I've read half a dozen books attempting to explain the essentials of cosmology, the big bang, quantum mechanics, string theory, dark energy, and other facinating, but horrendously difficult, concepts. Kaku does better at helping my feeble mind understand the origin, the composition, and the ultimate fate of the universe than any other author I have encountered. Moreover, this book is up-to-date -- published in 2005 -- and given recent developments in theory any book over about 5 years old will be a bit behind the times.
In Chapter One, Kaku summarizes in simplified form what he will discuss in the rest of the book -- and lo-and-behold I could understand it! He then gives a brief history of cosmology and delves into the development of cosmological thought. I stumbled through a lot of the material, but his writing and examples, often drawn from science fiction, were interesting, although not always comprehensible to me.
The most unique part of the book was his speculation that a near infinite number of different universes may exist in different dimensions and that someday, a billion or so years hence, we may learn to pass from one to another. In fact, as he points out, it may become necessary for the survival of the human race when our old star begins to burn out. Confirmed atheists may be offended by his frequent references to what sounds a lot like "God." His speculations on the nature of future civilizations, the possibilities of time travel, and man's search for the "theory of everything" were fascinating.
For the general reader who wants to take a tour of our universe -- its largest and smallest elements -- this is an excellent introduction.