©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 really enjoyed this book, it wasn't too technical and not too fluffy either, it was just right :)
Since I took chemistry and physics 20 years ago, it was good to catch up and refresh my brain on what has happened in our history.
Note this covers history of the universe, physics, chemistry, evolution, etc, all the sciences.
It doesn't cover human history other than evolution, which was kind of nice not to have it but if Bill does a book on human history, I would like to listen to that as well.
Bill Bryson really DID give a short history of nearly everthing . It was interesting, not too complicated and had many light-hearted moments.
I enjoyed the stories about the scientists, their personalities, quirks and ideas.
No but he was just marvelous. Loved his inflections, speed and interpretations.
Earth, You've Come A long Way Baby.
always like to learn something new....mostly like study of philosophy, religion and history, not only the western side of the story, but also like to investigate the other shades.
This book explains science in lay man's language, and tells the story of scientific development in a very lucid language and weaves the L...ONG story in such a intriguing way that we care compelled to finish the whole book once we start reading it
Infused with just the right amount of humor, it is all but dry. Bryson continues to dazzle you and leaves you with a profound respect and awe for nature.
The book takes you through the development of the universe and the birth of all modern sciences. The author makes a great effort to let the information flow in a logical and enjoyable format. The audio book also does a great job at providing examples of very large and very small numbers used so that they can be better grasped by the listener. The book has no agenda but you can't help but pause towards the end and realize how insignificant the human race is in the grand scheme of things and also realize how much more impact we have had on the world than all other species before us.
The author makes it clear at the beginning that he meant this book to be an easy-to-read introduction to our planet's history, meant for non-scientist readers, and I feel he succeeded quite well at this.
He explains our current understanding of the origins of our universe, our planet, and humanity. He also covers some of the previously-held ideas that have since been disproven, sometimes quite recently. Amusingly, he describes our current understandings as though they are the final truth, even though obviously we discover new things all the time, as demonstrated by his own text! For example tectonic plate theory was only just recently accepted by the scientific establishment, and we have discovered new things about black holes and other cosmic concepts in the nine years since the book was published.
All in all though he provides a very thorough and thoughtful overview of what we know and how we got to know it, and he encourages a scientific curiosity and wonder which will help people appreciate the ongoing process of learning about the world around us.
The narrator also does a very good job, keeping his tone humorous and engaging even while some of the text might seem too "dry" for some readers.
It is an amusing fact fat tome of literally everything. The title is not misleading. It perfectly treads the high-wire of Science Fact, Humor, Science History, Humor, and Minutia, Humor. I have purchased this marvel in Hardback, Paperback twice, and audio book. I have also given it away to friends who have never heard of it, but now are passing it around also. Simply put, one of the best books ever written. Seriously. There is no possible way to absorb so much information in an amusing, comfortable manner, and the upside of that is you get to listen to it again.
Stupid questions for this type of book. Let me say here that Richard Matthews' British accent is the perfect voice for this book. That dry sense of humor is executed perfectly.
Everyone should be required to read this. It shows how the people who helped transform our understanding of the world we live in and how most of them were forgotten. Also, the giants in Science and the questions you've always wondered about, like, How did they determine the size of the earth during the time of the Enlightenment? It was a herculean effort by people you have never heard of plus many individuals who devoted most of their lives to solving this question and failing. Failing in science is not always a bad thing and it is important to hear all of these amazing, heart stopping, tragic, hilarious stories. Get. This. Book.
I love the way Bill Bryson makes the science we learned in high school accessible and interesting. His humor is refreshing.
I don't like the choice of readers for this book. Richard Matthews had a somewhat stuffy air when reading the book, and some of the humor seemed to slip right past him.
I would recommend this book to a select group of friends but not to casual readers.
Yes, probably because the length of scientific discussions.
No, it is already covering the subject in great detail
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.