Bryson's work is definitely worth a listen and a re-listen. It is an immense compilation of facts about the growth of science, the individuals who pushed it forward, and the history of the times within which they lived. Very colorful and and lively, I came away feeling more conifident about the future of the human race, when such flowers bloom within.
The first audiobook I downloaded was the abridged version of this book. I don't even know why...I'd never heard of Bill Bryson, and I'm certainly not a science-minded person, but for some reason, it intrigued me. I absolutely loved the book - found it fascinating, and it held my attention very well, since it's only a small glimpse of everything. It has actually inspired me to research some of these things more! Plus, I have discovered a new favorite author..my husband and I enjoy him so much, that we've listened to almost every one of his books (only two more to go!).
The unabridged version is, of course, even better because it includes so much more. The ONLY problem I have with this one is that Bryson doesn't narrate it himself, as he did the Abridged version, and as he does all of his others. It's still a great book...but without his tone and delivery, I was a little bit disappointed (but just a little bit :)
In my short 58 years on earth, I have never read / listened to a book that so captured both my attention and my imagination. An extremely entertaining book about an otherwise mundane subject, Bryson has managed to make science a whole lot more interesting. He brings historic characters to life, adds humor to humorless subjects, uses irony to great advantage, and finds exactly the right comparison from everyday life to explain the most incredible concepts. It's the one book that everyone who wants to know anything about life as we (don't) know it should read.
Without a doubt, the BEST science related book I have ever come across. I'm currently on my third listen to this audio. There are just so many fascinating facts delivered by a great narrator that it is impossible to gleen all of them on one pass.
A must have. Should be required reading in high school.
I approached this long book with a bit of dread, not because of Bryson but because it was.....long - and "everything". Well, not to worry. He really did his homework on this book and it is his usual "walk" through a subject but this time it is ideas and he brings an ability to put science and nature into understandable terms - and I thought I knew it pretty well before this book. But Bryson also brings humor, wit, and irony to the subjects and does so with allusions to arcane history, offbeat characters, and a sense of when things are enough on a particular topic. Much more fun than I had anticipated and have recommended it to many.
"A Short History..." is everything I want a nonfiction book to be. It was enlightening, humorous, and engaging. Mr. Bryson presents a wide range of topics in science with enough detail to truly educate, yet not so much as to overwhelm. The book presents not only a history of the scientific understanding of nearly everything, but insights into the people who have discovered new insights and how they explained their discoveries in the context of their own lives and beliefs. This book is educational and entertaining at the same time. I hated for it to end.
This book was awesome! Bill Bryson does a great job keeping a highly technical and seeming dull topic interesting and humorous. Not a book for everyone but definitely for anyone who has an interest in the natural sciences.
I loved it. The speaker does a great job and the book is rich in scientific history. I found it fascinating and informative.
A very entertaining way to learn amazing things about our world. Totally for the non-scientist. Bryson is a great author. Check out his other work too.