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Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
5 out of 5 stars (198 ratings)

Non-member price: $30.38

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Publisher's Summary

Read by Ben Whishaw and Garrick Hagon, with an afterword read by Lucy Hawking.  

The world-famous cosmologist and number one best-selling author of A Brief History of Time leaves us with his final thoughts on the universe's biggest questions in this brilliant posthumous work.

How did the universe begin? Will humanity survive on Earth? Is there intelligent life beyond our solar system? Could artificial intelligence ever outsmart us?

Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen Hawking expanded our understanding of the universe and unravelled some of its greatest mysteries. But even as his theoretical work on black holes, imaginary time and multiple histories took his mind to the furthest reaches of space, Hawking always believed that science could also be used to fix the problems on our planet.

And now, as we face potentially catastrophic changes here on Earth - from climate change to dwindling natural resources to the threat of artificial superintelligence - Stephen Hawking turns his attention to the most urgent issues for humankind.

Wide-ranging, intellectually stimulating, passionately argued and infused with his characteristic humour, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, the final book from one of the greatest minds in history, is a personal view on the challenges we face as a human race and where we, as a planet, are heading next.

©2018 Stephen Hawking (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What members say

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interesting without being overwhelming

a great book with lots of great information, yet its told in a way it doesnt feel like you're being overwhelmed with facts.

Ben Wishaw was a great choice for narrator his voice fits the book fantastically.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Why can't I give this book 10 stars?

I haven't loved a book so much since The Universe in a Nutshell. A book to keep forever

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A beautiful life

This book is a great listen for those who like to investigate life and the universe with an open mind. I truly enjoyed hearing his ideas and beliefs and raise a glass to this magnificent man.

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Brilliant and thought provoking

Loved it!! Never listened to Stephen Hawking before but will definitely be listening to more books.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • Newcastle, Australia
  • 08-05-2019

Inspirational.

A fantastic book. I was especially interested in his discussion of his own mistakes and weaknesses.

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Thought provoking, inspiring, moving

Will be a clasic book for the next 200 years. A must read for everyone.

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Amazing insight

I am a novice to these concepts and hawkings work, however, I found this a great starting point! it was highly interesting.

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A must read.

Great book with a summary of the contributions from one of the greatest minds of our time. How lucky we are to live these times. You will enjoy the positive message of this book.

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One of Humanity's Best<br />

Steve Hawking is, and always will be, a hard act to follow. One of Humanity's best. I just wish todays so-called political leaders come even come close to emulating him. My mother-in-law died from MND. A beautiful women and great mum. Truly missed. Both of them.

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brilliant

one of the best brief books on up to date physics and the great man who overcame adversity to explain science to people like me

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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 08-05-2019

Loved it. It's inspiring. Follows current beliefs.

Loved it. I thinks this is a must read for adolescents and anyone who aspires some common good sense.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Son of Thor's whimper
  • 29-03-2019

Last helping hand

Over the years Stephen Hawkings books have accompanies me on travels or as in this case on long walks. The subject matters were invariably difficult and at times daunting. In this book its the same, but more so. The bigest questions possible and still more than worthwhile. It is impressive to hear how well thought through and clearly stated Prof. Hawkings manages to argue and develop his answers to the questions. The relative brevity in answering the questions, in about half an hour a question, suggests a long preparation in making the case simply, and it makes the book digestible also for an average reader. A realy enjoyable and worthwhile listening and with a sad note, this being the last helping hand Stephen Hawking could give. It is a big help.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Santiago Tacoronte
  • 17-06-2019

interesting and pragmatic view of life questiond

I liked how the author aboard some of the most deep questions in our existence with a very prag
matic and scientific view

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  • Bertrand Gongne
  • 29-05-2019

Warm and hopefull

Great book by great man, full of optimism and hunger of knowledge. Will be missed by many. Thank you!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-01-2019

