This is a perfect book for someone looking for answers.
The author does a great job of combining history, theory, fact, and explanation to engage the reader.
I learned much from the listen, and it spawned further endevors into the science category. I have, unfortunately, not been able to find an equally enjoyable title in the year since i came across: A Short History of Nearly Everything (Unabridged).
It's amazing how Bill Bryson can narrate a relatively dry subject in such a way that draws you with fascination and yearning for more. I've read the book version beforehand and only got the Audiobook because I really enjoyed Bill Bryson's narrations on his other works (such as 'A Walk in the Woods' and 'In a Sunburned Country' -- both excellent and highly recommended) without noticing that it's read by someone else! It was a bit disappointing that it was not Bill Bryson and the narrator has this annoying Hollywood faux-British sounding accent that makes it a bit cartoonish and at times, annoying; kinda like the sex education movie voice acting from the 60's
This book has a little of everything. He covers various scientists and their struggles to bring forth their new theories. Some of which changed the world. The reader is fantastic too.
This was my first Bryson book and I must say I was thrilled. Fastinating from start to finish. Bill Bryson has a terrific sense of humour and the well researched information is presented in a balanced fashion showing all we've learned while emphasising all we have yet to learn. The reader was excellent and I must say an english accent perfectly suits Bryson's humour. If you have any interest in the history of science, and the people who have helped to advance it, this is the book for you.
A mixed bag of history and science discovery. I thought Bryson did as good a job of pointing out what is not well understood, particularly with respect to origins of life and the universe, as he did in discussing some of the better understood aspects of science.
If you like to watch the Science Channel or have listened/read other books such as Krakatoa, a lot of this material will be familar to you. Nevertheless, Bryson does a good of job surveying the macro-level thinking in a number of important sciences. Bryson also develops a nice habit of describing scientific theories that had been developed, but then discarded along the way. In addition, he also paints some interesting portraits of the scientists.
On the narration side, I didn't care for this reader as much as Bryson himself. Nevertheless, his British-style accent is pleasant enough.