Don't get this one if you need to stay alert behind the wheel. This is a great book for an insomniac only. I loved A Walk in the Woods, but this one was just a bunch of well researched trivia strung poorly together inside a house. Worse - Bryson tries the narration and he doesn't have the voice for it. His words run together, you've got to keep the volume all the way up to understand him.
This is not in the same league as "A Short History of Nearly Everything". Though Bryson uses objects in different rooms of his "rectory" as jumping off points, he quickly and consistently starts his verbal meanderings and the listener is left wondering "what was the topic again"?
A lot about England's Victorian gilded age and English class, or lack thereof, and their class system. Overall the book doesn't seem very focused and we really don't learn much about the objects that populate our homes and their back story.
Still, pretty good because, hey, it's Bryson. Moderately recommended.
This is my first Audible review, even though I listened faithfully for almost four years now. I really loved the print versions of Bryson's "Down Under", and "A Walk in the Woods". They were packed with laugh out loud moments, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. This one is interesting, but awfully dry. I'm not too fond of Bryson as a narrator. I wish I'd checked the print version out of the library before spending my credit on this.
Listening to this book makes me feel like I'm in a college history class where the professor just rambles on and on for hours without stopping. Some points are interesting but most of the material is off topic and not very captivating. I couldn't make it through all of part 1. This book is a PASS.
Clever, Interesting, Thoughtful
Bill Bryson has the uncanny ability to turn seemingly mundane and ordinary into the intriguing and exciting.
Only Bill Bryson could deliver his thoughts and experiences with this kind of precision and inflection.
Suddenly, you find yourself less familiar At Home.
I love Bill Bryson and I love to hear him narrate his own work. That said, this book is my least favorite of all of his writings. It lacks a lot of the humor and is just plain boring throughout much of the book. The premise does not hold well together. If you want to experience Bryson, read anything except this book.
Compendium--I think that's the word. This book is an inventory of facts related or nearly related or, sorry folks, barely related to the theme of "home" that just goes on and on. Maybe it gets better after two hours, but I'll never know, because that's the point at which I quit listening. I started to feel terribly guilty and very ADD because my attention kept wandering. A book that's dense with disparate information just does not make for good listening! Better read this one in print.
I have called the king of useless information so the material was right up my alley. I loved reading "A Walk in the Woods" but I think the narrator in my head was better.
The first half was pretty good, but the second half tended to drift from the home to society. Way too much time was spent describing disease, hygiene and sewage relative to the other topics.