This book is not an elementary book, nor is it a textbook in the conventional sense.
It was a labour of love by Profesor Penrose, describing the development of physics right up to modern times.
As a mathematician, Penrose does not flinch from using tough maths. But this is not a maths book. Proofs in the mathematical sense are few.
With almost 1100 pages this is certainly a weighty tome and explores many of the areas of current research and controversy in present day physics.
Recommended fireside reading for those with a decade to spare.
I've gotten a lot out of this book, but I already have a PhD in physics. I find it useful when I want to learn some general ideas about a topic that I can otherwise only find treatments of in highfalutin books or papers written for specialists.
I've tried to read it before I started my physics bachelor a few years ago, but I never got through it. I found it too hard when attempting to all the exercices for what that is worth. It was written well though.
Roger Penrose is a mathematician (of the geometer kind) not a physicist. For him maths aren't just a tool used to modelize physical things but a way to apply maths to something. This book isn't really about physics but more about physical mathematics. I'm not sure that a physicist mind is wired the same way as mathematicians mind. Anyway I've read the book but I don't remember anything about it. The Susskind/Hrabovsky book is written by physicists.