Bryson's done it again (although this is a bit of a departure from much of his previous, travel writing). This book is amusing, engaging and informative. Narrator Richard Matthews has an urbane, literate delivery that does justice to this well-researched, informative, and fun book. One of those books (and voices) that pulls you in and gives you the feeling that just you and the author are in on some fascinating back-story. My only regret is that I wasn't always able to give my full attention to Bryson's prose (I listen at work) but on the other hand this just means that I can listen again and learn something (or lots of things) that I didn't catch the first time. I have Bryson's catalog on paper--now I'm adding his ouvr? to my iPod just as fast as I can.
Excellent, entertaining overview of earth/science history for the lay person. Bill has taken several very dry subjects and made them fun to listen to. The stories behind the scholars and scientists are what really makes this a fun book to listen to. Highly recommended...
This book is one of those rare finds that puts most others to shame. Brilliantly written and brilliantly read! Don't miss out on this one science fans.
Can't say enough good things about this audio book. Bill Bryson is the perfect narrator. Now listening for second time, and without a doubt be reviewing the material for the forseeable future. From the smallest to the largest known entities to man are presented in a format understandable to all. I now have a clear picture of the wonders of the Universe and lifeforms on this planet, and a clear idea of how all may have come together as we observe it.
I had such a fine time listening, that i went out and bought the actual book just so it could sit on the shelf. What a great book. And funny in that way only those with an english sense of humor can achieve. Listening to this book sparked me to want to devour any related books i can find!! Hopefully Bill will write a follow up and hopefully schools across America should use this book as required reading for all high school freshman!!
true: bryson tells us all important facts about almost everything, at least when it comes to natural science. really interesting anecdotes. but he says nothing about the other half of reality: culture, mind, soul, social sciences in general.
the unabridged book gets a little "lenghty" at times, probably the abriged version is more entertaining.
Anne in Happy Valley
Always wanted to understand physics and astronomy better, but studiously avoided those college courses? This is a good substitute for most English majors. Bryson tells stories so well; he makes science a good story too. As for Bryson as a narrator, his unusual speech pattern (perhaps the result of his having lived in UK for most of his adult life, then returning to his native U.S.?) was a bit distracting.
Well written; well read. Both author and narrator enjoy their subject, making for hours of very entertaining listening.
I'm not a frequent reader/listener, but I found that I simply could not stop listening to this fantastic audio book. My only wish is that he comes out with another series of books that cover perhaps the brief history of political figures, world leaders, wars, inventions, etc. The approach is highly educational and entertaining.
It's the first audio book I listened to more than once, parts of it several times. Interspersed with the scientific explanations, Bryson's offers delightful vignettes of the scientists themselves, bringing a human face to highly technical material.