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O professor Stephen Hawking é um dos cientistas mais notáveis e famosos da nossa era e autor do bestseller científico A Brief History of Time que já vendeu mais de 25 milhões de exemplares Nestas fascinantes memórias Jane Hawking a primeira mulher de Stephen Hawking apresenta nos a história do seu extraordinário casamento vista por dentro Enquanto o prestígio académico de Stephen disparava o seu corpo cedia aos assaltos da doença neuromotora e o relato franco de Jane em que descreve como tentava equilibrar os cuidados constantes que o marido exigia com as necessidades de uma família em crescimento será uma inspiração para todos

10 thoughts on “Music to Move the Stars A Life with Stephen Hawking

  1. says:

    In some cases it is best to see the film first and this is one of them I was extremely moved by The Theory of Everything and particularly impressed by the central performances of Stephen Hawking Eddie Redmayne and Jane Hawking Felicity Jones In the film Jane Hawking has a steady strength and a calm presence Even when she becomes increasingly ground down by the demands of Stephen's physical deterioration there is the sense that she is the strong centre of their marriage and family and a hugely important factor in his professional successTo read this book is to realise rather crushingly how very simplified and sugar coated the cinematic version is compared to what transpired in real life I had huge sympathy for Jane Hawking and her myriad difficulties but this is a painful book to read in many senses It also feels very slanted; perhaps that is inevitable in a memoir but sometimes Jane Hawking's perceptions and perspective seem filtered through such a strong prism of depression guilt and self doubt that I felt that I really wanted some counterbalancing perspectives Were her in laws really so insensitive and lacking in understanding? Was Stephen so clueless about the physicalemotional toll on her?The book begins with a description of a young Jane who is just discovering herself through travels to Spain and a university education studying modern languages She depicts herself as a typically upper middle class British girl of her era albeit of the bluestocking strain Both she and Stephen have families with long relationships with Oxford and Cambridge and there is much talk of music and theatre She plays tennis; goes on a secretarial course; learns falteringly to drive Their courtship is much on and off than the film implies and is interrupted at various points while both of them travel They had barely started dating when Stephen was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and one never quite gets the sense of why she wanted to persist with such a fledgling relationship at that point Conversely she conveys that getting married and later having children gives Stephen the confidence and security to really pursue his own intellectual and professional dreamsI don't feel that I really learned all that much about Stephen Hawking in this book Although she occasionally makes reference to his charm wit and charisma what mostly comes across is his intellectual arrogance his disdain for her religious beliefs and his utter self absorption with physics and his career Frankly he sounds like a selfish monster Probably the genius the physics or the degenerative disease would have been difficult enough just on their own but taken together they are a triple whammy Even worse she describes a Stephen who will not talk about difficulties his own or those that they share The physical and emotional burdens that she feels until Jonathan comes into her life on that seem unbearable and she often describes her total exhaustion Add to that her own insecurity about being reduced to a domestic drudge about not fulfilling her own intellectual or professional abilities and this book is a long series of laments I was compelled by it and yet it could be extremely tiresome There is way too much detail about inessentials and not nearly enough insight She goes to great lengths to describe the innocence of her relationship with Jonathan who becomes a friend and support in the household for many years and later her husband when she and Stephen divorce I believed her and yet she protested way too much which leads to inevitable doubts She seemed to feel SO guilty for not being able to parent single handedly plus take care of an invalid AND his glittering career plus ask nothing for herself and yet WHY? She is constantly trying to convince the reader of her worthiness which is not at all necessary whilst never quite believing it herself Emotionally draining stuff

  2. says:

