The beauty of string theory (I thought) was that every particle could be predicted by the period of the vibrations of the proposed strings. That was enough to make the theory compelling for me. This book didn't start with string theory. It started with relativity and quantum theory. When strings were finally introduced, perhaps 2 sentences on the relationship of frequency to particle type. So at this point, I have no idea if string theory really is that compelling. On the plus side, this was a well-written exposition of the state of physics. The lesson is that physics is sailing off a cliff. The number of theories of everything has exploded as the possibility of proving any of them has imploded. Newer minds will realize that physics has exposed the contradiction of science: Assume that the material universe is all that exists, and end up proving that the material universe cannot possibly exist.
Very well done, but pretty hard to follow in the car. Often there were tables that had to be read and it was difficult to follow. Although the subject material is very difficult, it's written with a humorous slant and was very entertaining.
George Musser is a staff editor and writer for "Scientific American" magazine. He has won a National Magazine Award for editorial excellence and a Global Media Award from the Population Institute.