©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)
Although the subject matter is complex, the delivery is done in a way that it's not overwhelming. I've never enjoyed a book on science like this before!
Cozy up… start your audiobook… prepare to listen to a clever, humorous old friend chat about everything. Really! Everything! Starting from the big bang through quantum theory in a conversational manner that digests these into easily absorbed bits of knowledge about... really everything!
While driving alone in my car on my long commute or grocery shopping, I wondered what others thought as I found myself smiling, or laughing out loud. Very unusual for me and not once or twice but many times came an out loud burst of laughter or smiling chuckles.
In the introduction the author admits that he realized that textbooks and teachers had taught him a lot of facts with which he had no connections. No who, what, where, when that was real. No mental concepts that equated with even a small understanding.
Bill Bryson uses his own personal word magic to draw in our minds vivid sketches of scientific discovery through the people who made them. These sketches use amusing cameos of the scientists themselves to bring to life the scientific discoveries.
Richard Matthews narration is charming with his smooth British voice, the accent is somehow so appropriate. I will never tire of his voice.
I will continue to listen to this again and again on my all-time favorite audiobook to repeat list.
Say something about yourself!
I have a scientific background (medical) but my husband's background is in history. We both loved this book and the way it was told. I think anyone interested in what this planet is about will enjoy this book and you don't need a strong scientific background to understand it.
Something I will always remember is a quote that explains the way the scientific community (or any other organization) receives new ideas or discoveries: "First they say it is wrong, then they say it might be right, but it is not important, and finally they credit the wrong person." Oh how true!
The history of scientific thought is rich with wild and weird characters! It is really hard to pick. I, however, cannot help but admire the insights of Albert Einstein -- and at such a young age! (and I do not pretend to understand the theory of relativity!) at the same time, to see that he accomplished so little in his later life. He was uncomfortable with quantum mechanics (who wouldn't be) and wasted the rest of his life trying to discredit it. How much did we miss?
The author explains just how unlikely we are to be here, and how brief our existence has been, and is likely to be. He describes it as being on a razor's edge. It makes me feel so fortunate to be given a life on this little blue planet! And how slim are the chances that we are here at all?
I'm a serious Bill Bryson fan. And, I love to hear him read his own works. He has the skill to make even a dry, historical event fascinating. I'm convinced that all text book authors should be required to read A Short History of Nearly Everything so they learn that it really is possible to write interesting books for students.
After listening to this book at least 3 times, I had to own it so I could listen whenever I wanted to.
Bryson didn't read this, but the reader does a fine job conveying the nuances of Bryson's words.
The material is incredible.
The fascinating facts of how scientists solved problems in the times before advanced computer technology.
Made me laugh and wonder, even scared me a bit.
An absolute must buy. My favorite nonfiction book... ever. And the narrator is incredible.
Should have given a more in depth accounting of history. Was very basic and should have offered a better explanation especially of our most historic and profound events. Book certainly seems like one for a person wanting only a very basic and limited understanding of our history. For that purpose though it is a great book.
Narrator was rather dry. He could have made the listen more enjoyable had he injected more life into the telling of our history.
The facts presented were mostly correct. I appreciate that about it.
If you have not yet studied human history and would like to start, this book is a great starting point. It covers a number of subjects that allow you to "get your feet wet" in the vastness of human history. But for the intermediate or the pro, steer clear! This is not the book for you. Its accounting is very basic and consist of what can be called elementary knowledge of the history of humanity and everything else.
Yes. Interesting review on history
No reaction needed. It's history.
He was ok. For some strange reason I like voices that are boring like David Attenborough.
It made me want to download some good history podcasts.
Slow to start out. It's gets better with time. Very thorough.
The book is a collection of anecdotes and various stories of scientific discoveries and personalities. Those of you who expect a straightforward scientific textbook might be disappointed. Though Bryson does provide some content of science, that is not the focal point of the book, which is Bryson's own telling of stories of science. Those of you would want to know a little bit of everything will get quite a lot here. Matthews' reading of the book is excellent - I particularly like the way he handles foreign names. I read the entire book while I drove to work for five consecutive days. Very enjoyable.
The book was well read, captivating, and extremely educational. The information just wouldn't stop coming.
This book got me interested in science again. Makes me want to go back to university and take all the sciences.
Its great from cover to cover.
The bit about Yellowstone Park.
Not that kind of book
Just an awesome, awesome book.
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