This book is a collection of little scientific facts about all sorts of phenomena like global warming, the big bang, dinosaurs, evolution, etc... Some parts of it, particularly when he discusses biographies of different scientists, get a little tedious. The book isn't too long, though, and he is great at putting things in non-scientific terms. I would recommend it if you already like sciency things, but if not, you might end up listening to only half of it.
This book provided a nice history of the sciences that have brought us to the current day. It was enlightening and informative and written in a witty and easy to read style.
I enjoyed it, but I would only recommend it to someone who has an interest in reading about the sciences. It doesn't teach much on any particular topic, rather it gives a summary of the science, it's history, and current state.
This book was purchased for pure entertainment while driving long distance. I'd recommend to those with some broad interest in science and perhaps to use as a source of ideas for further reading. It's mostly anglo-centric, which isn't really a minus in the context the book is presented, I suppose.
The other reviewers that convinced me to buy this audiobook were right. The topics are fascinating. I will gladly listen to it again and again. My only complaint is the accent of the narrator. Some of the pronunciations are way too British. Since Bryson is American, it would be nice to have the American pronunciations instead.
BORING, and I am a scientist. He jumps around from one topic to another, and I just have to say there was very little in this that interested me.
A very well researched and extensive overview of everything from the creation of the solar system to the evolution of mankind. Listening to it, however, was drudgery. I kept checking how far into the 17 hours I had gotten and finally gave up after 12 or so. Even though this audio book is aimed at the non-scientist, I was still overwhelmingly bored by the constant stream of obscure scientists, dates, and other trivial minutiae.
I really enjoyed the premise of Mr. Bryson's book - bringing the history of science to the general public. Unfortunately, coming from a science background I was more interested in how the "science" was done and what the ramifications of each new piece of information are for humanity. While Bill does do some of this, he focuses a little more on the biographical details of the scientists themselves which, while interesting, sometimes risks losing the listener in long drawn out accounts of the scientists' relationships. If that's what you are looking for, it is a great listen. Either way, he does do a good job of summarizing "nearly everything" in a manageable volume that is both interesting and informative.
I really learned a lot of interesting scientific facts listening to this audiobook, but it should have only taken a few hours of audio for me to obtain that knowledge. The rest of this very lengthy audiobook is dedicated to telling you strange little details about the lives and personalities of obscure scientists who have been forgotten by history. This book would have been much better if it had focused more on the science and less on the people and events surrounding the discoveries of the scientific knowledge. If I heard one more story about two egotistical 19th century scientists battling it out for recognition of who discovered some rock first, I was going to lose my lunch.. or fall asleep. But the information you gain in between all of that is wonderful so I forced myself to stick it out. If this book had been entitled "A Brief History of the Personalities and Events Surrounding the Scientific Discoveries of Modern Man." and I had in fact been interested enough in that subject to purchase the book, I probably would have given it 5 stars.
Bryson is an incredible writer. I am a huge fan, but all of his books just come off better when he reads them. His humor is so dry and subtle that only he can pull it off, IMO.
Loved "at home"...very interesting and Bryson read it
He didn't. I just wanted to hear Bryson' voice
It was an informative book that give the background into why science is at the state that it is at today. Anyone who has every wondered why we 'know' what we know about the world may find many answers in the book.
Its hard to choose there are so many nuggets of info all over the book and i devoured it all.
That sarcastic tone that perhaps the author was trying for, comes across effortlessly.
They are no real explanations to why there is life... they basically say that the theory of creation/creator is not try without offering an explanation as to why it's false and propose that they may be some other 'rational' explanation... and that right after saying that the chances of life happening spontaneously is about as good as a tornado passing through a junk yard and leaving behind a fully assembled Boeing 747... which is to say it doesn't happen, but then proceeds to say you shouldn't question it too much because it's like questioning why you saw one car on the street today instead of another.
They are making the same mistake that they tell us other scientists made in the past... because they cannot prove a theory they discard it, while forgetting that they theory they hold close while seemingly plausible to them remands just as unproven. That's not science, that's religion. We can't hold on to some theories and reject other based on our own biased views on how we thing the universe should work.
There is no evidence of life on other planets even though we think that the possibility of it's existence if plausible, but we shouldn't act like its a forgone conclusion, or we may miss the opportunity of investigating whether there is something else about the earth that caused improbably life to spring forth in such abundance... we really haven't scratched to surface, so now it not the time to be drawing unproven conclusions and discarding possible ideas, even if unlikely, for life itself if unlikely but it never the less is.