I've listened to and enjoyed all of Bill Bryson's audio books, which is the reason that I chose this one even though it isn't travel related (unless you consider it a travel through time). At first I didn't think I was going to finish it, struggled through the first hour or so, but it picked up as more of the author's usual wit came through and topics became more tangible for me. After that point, I didn't want to stop listening, and in fact have relistened to many chapters a few times. It takes Bill Bryson to make such dry subjects interesting, and here he succeeds once again.
Alas, this book was not exactly what I expected. There is a great deal of names and dates and chronology, but hardly any exploration of the actual sciences. Yes, the narration is good, and if you what you are after is a history of science book, then here is the book for you! But look elsewhere if you actually want to learn more about physics, chemistry, geology, etc.
I enjoy reading light scientific books, and this one is a great one. This book takes each of several scientific subjects from their beginnings to the latest discoveries and theories, giving an interesting overview of that science. Each subject is presented in a clear and precise way, and the knowledge is put into perspective with clarifying analogies and fresh new ways of looking at complex subjects. NOW I finally understand what quantum physics is about.
I highly recommend this book. I couldn't stop listening to it. I only wish that it was not an abridged version. I'd like to hear more.
A great book for anyone interested in science, life and who we are. I listen to most of the science books offered at audible, and this one was both fun and educational.
Bryson is great as ususal. A good synopsis of all sience and entertaining as well. Unfortunate that is was abridged. I hope an unabridged version comes out soon.
If I could give it negative starts I would. This book is nothing more than an aging hippy complaining about how man has ruined the earth. He spouts off on how man is just a mistake of evolution and we are less significant then bacteria and it would have probably have been better if evolution would not have made the "mistake". It's a tired story of Humanistic propaganda laced with left wing sobbing about the environment. A total waste.
Having read and enjoyed Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" several years ago I expected this book to be of comparable calibre. Instead it turned out to be a hodge-podge collection of unrelated facts. While some of these were interesting, there is not story or even a well defined theme to this book. I rated it at one star only because there is no option for a negative rating.
Science and philosophy buff
the abridged version is better performed and a great introduction to non-sciency types. there are some errors that need to. e corrected but still worth the credit