We saw The Theory of Everything a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I had been reading Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen Hawking, and so was interested to finish it to see how it squared with the film.
It is an interesting book for many reasons. First of all, it is a pretty accurate portrayal of a complex man - at least according to all the sources. There is a lot of history and science involved. Jane Hawking, the author, was a literature major and her observations and field of study are richly outlined too.
I believe it paints a portrait of a brilliant man who survived by asserting his powerful ego on all those around him. Perhaps this is how he survived and how he was able to contribute so significantly to mankind. But it was at a very high cost - a cost that cannot always be justified.
The movie lead some to believe that Stephen nobly left Jane so she could find happiness with someone else. I was interested to finish the book to see if this was true. It was not the case - Stephen Hawking exacted a very heavy price from his wife and his children and other family members. Fortunately for him, as he has married and divorced twice since leaving Jane, his family still loves and cares for him. They treat him well and include him on holidays when he might otherwise be alone.
They are the brilliant ones!