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A Short History of Nearly Everything Audiobook

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 (702 )
5 star
 (417)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.5 (349 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (343 )
5 star
 (214)
4 star
 (96)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Marius Irene, South Africa 08-30-05
    Marius Irene, South Africa 08-30-05 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    509
    ratings
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    "Superbly whimsical"

    A superbly whimsical miscellany of knowledge. The narrator matches the style of Bill Bryson impeccably. The range of subjects covered is wide, and the treatment of each is first class. If every child starting high school listened to this before choosing subjects, there would be a far greater enrolment in the sciences. Whether you're a kid of 9 or 90, you will find this fascinating. I cannot resist a minor quibble - the wealth of Johannesburg was not based on diamonds, but gold. The South African city founded on diamonds is Kimberly, whence the term Kimberlite, the volcanic rock that frequently yields diamonds. That aside, what a great book.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P Shveid 02-17-09
    P Shveid 02-17-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    16
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    "Long and Fun."

    If youre interested in science in general this is a great book.
    The price for over 15 hrs is a great buy.
    Imposible to listen in one sesion.
    Buy it, dont be chicken.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Mount Nelson, TAS, Australia 03-14-05
    Steve Mount Nelson, TAS, Australia 03-14-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
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    11
    9
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    "A"

    This is indeed one of the best books I have had the good fortune to read and also one of the best narrations from all of my Audible purchases.

    All Audible customers should consider purchasing this book, whether or not you are history fans. The book is captivating, once you start listening you will not be able to stop -

    be prepared to have your life disrupted!!!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stewert three bridgesUnited Kingdom 04-04-06
    Stewert three bridgesUnited Kingdom 04-04-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    12
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    "Outstanding....."

    Every human being should listen to this book. Not only will it make you appreciate just how far we have come as a species, and how lucky we are to be here (so many other species failed to survive). It will also make you realise that there is so far we have yet to go and just how wrong we can be, and occasionally, right.

    An amazing insight into "the only planet you will ever know".

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dj Waltham, ME, USA 02-08-05
    dj Waltham, ME, USA 02-08-05 Member Since 2006

    "Rose goes in the front big guy."

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Torn on this one..."

    I will first admit that I really like Bill Bryson and own all of his books - even "Palace Under the Alps". With that in mind, it won't be a surpise when I tell you "A Short History" is something pretty magical - it's helped to open my eyes to much in the world around me.

    So why am I torn? Normally I detest Abridged books - I like books I can get deeply involved in and enjoy over a period of time. However, as with his other books, Bryson himself reads only the Abridged version of "A Short History" - and if you haven't heard him read his own material - well you really should. His droll, dry wit is best delivered by his own tounge.

    So, my solution was to acquire both versions of "A Short History" and I've enjoyed both - but I leave the Bryson read Abridged version in my car and listen to it from time to time - I don't see myself doing the same with the Unabridged version.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tushan West MeltonAustralia 09-30-08
    Tushan West MeltonAustralia 09-30-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "A short history of nearly everything"

    Very interestingly written and captures / sustains your attention much of the time. On occasion the digrassions can be a little distracting but, these are rare occurances. It provides historical context to the development of the subject matter and is very enlightening on the many personalities whose individual efforts contributed to the whole.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zentaro 08-10-05
    Zentaro 08-10-05 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    145
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    "My favourite audio book so far"

    This is my favourite audio book from audible so far. At first the narrator was slightly irritating, he sounds like the kind of "crazy professor" types they get to host pop science shows for kids, but after a while he grew on me, and in the end I think it was very well narrated.

    The actual content is far too wide ranging to cover specifically in a short review. But it follows a coherent path about all those little tidbits of the history of our planet, our species and our universe, that everyone should know, but most of us never bothered to investigate.

    Even though this is probably one of the longest audio books on this site, you'll still be wanting more when it's over. If you're interested in the general topics I mentioned, and just want a nice, "for the average person with an interest in science" presentation of this material, you'll thoroughly enjoy this audio book.

