This book has a little of everything. He covers various scientists and their struggles to bring forth their new theories. Some of which changed the world. The reader is fantastic too.
This was my first Bryson book and I must say I was thrilled. Fastinating from start to finish. Bill Bryson has a terrific sense of humour and the well researched information is presented in a balanced fashion showing all we've learned while emphasising all we have yet to learn. The reader was excellent and I must say an english accent perfectly suits Bryson's humour. If you have any interest in the history of science, and the people who have helped to advance it, this is the book for you.
A mixed bag of history and science discovery. I thought Bryson did as good a job of pointing out what is not well understood, particularly with respect to origins of life and the universe, as he did in discussing some of the better understood aspects of science.
If you like to watch the Science Channel or have listened/read other books such as Krakatoa, a lot of this material will be familar to you. Nevertheless, Bryson does a good of job surveying the macro-level thinking in a number of important sciences. Bryson also develops a nice habit of describing scientific theories that had been developed, but then discarded along the way. In addition, he also paints some interesting portraits of the scientists.
On the narration side, I didn't care for this reader as much as Bryson himself. Nevertheless, his British-style accent is pleasant enough.
I've both read and listened to this book and got a different experience from each. With the book I became fascinated with the fresh information and missed much of the humor. Audio allowed me the luxury of hearing Mr. Bryson's delight as he learned the information for the book. I also gained an even greater appreciation for the way in which the book leads logically from one scientific detective project to another. Well worth your while.