Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: How to Build a Universe: From the Big Bang to the End of the Universe by Ben Gilliland

From the first particles of matter and atomic building-blocks to hydrogen fusion, large galaxies and supermassive black holes, with a healthy dose of history and fun facts to glue everything together, this is your very own guide to How to Build a Universe.
Using a mixture of eye-catching graphics, humour and structured narrative, in How to Build a Universe, Metro columnist Ben Gilliland explains the complex concepts surrounding the birth and development of the galaxies, without overwhelming or patronising the reader.
Gilliland demonstrates how the cosmos came to be - from the formation of the first particles in the Big Bang to the development of the first stars, galaxies, planets and leading up to the present day and where the future of the universe might lie. Each chapter has an ongoing narrative, building the universe piece by piece, with graphics and fact boxes interspersed throughout.

I was a bit of a space buff as a child, so though my interest isn't as intense as it used to be, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to read this book.

In How to Build a Universe: From the Big Bang to the End of the Universe, readers get a detailed look of the origins of the universe and what happened from then to now and what will possibly happen in the future.

The book is much more comprehensive than my short summary suggests. This book is quite comprehensive and even though I already knew a number of things here, partly because of my childhood love of space and my high school and college's excellent science programs, I still learned a lot of things from this book. If you're looking to learn about space, this book is a must-read and you'll definitely get your money's worth.

That said, as you can expect from such a topic, while you don't have to know a whole lot about stars, galaxies, etc., it really helps to have a good chemistry and physics background. Those two topics are integral to the material herein, and if that stuff bores you, you may find your attention wandering at times while reading this book.

This book is quite nerdy, but still cool. Much of that coolness factor is thanks to the beautiful pictures of galaxies, and the diagrams and other features sprinkled throughout the book. The author also tried to keep things light, which is a big help since the topic and the sheer amount of information included in this book can be overwhelming sometimes.

Thanks to NetGalley and Cassell for the e-copy.


  1. It's very informative.
  2. There are a number of stunningly beautiful photos.
  3. There's something for every space fan.  


  1. The amount of information can feel overwhelming. 


  1. You like anything related to space.
  2. You want to learn more about the universe.
  3. You're looking for a reference book that has beautiful photos and informative diagrams and features. 



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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