Usually lay science books, especially in the dread physical sciences, begin with solemn assurances of their simplicity and seductive suggestions on the wonderful world revealed the reader has been missing. A page later, there is a clobbering of incomprehensible data, equations and illustrations hopefully foundering in their own ""delightful ease"". The present primer, amazingly enough, lives up to many of its claims. Even the not-so-intelligent layman will get something out of it. The authors stick to essentials and, wherever possible, spare equations. They do not labor a difficult point nor hedge it with qualifications. To sustain interest, the questions raised are either necessary or immediately confront modern physics. What is mass? force? gravitation? light? sound waves? How are atoms formed? Where do cosmic rays come from? Without once telling anecdotes about Einstein or ice cream cones, the authors have managed to be humorous and human. They haven't gone far- but it's in the right direction.