I am reading this book for the second time now, and let me tell you that it requires CONCENTRATION. If you're not careful, you'll get your Sumerians mixed up with your Akkadians, or your Muslim mystics mixed up with your Christian mystics, or your epistemology mixed up with your transcendentalism.
And then you'll be in a real fix, because you will look up from your book and realize that you have no idea what the last twenty pages were discussing. Then you will have to go read those twenty pages again, and that will be very frustrating, because this is a VERY long book.
Just the same, anyone interested in a comparative study of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam will probably like this book. It has a lot to say about what people have thought about God throughout human history, and if you can CONCENTRATE it will have you thinking. I liked it so much I read it a second time, and I don't often do that.
There are some who attack the author on the grounds that she isn't a "scholar." Apparently she studied history, but never quite completed her degree. I think that such an argument is founded upon jealousy, and on opinions taken second and third-hand from other sources. Like any historian, she is never right 100% of the time, and in putting her opinion out there she is taking a risk. Whether all her opinions are right or wrong takes little away from this book, since it is a masterful survey of a very, very big subject. A lot of "scholars" like to point fingers at Karen Armstrong, but until they start writing books this good I think they should keep their mouths shut, and their pens at rest.
This is one of those "popular science" books that seem to proliferate these days, and as an example of such it is in no way exceptional.
It is solidly written, and offers the basic outlines of what the scientific community presently understands about our world, our universe, and what might lie outside of both. Topics such as teleportation, the possible existence of extraterrestrials, and the feasibility of large-scale laser technology are discussed, with examples drawn from popular movies and books.
There is little in this book that you won't also find in works by Stephen Hawking, Paul Adams, and other such authors, but I think that in this case the author has made the material slightly more accessible. Whether you consider this a point in favor or a point against this book would depend on how often you read this kind of thing. Some might accuse the author of "dumbing down" much of the science, while others might praise him for skipping "the hard stuff." I am inclined to the first opinion, but then again I read a lot of books on physics and other scientific topics.
I think the highlight of this book is the discussion on extraterrestrials and intersolar/interstellar/intergalactic travel. If even HALF of the science fiction authors out there bothered to read these chapters, we would have a much better selection of science fiction novels from which to choose!