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Publishers Weekly, 2001-01-22 Nothing is as big a mystery as nothing. From the hatred the digit "zero" inspired in the ancient church and the horror vacui suffered by thinkers such as Aristotle to the tantalizing singularity of black holes, nothing packs quite a wallop. People, not nature, abhor a vacuum but are often fascinated by what repels them. Cole (The Universe and the Teacup), a science columnist for the L.A. Times, prods at the infinite properties and manifestations of nothing, trying to get a handle on it without boxing it in. Definitions make something out of nothing, but then, she indicates, everything did come out of nothing. Comprising an expansive set of topics from the history of numbers to string theory, the big bang, even Zen, the book's chapters are broken into bite-sized portions that allow the author to revel in the puns and awkwardness that comes with trying to describe a concept that no one has fully grasped. It is an amorphous, flowing, mind-bending discussion, written in rich, graceful prose.. As clear and accessible as Hawking's A Brief History of Time, this work deserves wide circulation, not just among science buffs. (Feb.) Forecast: Cole's reputation means the book will be widely reviewedDand if the reviews are accurate, sales will rise. This title is a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club, as well as of the Astronomy and Library of Science book clubs. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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