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A Short History of Nearly Everything | [Bill Bryson]

A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
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Publisher's Summary

A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

©2003 Bill Bryson; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"To read Bryson is to travel with a memoirist gifted with wry observation and keen insight that shed new light on things we mistake for commonplace. To accompany the author as he travels with the likes of Charles Darwin on the Beagle, Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton is a trip worth taking." (Publishers Weekly)
"Stylish [and] stunningly accurate prose....Brims with strange and amazing facts...destined to become a modern classic of science writing." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (643 )
5 star
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Overall
4.4 (298 )
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Story
4.5 (292 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Deirdre Lynam
    Leitrim, Ireland
    1/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Worthy History of our time"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    this would definitely be a recommendation for an audio book....there are so many historical, geological and scientific facts...i would have been hard pressed to sit down and pick up the book of this story to read...


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Short History of Nearly Everything?

    i suppose what intrigued me most was the amount of research undertaken by Bill Bryson to put together such a difficult topic as...how long we are here on earth...not by design but by chance....


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    i suppose through the whole of the story i was very much taken by lifework by the scientists learning more of there chosen fields....


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    how we humans are here on earth by a series of lucky chance and lucky breaks...not by design....


    Any additional comments?

    no i am glad to have listened to this story as i doubt i would have been able to sit down and read the tome of knowledge....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lilyb
    UK
    12/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Give it ... time!"
    Where does A Short History of Nearly Everything rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not the best, not the worst! Definitely worth listening to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a good way to get your head round some of the "big questions" and I like the way that Bryson examines the sheer scale of the universe and the series of tiny coincidences that have allowed us to evolve the way that we have.


    What about William Roberts’s performance did you like?

    He really told the story (didn't just read it!)


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was definitely funny, but (for me at least!) not laugh out loud funny!


    Any additional comments?

    I found it to take a while to get into (so not the audio equivalent of a page-turner), but once I did I really enjoyed it :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J. Ambrose
    Edinburgh
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Everything you need to know - ever!"
    If you could sum up A Short History of Nearly Everything in three words, what would they be?

    For a short history it's very long and comprehensive. Great value for money and very much with a scientific slant, just the kind of history I like (none of that Kings and Queens nonsense and who killed who). This is about the progress of human thinking.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Physics is the best character!


    What about William Roberts’s performance did you like?

    He is very well paced and clear.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Probably not possible given it's length.


    Any additional comments?

    A great overview for budding scientists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    LEEDS, United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating insights into a huge range of subjects"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have not been able to stop listening to this book. Bill Bryson has made the complex very understandable and compelling. How he has managed to cover such a huge range of topics in relatively short amount of detail and yet make it clear and easy to grasp is amazing.


    Any additional comments?

    If you have ever thought "I wonder why...." or "How does...." or "What is the reason for...." Then this book will probably cover it and make it enjoyable to find out the answers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ben
    CHELMSFORD, United Kingdom
    10/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nice collection of information"

    I did enjoy this book, specifically the early chapters. A lot of information presented in an easy to understand and digest manor. There was great coverage of many important subjects, and not quite to my taste, the politics and people surrounding them.

    It did seem very "American", I'm not sure if this is solely due to the voice actor or the book itself. This did put me off a bit, I'm not American and constantly surrounded by their society and ideology, maybe I'm not the most impartial judge!

    However the quality of the book got me past this and I do recommend this book to everyone, technically minded or not.

    Very eye opening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Esther
    Wales
    9/16/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love the book, hate the narrator"

    I love listening to Bill Bryson and like science books, so this seemed ideal but I found the narrator so annoying I eventually give up. His voice is quite high pitched and just a bit manic and as it is a long book I couldn't cope with it. I have all the Bryson audiobooks read by the author, (except the abridged version of this one) but a number of them are read by this narrator and I am not buying any more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • PETER
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    8/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great history of the world"
    Where does A Short History of Nearly Everything rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is so far ranks amongst the bests that I have listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a bit of a whirlwind view of history, and it discusses the history of the universe, the world and of human understanding of these topics. It is very broad in scope; it covers physics, astronomy, biology and lots of other scientific areas.


    What does William Roberts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The style of narration fits the book like a glove. He brings out the enthusiasm that the author undoubtedly felt while writing the book.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book triggered a hunger for knowledge in me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Sutton, United Kingdom
    7/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good, but not excellent"

    A great book, one I'm glad I bought on audible.
    My only frustration, that something that can be critical on you hearing sentences accurately, and thus one you'd typically skip back on paper, isn't easy to do so on an audible version. Yes, I know there's a -30 seconds option, but that only helps if you have your hands free.h

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amir Ahmed
    UK
    7/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bryson strikes again"
    If you could sum up A Short History of Nearly Everything in three words, what would they be?

    very concise entertainment


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's not so much a story as an entertaining look at the scientific world.


    Which character – as performed by William Roberts – was your favourite?

    Isaac Newton was well represented!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No it's a little too long


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this for the children to listen to, to try and kindle an interest in science and it may or may have not worked on them, but it certainly worked for me! The information is imparted with such wit and verve, that it transports one away from the stuffy environment of a lecture hall or classroom and out to the outer reaches of the universe that it attempts to make sense of. Thoroughly entertaining and informative, I'd heartily recommend this tome and William Robers must be the fellow who narrates the Honda adverts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Kingston-upon-Thames, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like a box of your favourite chocolates"
    If you could sum up A Short History of Nearly Everything in three words, what would they be?

    Entertaining, challenging, fun


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not fiction


    Which character – as performed by William Roberts – was your favourite?

    Not fiction


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Vast in scope yet easily digested the book looks at (nearly) everything that has happened to mankind since the Big Bang. Like a box of favourite chocolates, dip in where you like and you're guaranteed something good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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