I have rated the story as 3 because it is not a story in the sense of a story but a truly erudite historical overview. Gives us a good understanding of regarding various aspects of scientific development and thought
I love a good story read by a person with a sexy or funny voice
I wish he had a sequel or more than one sequel. I have listened to this book a couple of times and learn more each time :-) Thanks Bill!
Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.
Wow! Facts, facts, fact, Listen to this three time and you may be a genius. At least you will be a respected know it all. So much information in so little time. Amazing!
I will try another book from Bill Bryson, but would not buy it if Richard Matthews narrates. Please try to get someone less monotone, British, or too academic sounding. Dr.Neil Degrasse Tyson would have been a better choice.
Yes, I enjoyed the subject.
I was pessimistic that the author could cover "everything", yet he managed to do so. More importantly, he always did it with a witty appropriate observation. "
How old is the Earth?" becomes "How'd they discover molecules?" becomes "What are homo-sapiens? and where did they come from?".
Mr. Bryson spent 3 years researching what all of us wish we could. Everything scientific. And he's summarized in a very thoughtful and organized way.
I found myself wanting to listen to more and more.
My only negative thought: the ending was bit anti-climactic.
Mr. Matthew's reading of the text was wonderfully perceptively witty.His mild english accent seemed to add credibility, but also helped wonderfully to deliver the author's humor in a soft "Monty Python-like" way.
onlinebuyer in the City
I love Bill Bryson's writing style: he is truly brilliant.
Excellent performance by Richard Matthews
One learns a lot by reading everything Bryson writes. But most of all, one learns a lot about gentle, clever and effective witticism. Brilliant.
This really was an entertaining and educational 17 hours. The book covers everything from the creation of the planet and life to the extinction of the dodo. The writing has a certain sense of humor to it which makes what could be a dry topic entertaining. Ultimately you'll be amazed that life, let alone human life, is here.
Reading and listening goes straight into your medulla oblongota and you learn through thought memory. It's like being programmed into intelligence. If you read this, you just learned that the best gifts are free. Or One Credit... and that's kinda free.
Extraordinary story start to finish. Bones: For the love of science Jim, read this book!
In never ends. Ar Ar....a play on the history of the universe. Which of course does end - just not for a long, long, time.
Impossible. Took it in over a three month period and enjoyed it immensely. Love the ending [insert wit and satire here]. Be sure to enjoy the perspectives of where we stand in the scheme of the big bang. The analogy of humans walking on the earth a mere 13 minutes before midnight on a 24 hour clock since-the-beginning of time is insane. Cant get that out of my head (hence the insanity). That and a billion pro-creative acts to come up with the right ME is better than winning the lottery - it made me feel special (not me, us!). That type of perspective is brilliant, entertaining, and well - it felt like I listening to Carl Sagan for the first time. If Mr. Bryson comes up with the story of the future, buzz me.
None. Just ran out of time.
this was absolutely one of the best books i've read/listened to. it was captivating and the content was just amazing. the narration was amazing as well. you almost don't want the book to ever end. i would definitely listen to it again (and again)...
This is one of the best books I've ever read. There is so much information packed in here that I had never even heard about... my mind is blown.
I'm a (typical?) product of public education who hated science in school and managed to learn nothing about it, focusing on music and art instead. I HATED science. Well, 15 years later, I find myself an ignoramus and in more or less desperate need to learn some science. I'm one who would rather remain ignorant than sludge through some boring-ass textbook-type piece-of-crap written for god knows who, so... what could I do about this?
Bill Bryson writes for the layman! He hits on the essentials in a humored and interested way, throwing in some quick, useful analogies, and then moves along to something else. I can't believe how easy to read he made all of these facts!
Probably a big help in this book was his method of always attributing all of this discovered knowledge to the discoverers, even managing to tell us about their personalities and a bit of their interests and personal lives, too. This really helps in figuring out why some particular scientific discovery came to be, or why, for example, a scientist would discover something yet not tell anyone about it for 40 years. Why was a bunch of botany knowledge collected at once? Well, because for some reason the world became obsessed with botany discoveries, like it would today become obsessed with singing competitions. Fame and fortune for botany discoveries! ... The book is packed with this type of information to accompany the scientific discoveries themselves. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book.
If I see Bill Bryson in public I intend to give him a big hug and smile!