All you need to know on the universe

A complete map of the work of Hawking and other scientists regarding astro physics and other fields. Explained for someone who has a basic knowledge on the nature of the universe.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-01-2019

Deep, intelligent, thought provoking

One of the best listens I have experienced over the Christmas period, full of current topics and deep questions, relevant to the future of life on Earth.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-12-2018

Brief, honest and funny! #5stars

The book is exactly that - brief and provides objective information from all relevant perspectives. #5stars

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  • Felipe Gordillo Corvalán
  • 07-12-2018

interesting but not deep enough

it goes through many ideas without to deep in any... that felt odd, I wish it was longer...

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Heisenberg
  • 16-10-2018

Look up to the stars, not down at your feet.

Stephen Hawking was such a wonderful populariser of physics and cosmology, with a knack for explaining the most complicated science in such a way that even a layman like myself could begin to understand it. He was also a voice of reason in a world that often seems lacking in that quality.

This book covers a variety of questions Hawking has been asked, or addressed over the years - is there a God? What came before the big bang? Might AI develop a will of its own and become a threat to mankind? How did life begin? His answers are at once both challenging and informative. At just under five hours this is quite brief, but also fantastically enjoyable - I listened to the whole thing in a single day. I especially enjoyed the brief sections in Professor Hawking's own familiar, assisted, voice. Ben Whishaw was also excellent reading the main text.


"Remember to look up at the stars not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder what makes the universe exist. Be curious". - Stephen Hawking (1942 - 2018)

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 27-10-2018

Awesome

Awesome and inspiring! Loved listening to the opinions and thoughts of a great mind. A must listen!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew Misselbrook
  • 16-10-2018

One to read before you die

An incredible book by an incredible man, Stephen Hawking goes out with an incredible read. Complex issues told in an easy way. An amazing look into the forecast for the future.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • EmilieWAN
  • 20-10-2018

A beautiful book written by one most beautiful mind

I never read a book of Stephen Hawking before as I thought that his theories might be quite difficult to understand by a person without scientific background. Surprisingly he made everything clear, interesting and touching to read.
It’s a book about physics, and about life; Stephen Hawking’s intelligent, optimistic, brave life, and what he expected human beings would enjoy.
Beautifully read by Ben Whishaw with a clean and tender voice.
Worth listening for everyone, interested or not in Theoretical Physics. The book will make one feel that life is a bonus.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • MR V P KENYON
  • 31-01-2019

Science for the masses

I won't pretend I understood the content in this Audiobook, I'm a truck driver not a scientist, but I did feel as though I got the gist of what was being presented; and Mr Hawkins' way of discussing the God v Science debate is particularly comforting and helped me to realign my own beliefs. Mr Hawkins' optomism is contagious, combined with his humour, you may find this book uplifting as well as educational. A throughly recommended goodread/listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Handley
  • 01-01-2019

Wonderful. Profound. Human

Yes, Stephen Hawking certainly made a contribution and brings perspective to our human challenges. Wonderful, thought provoking and generous

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher Gauci
  • 07-12-2018

Inspirational as it is fascinating

I loved listening to this book. The foreward & afterward were especially touching.
Stephen is an amazing person, his brilliance in communicating complex ideas is one of a kind and what also shines through is his human side. His concern for the faith of planet earth, people and nature. His sense of humour is sweet, funny and to the point. I enjoy his jokes.... maybe he should be a sit down comedian.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Terrence
  • 19-10-2018

What to say?

There is really no reason why you shouldn’t get this audible book, it is a beautiful last piece of work. The world is a lesser place without Stephen Hawking.

Just get the book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Salacious Crumb
  • 08-05-2019

Byte size introductions to massive topics

An easy and entertaining introduction various contemporary scientific topics that can stimulate listeners to explore further into their topics elsewhere.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-11-2018

Absolutely amazing.

I didn't think I'd ever cry reading a smart thinking book but here we are.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful