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.
weak delivery voice; too much detail on subject matter that could be readily and fully explained in a more succinct fashion. Good research however.
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.
Love the writing, love the content, but I always find that authors who read their own work are too "precious" -- they are too much in love with their words. I can tell that he is not British, but he has faux Britishisms in his speech which bug me -- such as the way he prounounces "respiratory." But, the book is great. Much fun to read.
I listen to books when I'm at work or doing chores. I prefer history and fantasy. My favorite audio book is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.
I really enjoy Bill Bryson's books. However, his chapter about the Anglo Saxon migration period was so off it made me wonder if he'd done any more recent reading on the subject than whatever was in his grade school textbook. I understand that early English history might be a specialized taste but I feel like a non-fiction writer needs to do more than Google a subject before writing a long chapter about it. This is a little thing perhaps but it did make me doubt the veracity of everything else he's written and cast a pall over this otherwise enjoyable book.
Also I'm not sure Bryson's voice is suitable for a project this long. He tends to swallow his words towards the end of sentences. Though I do enjoy how sometimes he sounds like he's trying not to snicker.