    This is Jane Hawking's story of her 25 year marriage to Stephen Hawking who is arguably the most famous physicist since Newton Stephen Hawking's improbable and inspiring story is well known how he made significant scientific breakthroughs and achieved great fame and celebrity despite being the victim of a debilitating and progressive neurological disease motor neuron or Lou Gehrig's disease which eventually took away almost all of his ability to do anything for himself but to think He may be the only scientist alive whose name is known to millions of people and has achieved a celebrity status usually reserved for rock stars and accomplished athletesStephen Hawking's book A Brief History of Time sold 25 million copies an astounding and truly incredible fact considering the arcane nature of its subject matter and the fact that it is not dumbed down physics but is actually quite hard to read and even harder to understand It has been said that never in history has a book been bought by so many people who did not read it That is probably a testament to the enduring mark Stephen has made on people by the force of his determination and unbreakable spirit in the face of great adversityAlso well known and the subject of much gossip and speculation is the story of how Stephen divorced Jane after 25 years of marriage to live with and then marry one of his nurses Jane Hawking's book is circumspect and honest Those looking for salacious details will be disappointed But those looking for an insightful examination of what makes marriages and relationships succeed and fail will be richly rewarded Jane Hawking writes that her story would be quite ordinary quite common to most people's lives were it not for two factors motor neuron disease and geniuis In other words but for the fact that she was married to an iconic figure who was both a towering intellect and a devastatingly disabled person Both of these factors did put unusual stresses on the marriage While Jane describes these unusual difficulties this also is an ordinary story dealing with many of the common place problems and joys that people encounter as they try to forge a life together Some of these problems and joys like shared interests and clashing beliefs a spouse's annoying and endearing characteritstics helpful relatives and toxic ones are most likely found in virtually all relationships Others are also common if not pervasive For instance the stresses caused when one partner overshadows the other in accomplishment and attention Added to this was the demanding nature of Stephen's illness which consumed much of Jane's time and energies for many of the years of their marriage and the difficulty of trying to raise three children while caring for a disabled husband Jane's struggle to find her own career and to feel like something than an appendage to a famous spouse mirrors the struggle that many couples grapple with how to be a unit or team while still being individuals Bittersweet in places sometimes downright sad nonethess at bottom it is inspiring for it is the story of not one person of indomitable will and soaring spirit who survived great difficulties but two

  3. says:

    Very disappointing and too long I wanted to learn what it was like living with a genius with a serious progressive illness She was overwhelmed most of the time trying to be there for her demanding husband and the needs of the children but it was a complaint than trying to convey the situation I wanted to know about day to day life and not so many details of her houses renovations gardens friends etc

  4. says:

    I really wanted to enjoy this book but it just wasn't what I was hoping for I honestly am not sure what I was wanting but I guess it was something learned andor intimate than this This felt like it was hundreds of pages of Jane trying to justify her life by writing about every last friend that they had over their shared past however many years of marriage and all the daily activities she did to tend house care for children do grocery shopping etc Maybe I wanted to know about their relationship her feelings and thoughts on the work he was doing wasn't she at all involved in the discussion or theorizing? interesting stories that would add nuance and color to an incredible scientific personalityBut this book ended up being so pedestrian and mundane I left the book feeling like it was a way for her to cash in on her relationship without having any viable content to share She didn't take us on any journey of any exciting or interesting path Instead I just got to learn about where they lived who they saw practically every single day and other dull details of their lives

  5. says:

    A long overdue book finally readJane talks about Stephen's difficult personality n challenges with loving care compassion n protective aura which makes the books all the beautiful and authentic its removed from any kind of vendetta she even talks sympathetically about the Palestinian plight at the hand of Israeli soldiers in a brief passage while recounting the horror of holocaust n the irony of situation Over all it gives u a peep into various human being's minds from the perspective of a wife a mother a lover and above all a female human being moved by art and literature struggling to maintain her individual identity while being overshadowed by Stephen n his demands on her time n person All the while denouncing the lack of compassion cruelty of fame money and world's bitter attitude towards the disabled and the less lucky creatures including trees Just glad that i saw the movie before I read it otherwise the movie distorts so many facts n timelines that it would've been hard to enjoy it after reading the book

  6. says:

    This the kind of book which you either love or hateCertainly if you watched the movie you'll love it even if I haven't done yet All the romantics aspects would be some way exacerbatedIf you are a fan of memoirbiography books you will find a mixture of everything in this book such as their personal lives yes mixed with some hints of physics of course and history of science in a biography?In summary even the idea of the author seems brilliant she looses the main plot by trying to explain everything to us poor readersIf you really want to know about Stephen Hawking please read his book A Brief History of TimeUpdateDaily Mail review

  7. says:

    I've been trying to finish this book since high school but I ended up dropping it every time; it was a bit long for me at that time But after watching the movie I was determined to finish it and I found it absolutely overwhelming and compelling I did enjoy the movie since the book had a lot of unnecessary details Nevertheless this book is incredible and deserves to be read at least once in a lifetime 👏🏼

