To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world's most profound scientific minds, living and dead. His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemistry, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school.
On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating personalities ever to ask a hard question. In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge. Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been more full of wonder and delight.
©2003 Bill Bryson; (P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House Inc.
"Destined to become a modern classic of science writing." (The New York Times Book Review)
I enjoy reading light scientific books, and this one is a great one. This book takes each of several scientific subjects from their beginnings to the latest discoveries and theories, giving an interesting overview of that science. Each subject is presented in a clear and precise way, and the knowledge is put into perspective with clarifying analogies and fresh new ways of looking at complex subjects. NOW I finally understand what quantum physics is about.
I highly recommend this book. I couldn't stop listening to it. I only wish that it was not an abridged version. I'd like to hear more.
A great book for anyone interested in science, life and who we are. I listen to most of the science books offered at audible, and this one was both fun and educational.
Bryson is great as ususal. A good synopsis of all sience and entertaining as well. Unfortunate that is was abridged. I hope an unabridged version comes out soon.
If I could give it negative starts I would. This book is nothing more than an aging hippy complaining about how man has ruined the earth. He spouts off on how man is just a mistake of evolution and we are less significant then bacteria and it would have probably have been better if evolution would not have made the "mistake". It's a tired story of Humanistic propaganda laced with left wing sobbing about the environment. A total waste.
Having read and enjoyed Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" several years ago I expected this book to be of comparable calibre. Instead it turned out to be a hodge-podge collection of unrelated facts. While some of these were interesting, there is not story or even a well defined theme to this book. I rated it at one star only because there is no option for a negative rating.
Science and philosophy buff
I really loved this book and have listened to it several times. I am now a little miffed that the unabridged version is now available and wondering what I missed in the additional 10 hours! I am a detail person who feels a little cheated by the distribution. Would have given this 5 stars.
Bill Bryson does a wonderful job of introducing the world we think we know in a new light that you never to look for. This book is part science, part history and part theory. He goes deep enough into each subject so you have a firm grasp on what it all means without loosing yourself in the science. It was a wonderful listen. Personal I am more of physics person, but I found the biology and geology subjects extremely enjoyable. The narrator on this book is also very pleasant to listen to.
Lots of anecdotes and facts, facts, facts, but after listening this one, how much do I remember? Not a lot, actually. Or do I now really understand the theory of relativity? Perhaps a bit better than before...really! This is not a novel. This is facts, lots of details that I want to remember. Not a colorful story where it is OK to miss a few details and still get the story right. To digest this much information, I have to turn back a page or two quite often. That's OK on paper, but annoying on the iPod. I feel that quite a lot of information have bounced off my brain here... And that irritates me a bit. Maybe it's my fault, perhaps I'm a visual guy. Nevertheless it bugs me.
This is in no way a bad book, it is quite impressive and interesting in many ways. Well narrated, too. If popular science is of interest to you, you'll enjoy it. But I can't help thinking that I should have bought the paperback...
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