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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

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  •  
    Kate Santa Barbara, CA, United States 02-10-14
    Kate Santa Barbara, CA, United States 02-10-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My favorite book of 2013"
    Would you consider the audio edition of One Summer to be better than the print version?

    Probably--I get more from listening to a book because I can listen to every word (and not speed read like I do print books)


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

    I cannot think of anything to compare it to--it is so unique i how it weaves Lindberg's famous flight and the history of flying, with other significant yet unknown events and people


    What does Bill Bryson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is a great narrator--I loved listening to him read his own book. (And I am critical of many authors reading their own works.)


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

    If I had the time, I might have. I was sorry when I got to the end.


    Any additional comments?

    After finishing this book, I also listened to Bryson's other books--A Short History of Nearly Everything and Made in America. He is so entertaining--I am looking forward to listening to other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    raymond Redwood City, CA, United States 01-27-14
    raymond Redwood City, CA, United States 01-27-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Entertaining Listen"
    What made the experience of listening to One Summer the most enjoyable?

    Bryson deftly links certain historical events and people to the larger and more memorable events of the Summer of 1927.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How very "American" the period was, and how profoundly our current culture is connected to the events and issues of the 20's.


    What about Bill Bryson’s performance did you like?

    Bryson has an intelligent and wry delivery, and a keen sense of irony and history.


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

    There are way too many individual events covered in this book to ever consider making it into a movie.


    Any additional comments?

    A very generalized, but enjoyable, trip through an important period in American cultural history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 01-19-14
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 01-19-14 Member Since 2007

    Jonnie

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    "Story after story...delightful"

    My favorite is still A Walk in the Woods but One Summer is an interesting and fun listen. The personalities and stories are interwoven so sometimes it is a little disorienting but you get used to it and go on. The stories and details keep coming like Niagara Falls so hang on and enjoy them all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cather Cumberland, VA, United States 01-17-14
    Cather Cumberland, VA, United States 01-17-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Bill Bryson. 'Nufsed"

    This is the man who could make a trip to the post office interesting (and has), and could probably make a reading of the tax code entertaining.

    And this... isn't a trip to the post office, and it isn't the tax code. Aeronautics history. Corruption. Sex and violence. Baseball. Boxing. Prohibition and gangsters. Murder sprees. All delivered with context, wit, and oooooh so much style.

    I'm guessing from the fact that you're reading this review that you like audiobooks. That's all I need to know to know that you should STOP reading this review and buy the book. Then go for "A Short History of Nearly Everything" (the unabridged, even though he didn't read it) and "In a Sunburned Country." That should be enough to get you hooked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Little Rock, AR, USA 01-11-14
    Robert Little Rock, AR, USA 01-11-14 Member Since 2000
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    "Excellent as always"
    If you could sum up One Summer in three words, what would they be?

    Bryson is the funniest, most entertaining and educational writer of our time


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

    at Home by Bryson, but this is more topical to USA his recounting about Henry Ford is hilarious


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

    Himself


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 01-11-14
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 01-11-14 Member Since 2004

    Economic litigation attorney. Reading, the arts and physical activity are all necessary.

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    "Bryson can make any topic capturing."
    Would you listen to One Summer again? Why?

    No, the tale is a wonderful listen, and has plenty of content but nothing that needs to be reexamined. Once told and heard is enough thank you.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Done well but letf you with the threat that we, like the story's characters, will all have an end; a passing. Did not leave me threatened. Just in melocholia. Seems like Mr. Bryson is considering the duration of all things human.


    What does Bill Bryson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is a very competent reader, yet this book, I suspect, would be a good read as well as being a good listen.


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

    No, a little here and then a little more there seemed to be just right. Yet, it wa a pleasant drift into facts and data told in a most charming manner.


    0 of 0 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 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosemary Greenwich, CT, United States 01-01-14
    Rosemary Greenwich, CT, United States 01-01-14 Member Since 2007

    I love the last 150 years of history. Bully Pulpit and the Wilson biography absolute best!

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    "A walk back in time. A Joy!"

    Bill Bryson's picked an extraordinary watershed summer in history to highlight a time we have almost forgotten. Such pure joy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eli New York 01-01-14
    Eli New York 01-01-14 Member Since 2001
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    "Bryson never fails to entertain!"

    I am amazed at how Bryson manages to pull together all this detailed research and presents it in the wonderful flowing narrative.

    Not my favorite Bryson book, but still an entertaining read. was able to listen to it in sporadic periods over a few weeks, and given the nature of the book, you don't need to be incredibly immersed to pick up where you left off without losing the essence.

    The book is entertaining and an interesting angle to come at when trying share a plethora of trivia. I always come away learning new things from Bryson's books and this one was no different in that regard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jose Marco Island 12-08-13
    Jose Marco Island 12-08-13 Member Since 2006
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    "It takes some grinding..."

    ... but after a slow, narrow and sometimes even dull plotless narrative it does get much better and is well worth the listening time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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