If you've read Brian Greene, you'll know that he is not for the feint of heart. He is a very good writer and is able to make complicated theories accessible to the lay person. However, the underlying physics and math are so complicated and frankly amazing, that the subject matter almost defies understanding. If you like his earlier books, The Elegant Universe and the Fabric of the Cosmos, you will probably like this book. He takes the fundamental elements of string theory to the next logical conclusion: that there are multiple speculative theories about existence of parallel or multiple universes. It is such a spectacular line of reasoning that the whole presentation is compelling and engaging. He also does a good job articulating the positions of the primary detractors of the theories presented in the book. A really good listen for those interested in cutting edge theoretical physics.
Most of the subjects were over my head so I was disappointed not getting more out of the book. I am of average intelligence so many readers will have a great time with this book
If you're a casual fan of astrophysics (ie: Discovery Channel), then this might be too deep for you. I can't imagine too many people outside of graduate physics students who would fully appreciate the material presented...
Makes my everyday thoughts seem quite trivial. I can't imagine his wife having breakfast with Brian. I'm sure he would see a universe in his scrambled eggs ! I listented to it twice on long car journeys alone, and was amazed at the discoveries made by cosmologists in recent times. You will look upon our world through different eyes after listening to this book. Some concepts went right over my head, but some also are clear, due to everyday analagies (SP?) presented by the author. I wish I would have paid more attention in Science class. Highly recommended.
I have read the other two books of Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos.
I think those two books are very good in explaining complex issues. They are both very interesting, understandable and entertaining.
Compared to these books I find this book is very disappointing. “The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos” seems to me to be a lot more speculative and notional than the two previous mentioned books. A quote from Paul Davies came to mind while reading :
"Matters in physics have now reached such a pitch that it is almost impossible for the non-scientist to discriminate between the legitimately weird and the outright crackpot".
Unfortunately – this book doesn’t provide any help.
Brian Greene is one of the greats. Not because he understands this stuff, but because he can explain it to those who don't. He reads this audiobook and you can pick up his enthusiasm for the subject. I wish he had read Elegant Universe and Fabric of the Cosmos also. If I win the lottery, I'm heading to Columbia University to take his courses.
Brian Greene's use of metaphor is so razor sharp that I my understanding of things that I thought I already knew has reached a much deeper level. In addition, I now have some understanding of concepts at the cutting edge of physics that are totally new to me. Thank you Mr. Greene! You've opened up my world!
As for the naysayers? The book is challenging both in terms of logic and in terms of worldview. If you think that you already have all of the answers about the very fabric of reality, then this probably isn't the book for you. And to those who found Brian Greene's voice annoying, I can't even fathom the comment. Hearing the enthusiasm in Mr. Greene's voice as he described the most fantastic concepts was a treat that couldn't have been duplicated by a "professional" reader.
I love Brian Greene, and he does a great job of reading his own book here. However, some concepts in The Hidden Reality (as you might imagine) are pretty complex and dense. It's extremely difficult to grasp this without reading the same sentence several times over, or pausing to find a diagram or something. Again, my issue is not with the book, but with my experience listening. It's entirely possible that this shortcoming is my own, but I think others are likely to have a similar experience.
I enjoyed this a great deal, but still believe "Fabric of the Cosmos" (Greene's second book) to be his best.
By the end of the 2nd chapter I felt I got my monies worth. I have never read a book that made me think about our existence in the universe in an entirely different way.