  8. says:

    As written for Google Books page on this editionCompelling and unforgettable if not exactly enjoyable or fun reading Jane Hawking provides a richly detailed personal memoir of her own life starring not herself in the leading role but rather her then husband the world famous scientist Stephen Hawking It is a horror tale in the truest sense not only in discussing the brutality of ALS or motor neurone disease and its ravages on Stephen Hawkings's body but the staggering and shocking emotional cruelty experienced by his infinitely patient tough adoring wife and family at his hands and those of his immediate family If anyone spoke to me the way that Stephen's mother spoke to Jane I'd be in jail because I'd have to try to choke the life from them And yet Jane is no doormat not really she is merely beaten down by physical and emotional exhaustion and blinkered by her love of this incredibly vexing brilliant selfish egotistical man To discuss in greater detail would be to deprive the reader her own chance to personally experience the story; I don't imagine everyone will have the same opinion of the quality of the writing the maddening aspects of the genius personality of Jane's right to do and feel as she did and does But as an example of the story behind the story of how fame and renown can be used as a dropcloth to conceal the most hideous aspects of humanity of the systematic erasing of a woman's self esteem and worth by decades of cruelty and contempt this is a top notch work of biography and a valuable piece of a feminist canon Honestly what would you do? Can you truly say that you'd have done better?I still look up to and adore Stephen Hawking but now also loathe him completely in a way I usually associate with people I know personally He's a human to me now Well done

  9. says:

    Just as we thought we had escaped the worst of the winter's ills the spring of 1976 lay in wait with a series of cruel tricks which made of it an obstacle course akin to a snakes and ladders board though with many snakes than ladders and with the dice weighted to land on the snakesit was obvious to everyone except to Stephen and his subversive minions that I would not be well enough to travelDuring her second wedding There were the odd distracting moments such as the horrible scratchy pen which turned my signature on the registers into an untidy scrawl bringing back humiliating memories of a failed art exam in calligraphy at St Albans High School This book was incredible in that I have never seen read or experienced anything as negative in my life Every minute was an opportunity to complain and to beg for sympathy I was in awe by 20% and then I just had to keep reading to see if the entire book could really continue at that rate It did Amazing A situation will be described as terrible awful and traumatic only to be referred to as not bad in comparison to what horror was next for her I think she would have garnered the sympathy craved if she had described life evenly as yes certainly there were plenty of struggles But she was also financially secure buying and remodeling several houses with help from parentsin laws and traveling the world So many things the chicken pox ohmygosh the chicken pox were blown out of proportion that it diluted the actual challenges

  10. says:

    This book wasn't what I was expecting After seeing the movie Theory of Everything I wanted to read the book to get insight on the relationship between Stephen and Jane Hawking as well as the struggles with motor neuron disease I was expecting a narrative and instead got what at first seemed like a laundry list of their everyday tasks for twenty five years The beginning was painful to get through because of the indiscriminate need to include even the most minute details of their lives Everything was laid out chronologically as the book was compiled of a million small stories that didn't create any kind of narrative arc only served to give a complete account as to what they ate for breakfast and which flights they took to what countries She also delved pretty deep into the science of Stephen's book as well as her own studies on Medieval Spanish poetry which might be interesting to some but was dry to me Her editor did in deed fail her in this respectHowever I think the book IS important for the reasons Jane describes in the epilogue To show what it is like living withtaking care of someone who has motor neuron disease especially someone who is a famous scientist Many people insist that this reads like a huge complaint by Jane but I think she has been so pushed back into the corner that she than deserves to tell her side of the story and the caretakers side of the story Yes she does defend herself very loudly and yes she does complain about the stresses of their lives very often But I don't blame her Her attitude and will to do whatever it took was inspiring and by the end of the book I was moved to tears Read this if you have a lot of time and patience and it will be worth it if you stick with it to the end It really is an amazing story and while it wasn't the passionate drama I was expecting I think it was beneficial I was also surprised at how different the movie portrayed the second half of their lives from what Jane describes I think that even with the movie she was done a great injustice She is still struggling with the idea that Stephen is an idol and she is the woman who couldn't give him everything he needed I have nothing but respect for her