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)
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Bill Bryson is my favorite author hands down. He weaves history with facts, wit, and most of all the unexpected. You will laugh, cringe, and marvel throughout - guaranteed.
As the author and narrator he is able to bring life to the book like no other. At Home is an eye opener, it really makes you stop and think about what surrounds you today in your own home.
Get it, you will not be disappointed!
If you enjoyed James Burke's "Connections" you will enjoy this book. Bryson walks through his 19th century English house outlining the purpose of each room and the history of how the type of room was used in the past. Along the way, he connects related historical conditions and events into a unique and fascinating web. For instance, at one point he takes us from the house in England to the technical problems of building the Erie Canal in New York State.
Bryson does an excellent job of reading his own work.
A plethora of unknown wonders underlies our everyday existence. Bill Bryson lays it all out in a very entertaining and intellectually stimulating way.
I learned a great deal about things I thought I knew.
I enjoyed his Brief History of Nearly Everything. This work did not disappoint.
I was only sorry when it was over.
It is definitely informative although I expected more from Bill Bryson. It was awfully dry. I had to switch to other books back and forth to prevent from falling asleep on my ride. I don't think I could handle it again, though being non-fiction, I don't usually listen or read those books more than once.
More of Bryson's humor!
Hard to say, the humor, the facts, the way he ties different areas of life together
One of my favorite all time books is Bill Bryson's A brief History of Nearly Everything.
I JUST LOVE IT! No more can be said.
CPA, CFP, and serial audiophile.
enlightening, fascinating, absorbing
The "real" stories about everyday things we take for granted (tea, for example) and how they came to be was extended to far away places and tied up in a big, fascinating package.
His reading his own book in an authentic (but easily understood) British accent made the book that much more entertaining.
The only part I could have left out was the last 5 minutes on global warming. Otherwise, I learned more from this book than I have from many others - and it was a very fun trip.
I know a lot of people love Bill Bryson, and because of that, I had tried to listen to A Walk in the Woods several years ago, but never made it very far. For some reason, at the time, I was really turned off by his tone; he seemed pretentious and rude. I never made it very far.
But a friend was listening to this book at work and told me a few fun-facts she had learned from it. I decided to give Bryson a second try, and LOVED this book. I'm not sure what changed, but it was a pleasure to listen - all the way through.
Fun facts about the history of the British country home.
Loaded with interesting facts and things one wonders the origin of.
I found it to become tedious though. Lists and lists of object and numbers. The man is number crazy. Amounts, costs, he counts and recounts everything. The other thing it is it seems to be ALL over the place. I often wondered "what does this have to do with The Home or house he is talking about. Like the very long section on surgery and and scurvy and all sorts of interesting things but for such a huge subject (essentially life and living) it seems you might want to make everything in the book a little more relevant to domestic life.
I've read and love Bill Bryson's books, and this one is packed with information, fun, repulsive, fascinating all at once. But here's the but... His narration is taking away my ability to enjoy this book. He sounds either like an American trying on a British accent, or a Brit attempting a bad imitation of an American one. I feel a little disrespectful even saying this, and I don't doubt that he really speaks this way, having lived in England, but I keep telling myself to listen to what he's saying rather than how he's saying it. I will finish this audiobook, but I'm going to reread it in print.
Yes. I am anxiously awaiting the audio version of Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society .
Mr. Bryson laments the lack of history written and taught about the home. Maybe its because the history of the home is tedious, boring and depressing. I expected so much more having just finished the audio of A Short History...
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