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One Summer: America 1927 | [Bill Bryson]

One Summer: America 1927

One Summer: America, 1927, is 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Amazon Customer
    RUNCORN, United Kingdom
    3/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Yes, but what a Summer..."
    If you could sum up One Summer in three words, what would they be?

    Baseball. Lindbergh. America.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Babe Ruth - he was a bit of a boor, and more than a bit of a womaniser yet you couldn't help but sympathise with him and his all-too-human frailties.


    Have you listened to any of Bill Bryson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    It doesn't quite scale the heights of, what for me was his finest, "In A Sunburned Country" but this is definitely top 5 Bryson.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really, by its very nature it was somewhat episodic and this lent itself all the better to being consumed in chunks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • martin
    MACCLESFIELD, United Kingdom
    3/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Crazy Days!"
    If you could sum up One Summer in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, enthralling and educational


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Charles A. Levine....he was a sad excuse for a human being, no shame whatsever. I kept listening to all his dirty tricks and Bare face cheek at stealing credit for things he didnt do....but i was hooked!


    Have you listened to any of Bill Bryson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    It compares well....looking through my books i think he's become my fav writer..


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No just enthralled


    Any additional comments?

    No matter what the subject, ....Bryson makes it interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • PishPash
    Northampton, UK
    3/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love history as told by Bill Bryson"
    What made the experience of listening to One Summer the most enjoyable?

    Bill Bryson's voice. There's something really nice about it, that I'm not sure I can describe. A very relaxing listen, if his voice was in any way applied towards hypnosis based materials, I would doubtless fall into a trance.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A fantastic piece of recent history. Bill Bryson paints a stunning picture, with words, of the events at hand. Plays very well with a wide range of back stories, and corollary events that surround this particular year.


    Which character – as performed by Bill Bryson – was your favourite?

    No characters performed, as such, other than reading transcripts taken from a variety of individuals involved in this books details of certain histories.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The American Big Bang.


    Any additional comments?

    Try 'At Home: a short history of private life,' by the same author, if you enjoyed this. Another wonderfully read audio book by Bill Bryson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • steven
    3/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hold on to your seats for one heck of a ride..."

    Bryson has selected a period of about six months (April to September) in one year (1927) when the most remarkable events and people in the USA intersected. He is a master story teller and traces the history and personalities of his “actors” without ever reverting to a catalogue of dates or achievements.

    It was one heck of a year: Babe Ruth, Charles Lindbergh, Herbert Hoover, Al Capone, Talking pictures, prohibition, Saco and Vanzetti, Mount Rushmore and a handful or murderers all had their moment in the sun – and this is not a complete list.
    It was a perfect moment in time - after the war and before the depression. It was an instant when the height of 1920s excess clashed with the depths of conservative USA reaction. All in all, a remarkable year.

    Bryson revels in this type of book – he dredges up little-known facts and sketches his characters as larger-than-life figures (or not). The “story” never lags and his sense of hyperbole keeps the reader riveted. How about this as a sample of the irrelevant but interesting snippets which litter to book: The morning after Lindbergh’s triumphant landing in Paris the authorities collected over a ton of lost property at the airfield (following the frenzied reception by the French). There are many more. Some of the actions, decisions and statements are almost inconceivable. The fact, for example, that Al Capone paid wages of almost $700,000 every week – to crooked cops in Chicago.

    I guess there were other summers which held as many significant occurrences (probably very few) but I wonder if it is an accident that exactly 40 years later the summer of love would again yield a treasure trove of events and personalities. I’m hoping Bryson is busy on this book already: 1967 Another Summer.

    I really wish publishers would stop using authors to read books. I have said this so often. Bill is a great writer and he is one of my favourites. His diction is poor and his reading style is rushed and unprofessional. PLEASE USE ACTORS to read and writers to write.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    2/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another awesome book"
    What made the experience of listening to One Summer the most enjoyable?

    I'm a big fan of Bill Bryson and I wasn't disappointed by this. Incredibly well researched and written.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Colin
    Cumbernauld, United Kingdom
    1/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I want a return to travel writing"
    What did you like best about One Summer? What did you like least?

    Bryson is better than many at writing non fiction books. The problem is I loved his travel writing and wish he would do more. I feel like I have just been to a dry lecture after listening to this audiobook. It wasn't completely boring but it certainly wasn't entertaining either.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Bill Bryson is a great author. If you like his more factual books and are not put off by his narration then there is a good chance you will like this one too. Unfortunately It didn't keep my interest. I was so disappointed.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I always thought that Bill Roberts did a fantastic job at narrating several of Bryson's books so it would be a hard act to follow even for a professional narrator. Would this book have been greatly improved if Bill Roberts had read it? Definitely. Bryson's narration sounds so amateurish. I would give him a 2 out of 10 for his performance.


    Do you think One Summer needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No thanks. Unfortunately Bill Bryson is probably still in lecture mode so I suspect we will get another one. Not my cup of tea. What a shame.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mike
    Crewe, United Kingdom
    1/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Baseball and biplanes"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Not one of Bill's best and if you don't have any interest in baseball or early aviation (which I don't) then it's a bit of a slog. For those that do, good luck.


    What will your next listen be?

    Back to a thriller, something with a bit of pace hopefully


    Would you be willing to try another one of Bill Bryson’s performances?

    Perhaps on a better book


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from One Summer?

    Heavily edit the baseball tales especially all the scores which while no doubt impressive if you aren't into that, and for the casual listenner, it was painful.


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • alan
    Canvey Island, United Kingdom
    1/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating"

    I like this book, it illustrated a very interesting year and one that was pivotal in how the USA developed between the wars.
    It's quite uncanny how much happened in that one year and certainly made me want to learn more about some of the people and events it described.
    I wasn't personally interested in the Babe Ruth element but both he and his achievements definitely needed mentioning and Bill Bryson's respect for him and his skills was clearly obvious.
    A really interesting listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Woodbridge, United Kingdom
    1/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lucid description of an amazing summer"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    The way Bill managed to convey an unbelievable amount of information into an accessible book.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    Yes


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    The personal story thread works well, and although there are numerous threads (sometimes overlapping), it holds together well.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Not as clear and engaging as a professional actor. Minor criticism.


    Do you have any additional comments?

    A recommended listen, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Esther
    Wales
    1/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not his best book, but informative"

    I have read and /or listened to all of Bill Bryson's books and they are all good although some more than others. This one is NOT funny, but a fairly dry and somewhat laboured account of a few topics that were current in the summer of 1927. You have to be very interested in the many attempts to fly the Atlantic (which I kind of was) and in baseball at the time of Babe Ruth - an icon in the US, but not of huge interest to me. I like Bill Bryson's narration which is very restful and overall it did what it said on the tin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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