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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"Yes, but what a Summer..."
Baseball. Lindbergh. America.
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.
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.
Not really, by its very nature it was somewhat episodic and this lent itself all the better to being consumed in chunks.
Fascinating, enthralling and educational
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!
It compares well....looking through my books i think he's become my fav writer..
No just enthralled
No matter what the subject, ....Bryson makes it interesting.
"I love history as told by Bill Bryson"
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.
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.
No characters performed, as such, other than reading transcripts taken from a variety of individuals involved in this books details of certain histories.
The American Big Bang.
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.
"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.
"Another awesome book"
I'm a big fan of Bill Bryson and I wasn't disappointed by this. Incredibly well researched and written.
"I want a return to travel writing"
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Baseball and biplanes"
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.
Back to a thriller, something with a bit of pace hopefully
Perhaps on a better book
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.
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.
"A lucid description of an amazing summer"
The way Bill managed to convey an unbelievable amount of information into an accessible book.
The personal story thread works well, and although there are numerous threads (sometimes overlapping), it holds together well.
Not as clear and engaging as a professional actor. Minor criticism.
A recommended listen, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
"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.
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