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From his early days at Oxford, Stephen Hawking's brilliance and good humor were obvious to everyone he met. At twenty-one he was diagnosed with ALS, a disease that limited his ability to move and speak, though it did nothing to limit his mind. He went on to do groundbreaking work in cosmology and theoretical physics for decades after being told he had only a few years to live. Through his 1988 bestseller, A Brief History of Time, and his appearances on shows like Star Trek and The Big Bang Theory, Hawking became a household name and a pop-culture icon. In Hawking, Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick have crafted an intricate portrait of the great thinker, the public figure, and the man behind both identities.
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School Library Journal Review
Gr 10 Up--As a young man, Stephen Hawking was interested in the sciences, but choosing a specialty proved difficult. He grew bored easily, so he dabbled in various areas of study before finding his calling in theoretical physics and cosmology. Hawking also learned as he came into adulthood that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative disease that would leave his mind untouched as it slowly wreaked havoc on his body. Not one to give in to obstacles, he relied on the help of his wives, students, and colleagues to persevere in his studies and make complicated scientific concepts accessible. Hawking narrates this account, covering his entire life but focusing on the 1960s through the 1980s. The conversational, generally linear narrative starts out simply enough but quickly becomes a catalogue of Hawking's many famous contemporaries and the leading theories of the day, which influenced, and were influenced by, Hawking's own work. His personal life is covered as well but is secondary to his achievements. Loose, scratchy linework and bold, high-saturation colors reflect Hawking's bold ways of thinking about the universe. An author's note indicates that though the book is nonfiction, some details were changed to improve the flow of the story. VERDICT Packed with scientific theory, this graphic biography of a scientific luminary will appeal to budding physics and cosmology enthusiasts.--Alea Perez, Elmhurst Public Library, IL
Booklist Review
Stephen Hawking was arguably the most recognizable scientist of our time, but not many people are as familiar with his fascinating backstory. As he did in Feynman (2011), Ottaviani spends a lot of time going over the history of physics and the various discoveries made along the way, and while that background is essential to understanding Hawking's work and impact on science, it can occasionally overshadow the complicated and challenging life story some readers might be after. In his full-color, fine-lined artwork that balances appealingly between angularly cartoonish and realistic depiction, Myrick does an admirable job of illustrating the various complicated concepts and theories that Hawking envisioned, as well as of attempting to visualize the many scientific conversations and debates that Hawking had with his colleagues and inside his own mind. While scientific concepts may wash over some people, the touching portrayals of Hawking with his family and his struggles dealing with his degenerative condition will certainly stay. A well-rounded study of physics and one of its brightest stars.--Peter Blenski Copyright 2019 Booklist
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