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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 (1285 )
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Performance
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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
  •  
    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
  •  
    Elaine Wellsville, New York, United States 09-11-14
    Elaine Wellsville, New York, United States 09-11-14 Member Since 2009

    I'm a country potter, gardener, flute player and tin tinker living with my husband, an electrical engineer & cabinet maker.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I didn't know that either!"

    That's what I kept saying. I didn't know that. I didn't realize that. I don't remember hearing that. I never connected those events or people or times.

    It is entirely possible that any year looks extraordinary when one considers all that happens in society, culture, economics, sports, invention and more but I do believe that 1927 was one heck of a year.

    I am a Bill Bryson fan. His humor appeals to me. It is not uncommon for me to be working in the garden and burst out laughing. If this frightens a rabbit or two, better still.

    I did enjoy the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Morgantown WV 08-16-14
    Tracy Morgantown WV 08-16-14 Member Since 2008

    Tracy Novak

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    "Bryson always entertaining"
    What made the experience of listening to One Summer the most enjoyable?

    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 . . . "


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Birdshot 08-13-14
    Birdshot 08-13-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Great story - too bad about the narration."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 08-11-14
    David 08-11-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Well woven tapestry"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Sabin Sacramento, CA 08-03-14
    G. Sabin Sacramento, CA 08-03-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Not his best, but still good"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Just a regular Joe 07-31-14 Member Since 2014
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    "VERY Informative-but the reader? Oiy!"
    What did you love best about One Summer?

    Very very in depth, gives a good feel for the decade as a whole.


    What didn’t you like about Bill Bryson’s performance?

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    Good book to read and to listen to if you can somehow tune out Bill's narration and sentence inflection.

    0 of 0 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
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