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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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    DL 11-26-14
    DL 11-26-14

    DL

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    "Bryson's voice makes my skin crawl"

    Bill Bryson's voice makes my skin crawl; I've never used that term nor had the sensation.
    Add to that Bryson's liberal bias and I had buyer's remorse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Wright The Berkshires, MA 11-23-14
    Victoria Wright The Berkshires, MA 11-23-14 Member Since 2012

    BookmarkServices.net

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    "Bryson's got the best job on the planet."

    At this point, any book this guy writes, and especially if he narrates it, too, I will buy. Not only are they all fascinating (can you imagine hanging out, deciding what might be fun to research in depth and then write about it? And getting paid well to do it?). And his joy comes through. From The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, which is sweet and engaging and personal, to this new book, which illuminates not just a year but a nation at that time and the people who in one way or another represent that time, Bryson never disappoints. He has fun so we don't have to!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Cotacachi, Ecuador 11-12-14
    Rick Cotacachi, Ecuador 11-12-14 Member Since 2013

    In a small, peaceful town on the Equator, the sun always sets at 6, and a good audiobook is always the perfect evening companion.

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    "A Summer to Remember"

    Someone asked, “Why 1927?” The answer, of course, is, “Why not?” What may seem at first like a random year drawn from a hat is in reality a summer of superlatives, achieved by legends like Charles Lindbergh and Babe Ruth. But there’s also a wealth of surprising insight that’s new to most of us, about Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Al Capone, Henry Ford and the greatest flood on the Mississippi in its history—not to mention scores of colorful eccentrics you never knew existed but will not soon forget. When the author reels off the fates of all his characters in the epilogue, you realize you've been following a cast of thousands.

    Bill Bryson delivers a deeply researched and endlessly fascinating account as only he can, finding quirks and unearthing indelible meaning in one eventful season between the Great War and the Great Depression. It was a time like no other, and if America could get through it, it just might survive anything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jack 11-09-14
    Jack 11-09-14 Member Since 2014
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    "The Babe and Bill both homerun hiters."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    All of history does not repeat itself. This is about what made the " Greatest Generation". thank God they were there. Scoundrels and heroes, good times and bad makes an interesting recipe for nation building.


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

    The whole is truly better than its parts but baseball is makes it even better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine 09-11-14
    Elaine 09-11-14

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

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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
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    Tracy 08-16-14
    Tracy 08-16-14
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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
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    Birdshot 08-13-14
    Birdshot 08-13-14
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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
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    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
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    G. Sabin Sacramento, CA 08-03-14
    G. Sabin Sacramento, CA 08-03-14 Member Since 2010
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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
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    Just a regular Joe 07-31-14 Member Since 2015
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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

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