Audie Award Finalist, History, 2014
One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country - a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive for us in this certain best-seller.
©2013 Bill Bryson (P)2013 Random House Audio
I loved the idea of zeroing in on a particular time period. I've read some other Bill Bryson and liked it ok. I haven't seen the book which I hope to get from the library. I can't believe it was written as badly as it was spoken.
It was amazing to think that back in those days tens of thousands of people would come out for a celebration of a "hero". I also liked the descriptions of Fordlandia!
A better reader would have done wonders for the book.
Yes. It inspired me to look up Sacco and Vanzetti and perhaps someday(way down the list) to delve into Hoover(Herbert and J.Edgar).
Bill Bryson should be informed that he is not a reader!!
This is a very good book. Bryson weaves together the worlds of politics, aviation, sports, entertainment, crime, invention, and business to give a snapshot view of the United States in 1927.. It works very well and is a pleasure to read. However, Bryson should stick to writing. I had just listened to several books read by actors, and there is a big difference between a professional voice and an amateur. With Bryson, the listener is distracted by his uneven accent -- where is he from, California? with a touch of Brit? Canada? I kept thinking of the characters on Saturday Night Live's skit, "The Californians."And it is just not smooth. The wrong words are emphasized in the narratives and it is really distracting. I finally bought the book and started from the beginning to read it myself. I loved it!
The in-depth, lack-of-fear look at the 'heros' of the early 20th century.
Check out more of Bryson's work
Great stories. An eye-opening look at history. However, it was all diluted by Bryson's narration of his work. He should have left that to someone else.
Bryson is a great researcher and a brilliant writer. He can make anything entertaining. I've read most of his books. Still in this book, I did find myself skipping some sections of people I didn't find all that interesting when he was writing about aviation. Other sections great! Loved the baseball and boxing details. I kept saying to my husband, "did you know that . . . "
As much as l like Bryson as a writer, I would have enjoyed a professional performance of this book. I almost quit listening, but then adjusted to Bryson voice and style and finished it. I'm glad I did.
I really enjoyed the material and the writing. Bryson has a rare talent for weaving facts into an absorbing story, he just shouldn't narrate it out loud. As interested as I was in the what was being said, I was constantly distracted by Bryson's odd hybrid accent and annoying pacing. Worth listening to, but would have been much better with a professional reader at the mic.
I thoroughly enjoyed One Summer. It was a remarkable year, but the way Bill Bryson takes each event and story of the summer, provides the background and context, and spins them all together matching and intertwining, it is very well done. And his reading of it provides an authenticity that gives it just that much more credibility.
While this book relies a little too heavily on two major characters of the era, the surrounding material is engrossing enough to make up for myopia. Bryson's so-so effort is still better than almost anyone's best.
Very very in depth, gives a good feel for the decade as a whole.
Bill should stick to research and writing-he cannot narrate and numerous times I felt like stopping the Audible app. He ends every sentence on a high note...it killed me!
Good book to read and to listen to if you can somehow tune out Bill's narration and sentence inflection.
I had no idea I would learn more about American history through one single summer's perspective than I did in two high school and six college courses! Bill Bryson is the genius who was able to give me that opportunity. And, you'll miss out if you don't listen to him narrate his own words... I can only hope he never stops writing and reading!
There are so many different stories about people and America that you never lose attention. He ties them all together so well, you will want to read all his books. And I have.
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