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One Summer: America, 1927 | [Bill Bryson]

One Summer: America, 1927

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, October 2013 - When I'm in the mood for nonfiction, Bill Bryson's brand of witty, creative narrative is exactly what I look for, which is why One Summer: America, 1927; is on my list for October. In this book, Bryson takes us on an in-depth journey through a particularly eventful five months in American history: May - September, 1927. Not all newsworthy stories make it to the front page, but Bryson ensures the obscure, peculiar, and downright fascinating details of this summer are not forgotten, seamlessly weaving them into the events of the big headlines - Charles Lindbergh's solo flight, Babe Ruth's home run streak, and Al Capone's rise to power, to name a few. Self-narrated, One Summer is sure to be must-listen for Bryson fans, nonfiction listeners, and anyone who found themselves obsessing over the details in history class. —Sam, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1121 )
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  •  
    Susan Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-10-13
    Susan Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-10-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Speaking Bad"
    What did you like best about One Summer? What did you like least?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of One Summer?

    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!


    How could the performance have been better?

    A better reader would have done wonders for the book.


    Did One Summer inspire you to do anything?

    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).


    Any additional comments?

    Bill Bryson should be informed that he is not a reader!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Jupiter, FL, United States 01-10-14
    Barbara Jupiter, FL, United States 01-10-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Bryson is a great writer, but . . ."

    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!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda SPRINGFIELD, VA, United States 10-27-13
    Melinda SPRINGFIELD, VA, United States 10-27-13 Member Since 2013
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    "An honest and eye-opening look at the heady years"
    Would you try another book from Bill Bryson and/or Bill Bryson?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    The in-depth, lack-of-fear look at the 'heros' of the early 20th century.


    Did Bill Bryson do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes


    Did One Summer inspire you to do anything?

    Check out more of Bryson's work


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anita PORTLAND, OR, United States 07-25-14
    Anita PORTLAND, OR, United States 07-25-14 Member Since 2011

    madhswife

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    "All this, and my dad was only three years old...."

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 07-19-14
    Scott 07-19-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Doesn't get any better than this!"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maude el paso, TX, United States 07-14-14
    Maude el paso, TX, United States 07-14-14 Member Since 2009
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    "A good Bryson book"

    Amusing and full of interesting tidbits. This was one of Bill Bryson's books that I enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wanda J. Rains Bainbridge Island, WA USA 05-28-14
    Wanda J. Rains Bainbridge Island, WA USA 05-28-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Frightening and Enlightening, all in one"
    Would you listen to One Summer again? Why?

    Yes. To revisit the characters in this book would be a joy.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lindburgh. He seemed bigger than life. A man that could not have existed.


    What about Bill Bryson’s performance did you like?

    Yes, I liked his narration.


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

    It scared the daylights out of me. It seems that not much has changed since 1927, that is what is really scarey.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the book. It was a different read, unique.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry OJAI, CA, United States 05-10-14
    Larry OJAI, CA, United States 05-10-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Do yourself a favor"

    If only all my high school teachers had the wit and the clarity of communication that Mr Bryson has, I might have paid more attention. I begin every one of his books in anticipation of learning much and laughing more. This book truly astounded me in the number of significant events that occurred in 1927. I couldn't understand how it was that I knew nothing about the magnitude of public adoration and celebration caused by Lindberg's flight across the Atlantic. Nor did I know about the equally significant achievement by other men which went practically unnoticed because the public just couldn't be bothered to be distracted from the Lindberg craze.
    Read this book and become an instant history buff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sagi 04-30-14
    Sagi 04-30-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Bill Bryson has done it again!"
    If you could sum up One Summer in three words, what would they be?

    Enlightening, engaging, great read


    What other book might you compare One Summer to and why?

    Any other Bryson book


    Any additional comments?

    I am a big fan of Bill Bryson, he is the best storyteller in modern times, and can make any topic interesting - From Shakespeare to Australia, and has done it again with this book, highlighting a forgotten era which had some tremendous turning points which affect the way we live and think today. More please!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Canada 04-04-14
    Barbara Canada 04-04-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Wow"

    I am not a history buff, but Bill Bryson can make anything funny and interesting. I was riveted to the story of 1927 and amazed how many of the issues were the same as now, and how horrible certain aspects of our society were at that time (racism, Nazi ideals). The aviation stories were intense and I could not wait to get back to listening. Naturally the best narrator of any book is going to be the guy who wrote it. I will listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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