soon after his death?

I get it, when someone with the stature of Hawking passes away, the demand for a book is there. And since I believe Hawking to be an extraordinary person, what objection could there be for this release?

My main gripe is the editing. It's beyond my grasp how such a wide-spread book could be edited so poorly, making it feel rushed and cheap. There are a lot of sentences and entire paragraphs being r
...more
TS Chan
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
As the final parting gift from one of the modern legends of scientific genius and embodiment of human perseverance, I couldn't give this anything less than 5-stars.

“Be brave, be curious, be determined, overcome the odds. It can be done”

Poignantly bookended by a beautifully written Foreword from Eddie Redmayne and a touching Afterword from his daughter, Lucy Hawking, this book is a collection of essays which attempt to answer some of the biggest questions rooted in science, and to an
...more
Sasha
One of the easiest 5 stars rate I had to give! I mean I loved it.

While reading the book I was fascinated and intimated. Reading a tiny piece of his mind is and will always be fascinating! It was such an easy book to read. No need to be a science nerd like in The Big bang Theory to enjoy that book. He is easy to understand and should we talk about his sense of humour? I don't think so but I laughed so much!

he was such an inspiration and will keep being an inspirational man...
Jack Chaucer
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A concise series of bold and sound conclusions from one of the most brave, expansive and beautiful minds this planet has ever produced. This guy traveled the universe for most of his life, despite being paralyzed in a wheelchair for much of it. He let nothing hold him back right through to his death in 2018. Check all religions and afterlife wishful thinking at the door with this book because they make no sense to Hawking based on the latest scientific discoveries. The departed scientist still h ...more
Netta
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
Mind-boggling and utterly moving book which is legitimately bigger-than-life as it contains black holes, space-time, time travels, dreamers, discoveries, wonders and, of course, Star Trek. One may think that this book is indeed what it looks like – a genius addressing big and teeny tiny little bit naïve questions that you and me are longing to ask, such as How Did It All Begin? Is There Other Intelligent Life In The Universe? Can We Predict Future? What Is Inside a Black Hole? Is Time Travel Po ...more
William Lawrence
This book is bursting with wisdom from one of the most intelligent minds to ever exist on this planet. I took this one out from a library, but I liked it so much I bought a copy and intend to reread it in the near future. There are passages of beauty and awe throughout his scientific explanations.

In addition to explaining the origins of the universe, Hawking described his own origins: "I wanted to be a great scientist. However, I wasn't a very good student when I was at school, and was rarely m
...more
Richard
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future."

This is how Stephen Hawking lived his life and this is the message to the world he presents in Brief Answers To The Big Questions.

Hawking was a genius. His research and
...more
Marc
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, astronomy
This book has been compiled by daughter Lucy Hawking and contains an anthology of the most important popularizing work of her father Stephen. Although it was published after his death, Hawking was involved in the editing process at the end of his life, but he didn't really finish it. Of course I recognized many pieces from "A Brief History of Time", the book for which Hawking is best known to the general public and which I read a few weeks ago. In that sense it did not offer me much new, except ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
I'm sure the remarkable Stephen Hawking was always being asked hard questions; I'm grateful for the opportunity to read some of his final thoughts on these topics:
~Is there a God?
~How did it all begin?
~Is there other intelligent life in the universe?
~Can we predict the future?
~What is inside a black hole?
~Is time travel possible?
~Will we survive on Earth?
~Should we colonize space?
~Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?
~How do we shape the future?

I won't claim to have completely understood his
...more
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Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England. His parents' house was in north London, but during the second world war Oxford was considered a safer place to have babies. When he was eight, his family moved to St Albans, a town about 20 miles north of London. At eleven Stephen went to St Albans School, and then on to University College, Oxford, his father's old college. Ste ...more

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“So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future.” 54 likes
“Be brave, be curious, be determined, overcome the odds. It can be done” 49 likes
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