Review by Tina Hesman Saey
If you’re waiting for an apocalypse on December 21, 2012, you’re in for a big disappointment, says Keating. The physicist’s book aims to reassure people that the world is not going to end, educate them about why and entertain along the way. He succeeds on all fronts.
Keating pays homage to Galileo’s 1630s best seller Discourse on Two New Sciences with another three-way conversation between friends. Galileo’s book was a discussion about science between two philosophers and a layman that took place over about four days. Keating updates the format to an e-mail exchange among three friends: Tom, a scientist exasperated with doomsday prophesying; Fred, a regular guy who buys into the hype; and Aileen, a woman with a background in social science who is trying to keep an open mind. Keating’s characters seem so real that it may feel as if you’