    It rarely strays into the extremely technical or detailed, but still conveys the main thrust of the ideas. I highly rate this book, the writing is good, and there were times I laughed out loud, at the authors humour which kind of sneaks up on you.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie Pretoria, South Africa 01-10-13
    Jackie Pretoria, South Africa 01-10-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bill Bryson as always is excellent"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Although I enjoyed the book, I'm not sure that I got the unabridged version. It was supposed to be 19 hours and I only got 6 hours. What did I miss?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip NorthcoteAustralia 08-12-05
    Philip NorthcoteAustralia 08-12-05 Member Since 2009
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    "Good Read"

    What a great introduction to science. Bryson's great skill is to make a complicated subject enjoyable and easy to understand. Some of the most memorable moments in the book come from the stories of the various scientests detailed. A great read (listen!)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon SheffieldUnited Kingdom 06-14-05
    Simon SheffieldUnited Kingdom 06-14-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "A fascinating insight into (almost) everything..."

    A great listen and read well by William Roberts. Every chapter was packed full of amazing facts that made me just want to listen on. There were very few dull moments and the highlights more than easily out-weighed these. So much of the book has interested me and made me want to learn more on the many subjects covered in the book. You don't necessarily need any prior knowledge on the subjects and is spoken on a intermidiate level. The unabridged version is great, only I wish it went on for longer! I am anticipating another listen later this year - it's that good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • STach
    2/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing and amazing!"

    Brilliant book, entertaining and we'll written (as well as well read of course!).
    Easily understandable and engaging that even kids will be fascinated in learning more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. C. Wickens
    Hull, UK
    2/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A must listen!"

    Great length, very entertaining, informative and the narration is excellent. I'd been looking for a book that explains clearly how (almost) everything works and this one fit the bill perfectly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ADELE
    2/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rather disappointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I normally love Bill Bryson books but just could not get into this one, just seemed to drift and nothing happened


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tom S
    2/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Third listen - still fascinated"

    A work of art. An active fight against ignorance and fuel for curiosity across all the various spectrums of education.

    Thanks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    2/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A deeply insightful look at... nearly everything"

    Whilst I'll admit this book is now a little dated (with many references to interviews in 2002) it offers a fantastically engaging look into the histories of a great number of disciplines and the stories about our planet they have discovered. Definitely worth a listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • P
    1/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinatingly astounding"

    A very well read and fascinating book of everything. First hour or so was a little mundane but it really gets going after this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Margaret Boulton
    12/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book should be read... not listened to"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I've really tried to like this book because I like Bill Brysons writing but I can't get past about two chapters. It's more like a text book that you dip in and out of. Not something that you can do easily with audio books.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Danh07
    12/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Answers questions you can't find elsewhere"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Short History of Nearly Everything to be better than the print version?

    I personally find this more accessible than the print version, as I spend a lot of time in the car. It is very well narrated and is an excellent companion for long car journeys.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As explained in the early chapters, it explains how we got the knowledge that we have about such things as the start of the universe, the age of the earth, etc, often with funny anecdotes.


    Have you listened to any of William Roberts’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


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

    Laugh, but also raises information that then generates discussion with other people after listening to it (you can imagine I am quite the dinner party guest!)


    Any additional comments?

    Fantastic book for the enquiring mind. Very accessible for all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Latch
    7/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brief by name... Complete and compelling by nature"
    What did you like most about A Short History of Nearly Everything?

    The narration - William Roberts is incredibly easy to listen to, and he gets across the science very well.


    Have you listened to any of William Roberts’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No first time


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

    Visually stunning - in an audible kind of way


    Any additional comments?

    I have had the book version of Brief History for some time now, and never got into it.. So this audible version is quite remarkable in its instantly captivating appeal. So much so I am now listening to it AGAIN.. Bryson captures the key points in life's history and makes them accessible to the common, unscientific audience with aplomb. Fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ben
    Chesterfield, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Funny and educational, what more could you want."
    Where does A Short History of Nearly Everything rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One off favourites from a brilliant author.


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

    Some of the quotes from the book are quality and highlight the comical side to out scientific discoveries.


    Have you listened to any of William Roberts’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I've not listened to any others but his speaking style definetly adds to the overall experience.


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

    It's a very long book but found my self listening to it at every opportunity.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended and difficult to stop until the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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