Audible is proud to present One Summer: America, 1927, the new book by Britain’s favourite writer of narrative nonfiction, Bill Bryson.
Narrated by the man himself, One Summer takes you to the summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and changed the world forever. In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day, a semi-crazed sculptor with a plan to carve four giant heads into a mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and a youthful aviator named Charles Lindbergh who started the summer wholly unknown, and finished it as the most famous man on Earth.
It was the summer of the first talking pictures, the invention of television, the peak of Al Capone's reign of terror, the ill-conceived decision that led to the Great Depression, and the thrillingly improbable return to greatness of a wheezing, over-the-hill baseball player named Babe Ruth.
With an unforgettable cast of personalities, Bill Bryson spins a story of brawling adventure, reckless optimism, and delirious energy. What a country; what a summer; and what a writer to bring it all so vividly to life.
Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951; he moved to and settled in England in 1977, working in journalism until becoming a full-time author. Bryson is much-loved for his best-selling travel books, from The Lost Continent to Down Under, and Notes from a Small Island earned a particularly special place in the nation's heart - a national poll for World Book Day voted it the book that best represents Britain. A Short History of Nearly Everything won the Aventis Prize for Science Books and the Descartes Science Communication Prize. Bryson has also written a memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, and acclaimed books on language and social history (Mother Tongue, Made in America, At Home).
He lives in the UK with his wife and family, and was awarded an honorary OBE for services to literature.
©2013 Bill Bryson (P)2013 Audible Ltd
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A fascinating account of a short period of American history. It's packed with amazing characters and events you couldn't invent.
"The past comes alive!"
I have come to the conclusion that Bill Bryson can write interesting books about anything - and this one is no exception.
Set in and around 1927 (in fact things do wander around the years quite a lot, mostly setting the scene) the predominant themes are aviation, baseball, boxing, crime and government. However - do not let any of that put you off...!
For example - I am not a baseball fan (nor do I know very much about it), but the manner in which Bryson weaves together a multitude of themes and frankly fascinating facts - ensures it is both interesting and entertaining. I actually feel like I've learnt a lot listening to this - and enjoyed doing so. Perhaps Bryson should be paid to write text books for the masses!
Although I was initially unsure about Bryson as narrator - he is excellent. His voice and accent are pleasant and his pace is spot on. Being the author, his delivery seems to have an added authority. I'm not sure exactly where his accent is from but found myself - unsuccessfully - trying to say some words the way he does (even simple ones like "sea"!)
If you enjoy slightly quirky history, and certainly if you are interested in any of the main topics listed above - you will almost certainly enjoy this. If you have a strong aversion to any of them - or the America centered viewpoint puts you off (although the clue is in the title) you may not find it as enjoyable and interesting as I did.
"Entertaining and informative."
I've listened to a few of Bill Brysons books now and always feel like I've had my money's worth. I prefer the one's read by Bill himself, as Indeed this one is, and was kept interested from beginning to end.
"Great immersion into US history and culture."
A nicely woven story across baseball,politics, media and flying. Fondly obscure and core facts used to show brilliantly a snapshot of the U.S. A great audiobook for the car as the common threads and wandering stories enabled duping in and out with ease. I recommend it.
"An excellent account of the summer of 1927"
I love Bryson , his books always turn potentially boring accounts of events into something which comes alive and is far more interesting than a casual reader/ listener could perhaps imagine . This account of the people and events of one summer- 1927, is also a must listen for fans of Bryson . It's fascinating, insightful and fun , just like all the rest of his books I've read !
The list of characters and events detailed in this account so many of which are vaguely familiar to us being given form and insight.
The details around Lindbergh and his life besides the events surrounding him in 1927 were both remarkable and fascinating.Celebrity culture is not quite as new as we all like to pretend.
As usual Bryson is so readable and therefore easy to listen to that the whole experience is a pleasure.
It captures a moment in history that is not actually so long ago but sounds as if from the distant past. The characters and their trials, tribulations, achievements and failures are fascinating and thought provoking and wonderfully dealt with by Mr Bryson as both writer and narrator.
Definitely worth taking the time over if you like your history stimulating and not too stuffy.
"Fascinating facts fabulously folded into a tale"
Thought provoking narrative
Al Capone funded Chicago police to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars per month… in 1927!
I didn't know how interesting baseball, prohibition, and American politicians were! Bill Bryson manages to generate interesting narrative around some extraordinary events that took place nearly 90 years ago.
"I learnt so much!"
Mesmiring and all stories beautifully entwined. An excellent accompaniment to my long Sunday runs. Bravo.
"Tedious in the extreme"
I'm not sure really. Hardened Bill Bryson fans I suppose.
There is far too much description and not enough action.
I have not finished the book as I completely lost interest.
"A snapshot of America in its heyday."
It has a beautifully elegant construction, linking wider issues and quirky vignettes together, month by chapter by month, using celebrities of the day (Babe Ruth, Charles Lindbergh and others) as continuity. Bryson excels at this sort of thing, and it brings the book together, rather than leaving it as a collection of individual stories and occurrences.
Gotta love Babe Ruth. He'd have been a star in any age. You've got to admire a man so apparently likeable who indulged his appetites to the full and beyond all his life, and STILL out-performed his rivals and left a sporting record which stood for decades. Most early sporting records fell with the advancement of sports science and modern training, but Ruth's remarkable home run records (60 in one season over 151 games and most career home runs, 714) weren't broken until 1961 and 1974 respectively. AND it took Roger Maris an extra ten games to break Ruth's single season record.
Hearing a book read by the author is always a treat and not only can you hear his obvious involvement in and enthusiasm for the narrative, but he has a really pleasant speaking voice too. Bryson is obviously not a voice performer, but he's a good narrator.
Yes and no. With a good book, you want to devour the thing, but you don't want it to end.
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