I'd recommend it as an interesting overview, to be followed up by more depth on topics of interest.
Isaac Newton transformed the way that science is done, and made many foundational contributions to mathematics, physics, optics, and more. On Newton, Bryson describes a small incident in optics experiments but skips major advances that Newton made in the other areas.
The narration is good, and Bill Bryson is to be commended for tackling such a big project. He has made this history very interesting to read.
Unfortunately, science is not static, and as more discoveries are made, theories have to change. Bryson doesn't have the time to talk about anything but the currently prevailing view which can, and often does, change with subsequent research. Examples include the big bang and macro-evolution which lack proof with hard evidence, and are not repeatable in the science laboratory. Bryson's readers will likely not realize this from the book.
From the opening chapter this not so little gem was fascinating. Each chapter and section building on the one before. Reminiscent of favorite professors each little discovery led to a "that's curious" moment and to another and another.
The narration was smooth rarely dry and at times amusing. I listened twice just to make sure I heard it all.
This is my first audio book ever and thanks to this wonderful and entertaining book I am very happy I did.
I could not stop listening since the way the stories where told in a great flow sometimes really funny that I just wanted to hear more and more.
90% to the success of this book belongs to the great narrator Richard Matthew.
The crazy thing is that I had no favorite. Every chapter was told in a new way and even better way than the one before.
His flow of words and tone of voice. I love him...to me it is like he really just reads the book just to me.
Impossible but if I could..would love too. After all 3 parts to the Book..,each one 5+hrs
total of over 15 hrs.
You need to get this one...if you are into History.
Not only great writing but the story flows with interest. Great subjects.
Great listen for those who are interested in science and it's history.I also truly enjoyed his other book At Home
When are publishers going to start providing the readers pronunciation tips? It was distracting when the reader's plummy, erudite accent, which sounded so convincing, crashed on some fairly obvious words.
A terrific book, well written and, despite anomalous verbalizations, a very good narration.
history made interesting
it was a history of the big bang, the evolution of earth and species, founding of elements, historical figures and exciting events
he is So BRITISH. he read with conviction and gusto.
I carry this book around with me. I was happy to be able to hear it read with such talent.
The book is delightful -- witty, coherent, informative and very gripping.
The narration by Richard Matthews was just about perfect.
on a quest to read Audible's entire nonfiction science section...
I give 5 stars to a book rarely and, normally, I use it in the "I loved it" meaning rather than the "classic" meaning. Here, I mean both. I've listened to dozens of science-oriented books and this one is still my favorite--worth two credits for sure if that's still what it costs.
Bryson's writing is witty, his research monumental and his storytelling abilities are truly a gift to this genre. The overview of science will leave you with a deeper appreciation of what we've learned, how we learned it, and who dedicated their hearts and lives to the tasks. I go back to it again and again--had to buy a hard-copy (the illustrated version's awesome!) to keep on my shelf and share with the kids.
Any citizen of the modern world should read this book and even science nonfiction lovers like myself will discover much about the scientists who made our modern world possible and, perhaps, even some science tidbits they didn't already know.
Thank you, Bill Bryson, you're my hero!
This book takes you for a tour through every pure science that you ever read about: Bill Bryson weaves hundreds of what seem to be disparate facts into one coherent story. He gives you perspective on how much we actually know about the world we live in, yet how insignificant this knowledge is in the grand scheme of things. Richard Matthews' narration takes the book to the whole new level as he talks about everything from astronomy to oceanography to the origins of leaded petrol.
Must listen. "Un-put-down-able".
I loved this book. Really puts into perspective how lucky we are to be alive. It analyzes every little thing that had to happen for us to be here today. It simplifies the hard science into concise, layman explanations. One of the best books ive ever read.