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.
I loved this book. The author is witty, yes, but wit was not his goal. His goal was to share the amazing facts about what he himself has learned about science, past and present. The narrator is truly gifted as well, so much so that one will wonder whether this is indeed the author speaking, though it is not. A perfect book, best buy yet on Audible.
What a great and interesting way to put (almost) all of the scientific lineage into perspective. We hear so much of the end results, but what actually lead up to these scientific discoveries. The personalities and the piecing together of the little snippets were humorously woven into perspectives that I wouldn't have imagined. I'll listen to it again because I'm intrigued by life and what am I doing here. If you're just living day to day life this book might just put a new wonder into your living.
This is a thorougly enjoyable "read," sort of an "everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-science-but-were-afraid-to-ask." Ranging from cosmology to quantam physics to geology and beyond, the author answers all those little questions that you really wanted to know but your science teacher never thought to tell you: "How much does the earth weigh, how old is it, what's it made of --- AND HOW DO WE KNOW ALL THAT?" The answers are entertainingly interwoven with the often fascinating life stories of the scientists who discovered them, and presented in a way that is accesible and understandable for the lay reader. In addition, the narrator is superb, bringing just the right note of irony and tongue-in-cheek wryness to bring out the book's dry humor. Highly recommended!
I've been an Audible.com memeber for a full year now, and this is by far the best book I've had, and I've had some great ones. I loved this book so much, I was motived to take the time to write a review - my first. If you have a natural curiousity of how life in the universe - and our understanding of it - has come to be, this book will delight you with a humorous, engaging story of The Big Picture. Wonderfully read and written, like a Douglas Adams version of Science News. I can't say enough great things about this book, and even though it was comparatively long, I wanted much more. Please?
I loved the abridged version so much that I purchased the unabridged version as soon as it came out. If you have the slightest interest in science you will enjoy this book. I had become accustomed to Bill Bryson's voice, and the unabridged version has some English chap narrating.
Loved every minute of this fascinating book! Dazzled by the latest scientific breakthroughs, we tend to lose sight of historic firsts that were exciting and revolutionary in their day. Bryson allows brilliant minds and personalities to come alive in this journey through science past and present. He effectively shows how early discoveries formed the building blocks for our current base of scientific knowledge. I love the fact that Bryson isn't a slave to chronology - or any other "ology" for that matter! Can't recommend the book enough!
Can't tell you how much I enjoyed the English accent and humor; while getting a history/science lesson at the same time. Hard facts with interesting and amusing trivia that had me laughing out loud at some parts. Much of it due to the way the stuff is read.
Alas, it is not that way in it's entirety and there were some segments that I zoned out in boredom. Overall though, it's perhaps the best audio book I've listened to.