©2003 Bill Bryson; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc. Published by Arrangement with Random House Audio Publishing Group, A Division of Random House, Inc.
"Not to be missed." (AudioFile)
"Destined to become a modern classic of science writing." (The New York Times Book Review)
I initially started reading the paper copy of this book, and I loved it, but I didn't have enough time to read it as much as I wanted to, so I downloaded the unabridged audio version. I'm so glad I did.
Bill Bryson set out with the premise that science is fascinating stuff, but it's a shame that science writers seem determined to make it droll and boring. He spent some time researching and produced a highly readable, very educational, and still entertaining tour of not only scientific knowledge, but also the epistemology (HOW do we know what we know?). The profiles of science's most prominent characters are truly interesting.
Bryson is a writer at heart, and I was consistently impressed with his unique and sometimes quirky turns of phrase. The narrator, too, contributed to my enjoyment of the book without stealing the show.
I really like this book because it gives a very informative and less politicized view of history's most influencial minds. It provides an honest summary of the condition and place of human knowledge.
This is simply fantastic, all of science explained in a way you can understand an memorize, with lots of insight into how the discoveries were made.
My preferred audio book so far.
This book (audio) is a wonderful review and update on the scientific platform that we exist within. I wish it could be taught in school with such a human touch. The anecdotal portraits of the great discoverers makes their contributions more real.
This is a great story
I have listened to both the abridged, and unabridged versions. As a reader, it is clear that the author has the advantage of understanding the information he wishes to convey. Both versions are excellent. I savored every line. If you like science, even a little bit, you will find this book absolutely inspiring.
Bryson is an excellent storyteller, and manages to take many dull, dry subjects and make them interesting. Once of the best lay science books out there.
The narrative adds much to Bryson's wry sense of observation.
This is one of the very few audio books I've listened to several times and is my favorite from Bryson. Richard Matthews' reading is ideal for this material and keeps it easy to follow.
This is probably the best most informative book I have listened to since I joined Audible several years ago. The book itself is great and the narration is excellent. I am starting on my third time through with the unabridged version.
I tend to like Bryson's stuff but this book lacked two things; Bryson as the narrator and any order (outside of a 13 billion year chronology). I still gave three stars, for the information and its ability to be understood, but I think that more could have been done to keep the listener from getting confused with names and terms.
Okay, before I start raving, the book is really less about science than about the people that made the discoveries. The science is in there-- but you kind of absorb it while being fascinated by things you never heard about people you know by name-- or, for that matter, people whose names you should know, but don't.
I've listened to the whole thing about four times already, and am on my fifth. This is in six months.
I'm looking into other books by the author, even though they seem to be mostly travel books.
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