Too bad this doesn't quite come off. The writing is vivid, even dramatic, and the author (mathematics professor at Queens College) certainly knows his subject- but he doesn't know his audience. The intriguing title and the lively chapter-headings all imply a reader level similar to that of Atomics for the Millions, reviewed below. Actually the scope and detail of the book are beyond the ability of anyone without a good background in physics. Analogies, no matter how amusing, cannot take the place of equations when you go as deeply into the subject as this author does. Too many scientists are named, too many theories are presented to make for easy reading. Dr. Hoffman does manage to get across the sense of the chase, of suspense as one scientist after another probed toward the modern concepts of space, time, matter and energy. In these passages the author's poetic style serves well, but in giving the actual scientific facts something clearer, more direct is needed.