Basically Hawking doesn't like the whole Intelligent Design stuff, so he wrote a short book describing how cool the universe is without it requiring a creator. I loved his previous work, but this one comes across as flabby and negative (and I'm not an ID proponent either). If you want to read a good version of this, read Carl Sagan's Cosmos.
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Hawking at his finest, this book drew a young highschool Zack to see Hawking deliver a lecture in Seattle and increase his fervor for Physics. Truly a stunning landmark book in explaining things like black holes to the masses. A+