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'm a pretty hard man to please but I have to concur with the other reviewers here. Not only is this a great read/listen -- it is without a doubt one the top five audiobooks I've listened to in the last couple years.
I love books!
Author Bill Bryson grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from Roosevelt HS in 1970 and then Drake University there. After graduating from college he went on a backpacking trip to Europe where he met his future British wife and settled in the United Kingdom for the most part going forward. Bryson is most famous for writing travel books with humor mostly about traveling in Europe and Great Britain but also wrote at least one based in the US on hiking the Applalachian Trail from start to finish. In this book he leaves the travel story genre and writes about a time in the USA's past that he found particularly interesting, the title of this story, "One Summer, America 1927". There was a lot going on in the USA in 1927. Charles Liindbergh flew non-stop from New York City to Paris, Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs, there was Prohibition, the airline and auto industries were in their infancy, Mt Rushmore was started, Al Capone lived and thrived in Chicago, Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney were famous boxers, Eugenics had a following, decisions were being made that led to the stock market crash in 1929 and ensuing Depresssion, Zane Grey, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ernest Heminway, F Scott Fitzgerald, Harold Belle Wright to name a few were writing books, silent moves were transitioning to "talkies, radio was gaining populairty, the TV was being invented and I've probably missed a few other things. The USA had it going. Bryson does a good job of weaving all of these happenings into an enjoyable story. He's also the narrator. I recommend the book, especially if you like this type of historical novel.
Didn't see the print version -- loved it in Bryson's own voice
Bryson is in a category of his own. He brings times and places, characters and the dynamics of an era to life.
I listened to it over and over in many sittings and settings. Even the statistics about baseball and boxing were delivered in such an interesting way that I was fascinated -- and I'm a fan of no sports.
Bryson made the era of my grandparents and the precursor to my parent's time come alive. I think I understand them better now. I feel like I walked beside them.
25% through and I resolved to listen to it again. A very entertaining read of one summer and it contains so many facets: aviation, world politics and finance, boxing, baseball, tennis. And that's in the first half. Even if you know American history you may not know that people died during Prohibition because liquor was suddenly unregulated and bootleggers sometimes put poison in the booze. On a separate topic the King of England was fascinated by how Lindbergh managed emptying his bladder on his historic flight. It reads like a story you want to take to bed after a hard day.
I loved this book. The short stories that weave together to make an entire picture make this perfect for picking up and putting back down again without forgetting the story.
This was pretty typical Bill Bryson, but he does a great job with it.
Getting to know more about the rivalry between Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth was interesting, even though I'm not a baseball fan.
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)
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
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.)
If I had the time, I might have. I was sorry when I got to the end.
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.
Bryson deftly links certain historical events and people to the larger and more memorable events of the Summer of 1927.
How very "American" the period was, and how profoundly our current culture is connected to the events and issues of the 20's.
Bryson has an intelligent and wry delivery, and a keen sense of irony and history.
There are way too many individual events covered in this book to ever consider making it into a movie.
A very generalized, but enjoyable, trip through an important period in American cultural history.
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.
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.
Bryson is the funniest, most entertaining and educational writer of our time
at Home by Bryson, but this is more topical to USA his recounting about Henry Ford is hilarious
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