If science bores you, I'm not sure this book is going to save your boredom. But, if you are at all intrigued by the natural world around you, this book is one heckuva roller coaster ride!
Bryson addresses quite a few unknowns and speculations, which can lead to some fuzzy science, but I found the mind-expansion provocative and extremely fun.
Coming from a scientific background, and currently employed in science education, I have this on a recommended book list. It's not for the faint of heart (yes, we are a more vulnerable species than you might have imagined) nor the incessant fact checker (beyond geological record keeping, where are the facts?).
This is a book to be enjoyed.
It is hard to find an audiobook that makes science accessible to the layman, while still keeping it detailed and provocative to sustain interest. Bryson has accomplished just that in this work, and it is destined to become a science classic. It is a truely readable, slightly humorous and witty account of the earth in terms of most sciences. Biology, genetics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, palentology, etc etc etc... I haven't found many science topics NOT covered in this book.
The reader makes this book easy to listen to and hard to put down.
While not really a history of everything, Bryson covers a huge amount of ground in explaining the history of science across all disciplines. I have no formal science education, but feel a whole lot better informed after listening to this book. Bryson is always readable, and his explanations always include the often humorous human stories accompanying scientific discoveries and theories. This was one of the most informative books I have ever read, but never got boring.
I couldn't stop listening. Great story, humorous at times, and always insightful. Richard Matthews does a great job at the long narration. Much better to listen to this one that to read it.
This book was great! Made the commute to work so much more bearable. I've only listened to the first two parts (it comes in three six-hour files) and I'm actually looking forward to heading into work on Monday so I can start on the last one. Bryson's dryly zany humour is reminiscent of Douglas Adams. A must read (listen?) for anyone at all interested in the history of discovery.
The narrator read flawlessly, although I don't his English accent. The book gave 18 hours of information about how and why we happen to be here today? If you're into science, or at least a little curious about life on earth and human progression, this book is definitely for you. I enjoyed it a lot. Highly recommended!
My first mistake was to get the abridged version when I knew I was going to like this. My second mistake was not paying close enough attention. Very good story even if I did have to listen twice.