Read the book about 3 years ago and enjoyed immensely about 80% of it (couldn't get into the chemistry sections). Got the audio to refresh myself on the science and enjoyed it as much as the book. One criticism. Bryson goes out of his way to make the text accessable and enjoyable to we non-science minds. He does this by eschewing the formality of a textbook. The reader of the audiobook, however, has a very "formal" british accent. For me that detracted from the studied informality of Bryson's effort. Most amusing was when the British accented reader was reading Bryson's text that makes fun of Edwin Hubble for his pompous (and in Hubble's case) phony British accent.
This is possibly the most interesting, informative book I've read in years. I learned so much, and was blown away by many of the facts. Bryson has such a great style, very accessable and very interesting throughout. And Matthews is a master of his craft. The perfect combination, and an incredible result!
If you own any audiobook, you MUST own this one. This is what Audible wants from all it's audiobooks. It's deep, witty, endlessly addictive to listen to and brilliantly written by Bryson.
I owned the abridged version at first, which was amusingly narrated by Bryson himself. It was good, Bryson was effective in his delivery but the unabridged version is perfection. The narrator is glib, articulate and just serious enough to give the many Bryson humorous tidbits the dryly stinging delivery they need.
I've listened to this book hundreds of times, learning something new every time I hear bits and pieces of its 18+ hours of dialogue.
save your credits....boring. i listened to part 1, hoping things would improve but after listening to the begining of part 2, i surrender. what a waste of 2 credits.
This is one of my favorite audio books and I have many. I keep coming back to listen when I'm bored. The narrator is great, too. Learn a little about everything.
This was an entertaining narrative of science. Not only did the author give you a history of the creation of the Earth as we now know it, he interspersed it with histories of the principal discoverers. His writing tactics allowed a more personable view of scientific creation than a dry rendering of the facts.
The narrator did an excellent job of bring life to this book. I recommend it to anyone who wants to know a little about the start and progression of life on this planet.
This is a brief introduction to the subjects of big bang, evolution, plate tectonics, etc; so if you feel you know all there is on these type of subjects you may not like this overview. However, even with a scientific background it was fascinating to see the whole picture combined. My favorite parts were the personal histories of the Scientists, without these the book would have been just another text book read.
Bryson cut his teeth in travel writing after building a career as a newspaper columnist in the UK. Don't let that stop you from picking this book however because while it does qualify as an educational tome it delivers its knowledge with the razor sharp wit and unique world view that is Bill at his best!
Be prepared for the topic to shift widely while listening. This is a book that is more suited towards (and pure perfect for) use as a commuteer listen. It is divided up into neat sectional notions that are just the right length to listen on your way to and from work with maximum enjoyment.
The author reads with the pleasant voice of a long-lost but loveable uncle you just don't get to see and hear enough. Despite being educational the author delivers edutainment and he earned his 5 stars.
Great narration. Engaging mix of history and theory. Sweeping in scope. Enjoyable in style. However, for people already familiar with the basics of science, the content does not have as much to offer by way of theory. On a personal note, I found the section on fossil discoveries very enjoyable and full of interesting anecdotes.
The readers charming accent enhanced the dry humor of this book. I learned a lot and enjoyed a topic I might otherwise find hard to stay awake for.
Overall great book to listen to. Nothing that really opens eyes or that surprises...just basic school learned stuff put into detail and explained. Great job doing what it set out to do.