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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 (1434 )
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  •  
    Lauren CHICAGO, IL, United States 11-22-13
    Lauren CHICAGO, IL, United States 11-22-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent, Interesting Stories!"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed the stories he tells. I now feel like I have a clear image of what the United States - and the world - was like in this period. For example, some of the book speaks about Lindbergh. Sure, you know that Lindbergh was famous for flying across the Atlantic, but this book paints the picture of all the trials that led up to that point - all the failures and challenges, and the struggles that he faced.

    Plus, you'll get a clear picture of each person's personality. Bryson does a great job of weaving together interesting facts, historical perspectives, and impact to the modern day. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.My one complaint is that Bryson has a bit of a strange accent going into the book. After a chapter or so it doesn't bother you much, but it's a little odd at first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    txkimmers Austin, TX 11-15-13
    txkimmers Austin, TX 11-15-13 Member Since 2006
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    "A delight, as always"

    Bryson never fails to please me, I loved this as I have loved all of his works. It put me in the mood to go back and have a nice re-listen to all of his stuff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    irene 11-09-13
    irene 11-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    "1927 but really a lot more"
    Would you listen to One Summer again? Why?

    The events of 1927 and the history before and after. Bryson is good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    All of the surrounding information.


    What about Bill Bryson’s performance did you like?

    Ordinarily, I find writers should leave narration to the pros, but Bryson was certainly satisfactory. In fact, a good job here.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BRADLEY MONTICELLO, GA, United States 11-09-13
    BRADLEY MONTICELLO, GA, United States 11-09-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Any story by Bryson is a great story"
    Have you listened to any of Bill Bryson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    All of Bryson's stories are great. I enjoy learning a little history and having some good laughs at the same time.


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

    Yes, I hope I don't startle other drivers when I laugh out loud in my car.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. S. Cohen New York, NY USA 11-05-13
    M. S. Cohen New York, NY USA 11-05-13 Member Since 2003
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    "Bryson could make a phone book interesting"

    Is there nothing that Bill Bryson can't take and make fascinating? Just one summer in America and I feel like I was there.

    I've listened to every Bryson book out there and this one is among the top.

    Bryson entertains and teaches at the same time. From the most minutia details to broad strokes, he covers everything.

    Also, he reads his books with a warm engaging voice. I feel like a partner curled up next to him as he reads. Very intimate.

    If this is your first Bryson book, listen to it, and then get all the others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    heather 11-05-13
    heather 11-05-13
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    "I didn't want this book to end"
    If you could sum up One Summer in three words, what would they be?

    A grand listen.


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

    I found myself taking the long way home so that I could listen to more of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't wait for his next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 11-01-13
    Scott 11-01-13
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    "Another Bill Bryson Classic"
    Any additional comments?

    If you are a fan of Bryson, stop reading now and purchase this book; it's another home run. If you've never heard of Bryson, read "In a Sunburned Country", then read this book. I don't think many authors could have made a summer nearly 100 years ago come alive so beautifully. His stories weave together seamlessly with a depth and expertise that you assume he was actually there to witness these events.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Santa Clara, CA, United States 10-30-13
    Scott Santa Clara, CA, United States 10-30-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Bryson—entertaining as ever!"

    A delightful book, full of great stories, great characters, and great insights. Bryson's writing is as charming and entertaining as ever.
    Unfortunately, Mr. Bryson's narration is notably halting and stilted throughout—not nearly as coherent as his reading of "In a Sunburned Country," or "At Home." I'm hoping his next book will be narrated by Richard Matthews, who did such a wonderful job with "A Short History of Nearly Everything."
    In spite of that, the audiobook is fascinating and fun, and the author's less-than-perfect narration shouldn't keep you from enjoying it. It brings back a wonderful slice of American history that will leave you feeling fullfilled and enriched.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia chesapeake, VA, USA 10-23-13
    Julia chesapeake, VA, USA 10-23-13 Member Since 2002
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    "I'm listening a second time."
    Where does One Summer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best books I have listened to, and I have been a member for many years. Babe Ruth, Charles Lindbergh and many people I have never heard of. Who would think to write about an executioner? But it's all woven together beautifully. And I love the author's delivery. Not all authors should be reading their own books, but Bryson is perfect. I plan to listen to One Summer again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonny 10-22-13
    Bonny 10-22-13 Member Since 2009

    Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nobody writes minutiae like Bill Bryson."

    Nobody writes minutiae like Bill Bryson, but that's a good thing. He manages to take some big events along with odd tidbits about people and tie them together in an interesting and entertaining way in One Summer: America, 1927. The summer begins with Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic and goes on to include Babe Ruth and his 60 home runs, Prohibition, Sacco and Vanzetti, the Great Mississippi Flood, Henry Ford, and Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum. But wait; there’s more! Gertrude Ederle (“the most forgotten person in America”), Calvin Coolidge’s naps and cowboy uniform, Ruth Snyder and her corset salesman lover Judd Gray (the basis of Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice), and Shipwreck Kelly, flagpole sitter. But wait; there’s still more! That may be one of the books weaknesses. There are times when Bryson’s detours begin to get slightly tedious, and dare I say boring, but the plethora of information is also one of the book’s strengths. Bryson managed to give me a better understanding of everything that was going on during this particular summer and how these people and events interacted, like how Hoover’s leadership during the Great Mississippi Flood put him in position for the presidency. One Summer: America, 1927 is not an exhaustive, extensively-researched, focused history, but it is an accessible, easy to read work that is both educational and entertaining. The fact that I got to listen to Bill Bryson read his own book on audio makes it even better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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