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.
Started with the short version, like so well I ordered and listened to the unabridged version? This book covers everything from the start of time to virology? I?ve listened to it multiple times; it?s full of amazing facts? It?s so good you?ll probably be like me and end up buying the hardcover as a reference?
Bryson trasnforms historic record, normally so dry and boring, into a lively tale that is easy to follow. Peppered with little-heard facts about well-known figures, this book is a must-listen for the history buff as well as the average Joe.
I was supprised at just how interesting this book was. It covers a histroy of most all major branches of science, Astronomy, Geology, Biology, etc. and it does so in a way that is easy and interesting to understand. The book starts the with a few sections talking about how little we know about everything, and how much we thought we knew but were later proved wrong. Then he spends time talking about the large span of the universe, the tiny span of the atomic world. The he moves on to things that we "Know" about life today. He puts in many examples to make the content easy to understand, like imagine your arm as the timeline of the earth, in this case human exsistance can be compared to the amount of nail removed in one swipe of a nail file. Other times it is creepy to know that we share our beds, pillows, and bodies with millions of very small animals. It is facinating to learn that we know less about our own oceans on earth than we know about the universe we live in. It is all presented in a way that keeps you listening to the end.
Recomended for anyone with a small hint of intrest in learning more about science.
I thought that having someone other than Bryson read this would be a mistake, but I was very impressed with the reader. Bryson's natural wonder and curiosity for things is infectious. He handles political hot potatoes like global warming with a "fair and balanced" aproach, and I am proud to number him amongst great Americans.
This one is great for the teen age kids in the car...educational and entertaining at the same time.