• Stephen Hawking

  • A Memoir of Friendship and Physics
  • By: Leonard Mlodinow
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This “vivid and compelling account” (The Wall Street Journal) opens not only the inner workings of one of physics’ greatest minds, but also a view into an extraordinary friendship and the human capacity to overcome insurmountable challenges.

A Best Science Book of 2020 (The Telegraph, The Guardian)
A Best Book of 2020 (New Statesmen

One of the most influential physicists of our time, Stephen Hawking touched the lives of millions. Recalling his nearly two decades as Hawking’s collaborator and friends, Leonard Mlodinow brings this complex man into focus in a unique and deeply personal portrayal. We meet Hawking the genius, who pours his mind into uncovering the mysteries of the universe - ultimately formulating a pathbreaking theory of black holes that reignites the discipline of cosmology and paves the way for physicists to investigate the origins of the universe in completely new ways. We meet Hawking the colleague, a man whose illness leaves him able to communicate at only six words per minute but who expends the effort to punctuate his conversations with humor. And we meet Hawking the friend, who can convey volumes with a frown, a smile, or simply a raised eyebrow.

Mlodinow puts us in the room as Hawking indulges his passion for wine and curry; shares his feelings on love, death, and disability; and grapples with deep questions of philosophy and physics. Whether depicting Hawking’s devotion to his work or demonstrating how he would make spur of the moment choices, such as punting on the River Cam (despite the risk the jaunt posed), or spinning tales of Hawking defiantly urinating in the hedges outside a restaurant that doesn’t have a wheelchair accessible toilet, Mlodinow captures his indomitable spirit. This moving account of a friendship offers us invaluable lessons from one of physics’ greatest practitioners about life, the universe, and the ability to overcome daunting obstacles.

©2020 Leonard Mlodinow (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Leonard Mlodinow has done the impossible. He has skillfully woven together a thoughtful, insightful, intimate, and engaging portrait of Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds of our times, while being scrupulously faithful to the physics. Hawking would have been proud of this book. Based on his 15 year association with Hawking, he also answers one of the most puzzling questions asked by the public: How was Hawking consistently able to make breathtaking discoveries in physics while suffering from a paralyzing, debilitating illness that would have crushed any mortal?" (Michio Kaku, New York Times best-selling author of The Future of Humanity)

"Stephen Hawking surpassed science and touched the world with his transcendent genius and heroic courage that inspired millions. In this intimate memoir, his long-time friend and physics collaborator Leonard Mlodinow, one of the finest science writers of our time, shares insights into Hawking that humanizes him while also revealing what made him one of history's greatest minds." (Michael Shermer, author of The Believing Brain

"An intimate, unique, and inspiring perspective on the life and work of one of the greatest minds of our time. Filled with insight, humor, and never-before-told stories, it's a view of Stephen Hawking that few have seen and all will appreciate." (James Clear, author of Atomic Habits)

What listeners say about Stephen Hawking

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A Beautiful Book!


I suffer from numerous debilitating chronic illnesses. My disabilities continue to challenge me in every way. I am forced to constantly change my approach and transmute my suffering into something useful, meaningful, and beautiful. Professor Hawking inspires and encourages me to keep moving forward.

I am so glad of this book. It brought me so much comfort to learn more about Stephen Hawking. What a wonderfully and warmly written memoir of such a beautiful relationship.

Professor Hawking died on the same day I had brain surgery. He will always be my greatest hero. His legacy continues to keep me looking up at the stars, even when it hurts the most. 🌟

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loved it!

It’s a beautiful book. I would highly recommend. I love getting a deeper look into Dr. Hawkings personal life and friendships.