This is a fantastic primer on what every informed human being should know.
The narrator of the unabridged version misses a few of the trickier pronunciations -- e.g., New Madrid is pronounced in the same way as the city in Spain -- but these are minor issues.
This tome is a good example of how a complicated set of ideas can be presented in an accessible format. The title almost sounds forbidding until you realise that the "History of Everything" is the prehistory of that and the scientific formulae that surround us. Bill Bryson tries to unravel some of the jargon and historical events that very often obscure our understanding of our very being and to this end succeeds with an accessible listen that can generally be put down and picked up again in an audible sense whilst still putting across some mind boggling theorems and situations. Always entertaining and stylishly presented this is recommended to the scientifically informed reader.
A light approach to some dense subjects. I found the facts and personalites fascinating. Take it in bites (I listen when I jog) so you won't lose your taste for it.
Richard Matthews does an inpecable job narrating. I loved it!
This book brings to light many things that have crossed my mind over the years but were always kind of left as a thought that, while worth perusing, required too much investigation given hectic schedules and time constraints most of us have. Not only does Brison offer tremendous insights into very complex topics and traverse a scientific history that seems all inclusive, he is able to salt the meal with a wit that, at times, will cause the reader to laugh out loud. Thanks Bill... I want more. By the way I inadvertently selected the abridged version. It was worth the expense to go back and purchase the unabridged version.
If science bores you, I'm not sure this book is going to save your boredom. But, if you are at all intrigued by the natural world around you, this book is one heckuva roller coaster ride!
Bryson addresses quite a few unknowns and speculations, which can lead to some fuzzy science, but I found the mind-expansion provocative and extremely fun.
Coming from a scientific background, and currently employed in science education, I have this on a recommended book list. It's not for the faint of heart (yes, we are a more vulnerable species than you might have imagined) nor the incessant fact checker (beyond geological record keeping, where are the facts?).
This is a book to be enjoyed.
It is hard to find an audiobook that makes science accessible to the layman, while still keeping it detailed and provocative to sustain interest. Bryson has accomplished just that in this work, and it is destined to become a science classic. It is a truely readable, slightly humorous and witty account of the earth in terms of most sciences. Biology, genetics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, palentology, etc etc etc... I haven't found many science topics NOT covered in this book.
The reader makes this book easy to listen to and hard to put down.
While not really a history of everything, Bryson covers a huge amount of ground in explaining the history of science across all disciplines. I have no formal science education, but feel a whole lot better informed after listening to this book. Bryson is always readable, and his explanations always include the often humorous human stories accompanying scientific discoveries and theories. This was one of the most informative books I have ever read, but never got boring.