- Pages: 256
- Genre: Biography and Autobiography
“The Universe is the Ultimate Free Lunch.”
‘Brief Answers to the Big Questions’ the last book of Stephan Hawking, went into controversy as it encounters the unanswerable questions like ‘Is there a God?’, ‘What came before the Big Bang?’, ‘How do we shape the future?’ and many more significant questions of this century for which we need an answer.
Starting with the title, ‘Brief Answers to the Big Questions’ fits bests as it is a brief introduction and collection of his astounding and in-depth theories and ideas. He made all the logic crystal clear and proves it at its best. If you are a believer of science, then this book will definitely make you question your belief on God and will make you focus on the biggest and most important questions and future of this century.
When I heard about the book, I was in doubt about the genre because of the hype of ‘big questions’, but after reading the book, the genre surely made a point as it includes a lot about events of his life along with the scientific theories. The book begins with the essays by Eddie Redmayne; the actor who played Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything’, an introduction by one of his colleague and closest friend, Kip Thorne and Hawking himself. The book ends with the afterword by his daughter, Lucy Hawking.
The book is an easy read, Hawking’s way of using humor and still making a point is phenomenal. The pace and language of the book are good and acceptable. The connection between his life stories and the scientific theories and the narration of it is brilliant. The metaphors used, make it so easy to understand even the complex theories. Though, the book becomes more interesting if you know the basic terms of physics.
“To a large extent, we shall have to rely on mathematical beauty and consistency to find the Ultimate Theory of everything.”
– Will we survive on earth?
I am sure his views and more-in-depth theories will go a long way in solving the major problems of this world that are listed in the book. He makes me realize how much we ignore the world’s biggest issues that will lead us to the end of our own existence. He with his self-deprecating views and dry wit made me look at the bigger picture and definitely helped me broaden my horizon. The chapters of the book were written in the first person, as it is entirely penned by Hawking, though he didn’t write this book alone in his last months but the ideas and spirit is definitely his.
Hawking along with being a great scientist of the century, was down-to-earth; in one of the chapters he uses the phrase, ‘if I have made a contribution’, which shows his generosity.
Overall, the book is captivating and will make you think. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Anyone, with or without an appetite for the great challenges in physics can read this book. Those who are familiar with the concepts of cosmology, relativity, and astronomy will easily get along, but it is always compelling to read Hawking’s take on affairs.
Best Lines from the Book – “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 may life 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.”