I thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan to read many more books on the same topic. The only negative thing I can say about it is that it seems that he talks down to the reader a lot in this book.
The author mixes the physics with a discussion of the scientists involved and their personalities. I found the physics interesting but baffling.
i enjoyed this book. im a more than casual physics and astronomy enthusiast and dr susskind does a mostly good job of making his points at least somewhat understood. In order to lead us to his conclusion of black hole information conservation there is a lot of string theory. Susskind admits the human mind isn't meant to grock string theory. the book does take enough breaks from convoluted abstractions to interject some personality and story with some biography and history which makes it easier to pay attention when he goes back into the deep stuff. overall i would recommend to someone who at least has some PBS experience either of the carl sagan or degrasse tyson variety. the reader does a great job although due to the subject matter you probably wont be able to speed it up.
There is some interesting material here but the theories are not made clear. An accompanying copy of the text might help. The thought experiments are probably only clear to a researcher in the field.
overall love the book good presentation of hard subjects human for the layperson to understand.
This is extremely thought-provoking stuff and has further stimulated my own interest in black hole physics, quantum mechanics, and string theory. I found it more helpful to read through the text version as well as listen to the audiobook twice now. Narration in the audio version is excellent.
This book presents in a clear and understandable way some history on the debate regarding Black Holes. I will be looking into more of Mr. Susskinds books.
That said, I have some specific problems with this book.
First, at times the author wanted to make sure that he spoke to an audience that is not at all familiar with science, but at times he assumed the reader knew things that they very likely were completely unfamiliar. E.g., he took the time to explain scientific notation, even if he later failed to consistently use it. Sometimes he was folksy, saying things like "this ain't that." At other times, however, he would reference neutrinos, quarks, etc. . . . with no mention of what those were or how they related (or did not relate) to the subject matter.
Second, I found the author's tone to be rather self-indulgent. I guess I should have been tipped off by the title - the author's motivation for writing the book was that he thinks he is smarter than Stephen Hawking. And I was troubled that, after a long discussion of quantum mechanics, he suggested that his reader was not going to understand it anyway. (Then why bother to have attempted it, or not to have tried harder to make it clear?) Sadly, the writing is such that even a usually great narrator like Ray Porter read the book with a condescending air.
Third, I find that some anecdotes about scientists and their lives are wonderful,. For example, Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" was wondeful in explaining the science and describing the scientists behind the science. However, the author's little stories about one-upping Richard Feynman at a deli, missing part of a lecture because he got caught up in listening to students talking in the cafeteria (after running 15 miles, wanting chicken soup that was hot but not very good, etc.) were tiresome.