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A Short History of Nearly Everything Audiobook

A Short History of Nearly Everything

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: An ambitious title to say the least. But Bryson, arguably the best author-narrator around, gives us all an entertaining history lesson delivered in that voice-of-an-old-friend that has made all Bryson's work so enjoyable. This is no travelogue, as we are used to from Bryson, but it is more about life than any other "history" you'll hear. —Chris Doheny

Publisher's Summary

In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.

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.

What the Critics Say

"Destined to become a modern classic of science writing." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2630 )
5 star
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Story
4.5 (691 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Daniel Chicago, IL, USA 12-04-03
    Daniel Chicago, IL, USA 12-04-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bryson once again"

    I've listened to and enjoyed all of Bill Bryson's audio books, which is the reason that I chose this one even though it isn't travel related (unless you consider it a travel through time). At first I didn't think I was going to finish it, struggled through the first hour or so, but it picked up as more of the author's usual wit came through and topics became more tangible for me. After that point, I didn't want to stop listening, and in fact have relistened to many chapters a few times. It takes Bill Bryson to make such dry subjects interesting, and here he succeeds once again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Kitchener, ON, Canada 09-11-03
    Susan Kitchener, ON, Canada 09-11-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wanted more"

    Alas, this book was not exactly what I expected. There is a great deal of names and dates and chronology, but hardly any exploration of the actual sciences. Yes, the narration is good, and if you what you are after is a history of science book, then here is the book for you! But look elsewhere if you actually want to learn more about physics, chemistry, geology, etc.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Chambless Dallas, TX 08-10-03
    T. Chambless Dallas, TX 08-10-03 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
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    "Wonderful to Listen to"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron 08-10-03
    Ron 08-10-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it!!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Avondale Estates, GA, USA 08-07-03
    Tim Avondale Estates, GA, USA 08-07-03
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    171
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    "Bryson strikes again"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross Broomfield, CO, USA 02-25-04
    Ross Broomfield, CO, USA 02-25-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Horrible"

    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.

    9 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Pekin, IN, USA 02-04-04
    Donald Pekin, IN, USA 02-04-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "very disappointing"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yale Alpharetta, GA, USA 02-15-05
    Yale Alpharetta, GA, USA 02-15-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "what a bore"

    Downloaded for a trip (6 hrs in car).
    Too many names to keep us interested.
    Gave up trying to listen.

    Good luck with this one

    5 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 08-28-09
    Chris 08-28-09 Member Since 2008

    Science and philosophy buff

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "a liitle out of date but lots of fun"

    the abridged version is better performed and a great introduction to non-sciency types. there are some errors that need to. e corrected but still worth the credit

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rishi Kapoor 05-25-09
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Much Better than the Abridged Version"

    see the title. Bill Bryson has a knack for spoken word, unlike whomever does the unabridged version.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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