This is a well researched and entertaining story. Bryson has an absolute knack for turning the boring into the interesting. It is clear that his interest and passion for this enormous subject grew during the construction of the book. Its a different Bill Bryson and I like it. BUT I am not a fan of the reader. OK I'm from Australia but I enjoy a lot of american reads. This one is very difficult to put up with for long stretches. It needs to be read with a fun lively attitude. Sadly this one did not. I have the printed book too which I love to pick up and read. If you can stand the reader, get the audio book!
I found the abridged version fascinating, and enjoyed the unabridged version even more, even though it is quite a marathon. The narrator does tend to be a bit dry, but not unbearably so.
I found it extremely fair and did great justice to the Creation vs Evolution debate, and covers and explains a vast array of human knowledge in a few hours.
My own conclusion is that the universe was created, AND it evolved, much in the same way as light is both a particle AND a wave. To insist on one or the other is simply bad science. Bill Bryson's book is well written and well read, and I'm glad I bought it.
Listening since 2004. Mystery, thrillers and anything that can blend with a walk, jog, exercise, long drive or a wait at the airport.
You will need a sharp memory to remember all the bits of information so that you can feel smart. And if you have a sharp memory it will make you an interesting conversationalist around a dinner table, the only advantage I see out of this book. The history of the earth cannot be heard effortlessly by folks like me accustomed to listening to Dan Brown of Grisham! Folks who watch National Geographic are welcome here. Well read, well written and interesting information but just not for all.
Very good read, great story telling. However, unfortunately, a lot of science quoted as current is simply proven to be false by now as the book is over a decade old. So for more recent fact it would be more interesting for the reader to go through a more recent book. Otherwise great :)
If you've ever wondered about life on earth, how we think it got started or how we know what we know; then this is the book to read. Bill Bryson breaks hard to understand concepts into a clear, concise narrative that anyone can understand.
This book is highly recommended for anyone who is curious about science, geology, biology, astronomy or the origins of life.
I would also recommend it as a complimentary read for students.
I have read my hard copy of this book twice and listened to it once. I'll definitely be listening to it again.
I liked the premise of BB spending several weeks walking and on public transport experiencing different parts of the country before he and his family left the UK for his home country US. He is funny. No doubt about that. This is a lovely book to read/ dip into. You can interrupt your reading, read something else then come back to this. You won't need reminding of anything. You just pick up on BBs next adventure.
I loved the attempt to bring together into several strands a single narrative. It works well and convincingly to convey specialized concepts in accessible language. The only issue is with some if the accents which the narrator didn't convincingly pull off.
An amazing synopsis of the evolution of scientific thought combined with profound insights about the probable future. Bryson touches on both the glory and the folly of man.
I am no scientist but I could tell that at least a couple of topics were not up-to-date, which made me wonder about the rest.
It's an interesting listen on the most part. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on space and the universe, and later on in the book, on how humanity came to be. Many of the facts are astounding. Some parts are a bit tedious... there is a lot of gossip-column-worthy information about many of the scientists, which I could have done without.
Warning: if you're not a germaphobe, the chapter on bacteria might turn you into one.
The narrator is good, besides when he's trying to do an Australian accent.