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A Short History of Nearly Everything Audiobook

A Short History of Nearly Everything

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Audible Editor Reviews

"Imagine if you can -- and of course you can't..." is how Bryson opens his explanation of how a universe is born. And he has the uncanny ability to not say too much, nor too little; to use metaphors brilliantly but without cliché; and to sound like he's actually learning as he goes along. Like Stephen Hawking before him, Bryson skips from one BIG topic to the next with the curiosity of a child and the patience of a schoolteacher. It's like having a front-row seat to the history of the world.

With his slightly bemused English accent, narrator Richard Matthews sounds completely at home in the material, chatting knowingly and with perfect dry comic timing. For managing to cover the universe and keep it lively, this experience definitely merits as an all-time favorite.

Publisher's Summary

Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant. Even the most pointy-headed, obscure scientist succumbs to the affable Bryson's good nature, and reveals how he or she figures things out. Showing us how scientists get from observations to ideas and theories is Bryson's aim, and he succeeds brilliantly. It is an adventure of the mind, as exciting as any of Bryson's terrestrial journeys.

©2003 Bill Bryson; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc. Published by Arrangement with Random House Audio Publishing Group, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Not to be missed." (AudioFile)
"Destined to become a modern classic of science writing." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (11826 )
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4.6 (7172 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kate M. 03-14-14
    Kate M. 03-14-14 Member Since 2016
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    "An around (and above and below) view of the world"
    What made the experience of listening to A Short History of Nearly Everything the most enjoyable?

    I learned so much about all kinds of things and found it interesting--I don't think I would have enjoyed reading the book as much as I did listening


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

    I really enjoyed hearing about all of the characters behind some of the great discoveries and what happened to them (and their discoveries)


    What about Richard Matthews’s performance did you like?

    Articulate and not overly dramatic


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

    Bryson's view of how we as human's are not the best protectors of our own world


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    F. Kelly New York, NY 02-24-14
    F. Kelly New York, NY 02-24-14 Member Since 2013
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    "enough depth, and incredible breadth"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it is too much information, but I enjoyed it spread over a couple of months


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a biologist, but have always been embarrassed by how weak my geology is! This book was fun because it filled in a lot of holes in my scientific knowledge with at least some basic facts, and included how scientists figured out what we know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth LILBURN, GA, United States 02-03-14
    Kenneth LILBURN, GA, United States 02-03-14

    Listening while I walk my dogs.

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    "A little bit of everything"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Short History of Nearly Everything to be better than the print version?

    Though I didn't read the print version, I'm more of an auditory learner and found the concepts much more graspable than if I had read the actual book.


    What other book might you compare A Short History of Nearly Everything to and why?

    This reminded me of a non-religiously charged book that might've been written by Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens.


    What about Richard Matthews’s performance did you like?

    Perfect choice of narrator. The flow and musicality of his voice perfectly matches what the content demands.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    How did we get here?


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great book that I was able to have as accompaniment on walks with my dog for about 3 consecutive weekends. It is a lot of introductory or refresher material about the history and major discoveries of science but presented in such a way as to be interesting to the learned and neophyte alike.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    VT California 12-08-13
    VT California 12-08-13 Member Since 2015

    Bookworm

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    "LOVE IT!!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Short History of Nearly Everything to be better than the print version?

    I love the narrator's voice. Such clarity. I am looking for more books narrated by him.


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

    Only Bill Bryson can write about something so technical and dry and make it so interesting. It's fascinating materials and I just can't even imagine what kind of research he has to do to make sense out of all these topics? How did scientists figure out how old is the earth, how heavy is the earth, how large is the universe, how small is a particle...Having listened to that actually makes me what to go back to study these topics more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 11-20-13
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Homerun for Bryson"

    I just picked this up on a whim. Loved it! For those of you who enjoy science I think you will too. It is basically a cliff notes version of every science class you ever took packed into a single book—chemistry, biology, physics, geology, paleontology, etc. Excellent narration and pace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 11-16-13
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 11-16-13 Member Since 2015

    I enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Stormlight, Mistborn, GoT. Last read: Shadows of Self

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Information......information....so much of it"

    If you like to learn things and understand how things work in the areas off cosmology, archaeology, biology, physics, chemistry, geology, then read this. Great stuff. Obviously a lot of names and information that you would ever remember. But some important bits stick and you learn more. This is how books should be where they teach you in a fun way. Bryson's way of moving from one area to other is so seamless that you dont even realize that you moved from cosmology to geology in the same chapter.

    Very well narrated as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mahendra (MH) Melbourne Australia 11-11-13
    Mahendra (MH) Melbourne Australia 11-11-13 Member Since 2015
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    "A story about science"

    I have rated the story as 3 because it is not a story in the sense of a story but a truly erudite historical overview. Gives us a good understanding of regarding various aspects of scientific development and thought

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    dannell 11-05-13
    dannell 11-05-13 Member Since 2013

    I love a good story read by a person with a sexy or funny voice

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    "Awesome!!"

    I wish he had a sequel or more than one sequel. I have listened to this book a couple of times and learn more each time :-) Thanks Bill!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Lee California 10-26-13
    J. Lee California 10-26-13 Member Since 2016

    Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.

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    "Fill your brain before you go to another party."

    Wow! Facts, facts, fact, Listen to this three time and you may be a genius. At least you will be a respected know it all. So much information in so little time. Amazing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    L. Phan houston, tx 09-28-13
    L. Phan houston, tx 09-28-13

    products for dummies

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    "Meh...Richard Matthews"
    Would you try another book from Bill Bryson and/or Richard Matthews?

    I will try another book from Bill Bryson, but would not buy it if Richard Matthews narrates. Please try to get someone less monotone, British, or too academic sounding. Dr.Neil Degrasse Tyson would have been a better choice.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Bill Bryson? Why or why not?

    Yes, I enjoyed the subject.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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