From one of the most beloved authors of our time—more than six million copies of his books have been sold in this country alone - a fascinating excursion into the history behind the place we call home.
“Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.”
Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”
The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has figured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demonstrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.
Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly isolated or mundane fact into an occasion for the most diverting exposition imaginable. His wit and sheer prose fluency make At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life.
©2010 Bill Bryson (P)2010 Random House Audio
"There are many guilty pleasures, from Bryson's droll prose - "What really turned the Victorians to bathing, however, was the realization that it could be gloriously punishing" - to the many tantalizing glimpses behind closed doors at aristocratic English country houses. In demonstrating how everything we take for granted, from comfortable furniture to smoke-free air, went from unimaginable luxury to humdrum routine, Bryson shows us how odd and improbable our own lives really are." (Publishers Weekly)
Bill Bryson's research, organization and presentation are nothing short of miraculous. I love all of his works and, of course, his voice. Keep up the good work, Bill.
Jumping from room to room, object to object with randomness and well illustrated anecdotes, Bill Bryson takes us through the history of British Life.
Piles of information delivered with subtle humor.
How many people are buried in that church yard.
First one and will not be the last.
Moves much to fast for the "Big Screen".
Have been a listener since 2008. Audible programs are not very good. But the books are.
don't know. did not read book so cannot compare
no characters in that sense as this is not a novel
for anyone who likes social history this book is a must. about 1/3 of the content was already familiar to me but the rest was not and the way all the information and events were linked and contextualised made it endlessly interesting.
Mr. Bryson's ability to research is second-to-none. This book is absolutely packed with information about so much! However with that said, this book took me nearly two months to finish. The problem is that I can only listen in 20 to 30 minute periods before my mind would start to wander....Still great stuff, just had to listen in small doses.
It is full of snippits of history that lodge in your subconcious and then pop out in conversation which just make you sound clever.
It for the most part is just interesting all the way true.
It is more of a book you would listen for an hour and then come back to a couple of hours later. It needs to be digested it is so information-laden.
I didn't know he had an English accent! I thought he would sound like Richard Drayfuss.
I have read a few Bryson books and recommend all of them. This one was recommended by a friend so I listened on audio. Great read! You learn something new on each page. I have been telling stories from this book since I finished it and have recommended to friends.
Bryson writes about the kinds of things I think and wonder about every day. He delves into such detail and has made living in my own house just a bit more interesting. Thank you for writing books I love to listen to!
At Home is one of the audiobooks I have enjoyed the most.
My favorite thing about this book - as with others by Bill Bryson - is the somewhat randomness of it. He dives into such fascinating detail on such a wide range of topics. Every chapter is full of surprising things. Some of them are subjects I would have said I had no interest in knowing more about (mites, the history of venereal disease, the bathing habits of Victorians) but they fit together so well and Bryson tells their stories in such a way that they are completely engrossing.
The section on staircase theory and statistics stands out as particularly unexpected and wonderful. That may sound a little insane but maybe I just hit that part of the book at the right moment in my evening commute.
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