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A Short History of Nearly Everything | [Bill Bryson]

A Short History of Nearly Everything

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.
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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 (2310 )
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  •  
    Karen Eden Prairie, MI, USA 05-03-05
    Karen Eden Prairie, MI, USA 05-03-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Long and not worth it"

    This book is very focused on the evolutionary/big bang view of the origins of the solar system, the earth, humans, animals, the fossil record etc. so it is very 'earth science' focussed. It is long and, I thought, boring. The author spends alot of time (and detail) providing a litany of names and locations of the scientists -- this would be OK on the major scientists but he does this on many many individuals with smaller discoveries. He goes on and on from one scientist to the next and pretty soon I was asleep.

    There is also no table of contents so you can't decide that you want to listen to a certain part, e.g. the fossil record information, because you won't know where it is! I picked up a few interesting facts but not worth the 15 hours of listening.

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fred greensboro nc 06-29-09
    fred greensboro nc 06-29-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    111
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    3
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    "A little too fast"

    Don't daydream during this book or you will be lost. Maybe after a second or third or fourth listen I will get more of this book but for now I cannot give it high marks.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Oxford, MI, USA 04-19-08
    Brian Oxford, MI, USA 04-19-08 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "good book - bad title"

    The book is a good read, but it should be honest and be called "A Short History Of Evolution" - and why I think its true.

    5 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Douglasville, GA, USA 04-25-04
    Chris Douglasville, GA, USA 04-25-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Excellant For Dummies Explanation Of Science"

    Even though I am a devout Christian, and don't agree with alot of scientific theory, I still really enjoyed listening to the theories and history of science. This is a great book if you don't know a whole lot about all the different types of sciences and wish to learn more about the universe and world.

    2 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Brunswick, OH, USA 02-26-05
    Matthew Brunswick, OH, USA 02-26-05
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    1
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    "Amazing"

    Simply one of the best books out there!

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy San Diego, CA, USA 03-03-04
    Nancy San Diego, CA, USA 03-03-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    26
    4
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    "Boring"

    I could not make it past the first four chapters. I found it dull and uninteresting. Too many names of discoverers...who cares? Not the sort of story I would lisen to.

    2 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ang burdick, KS, USA 05-01-07
    Ang burdick, KS, USA 05-01-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Okay book if your beliefs are strong beforehand"

    Perhaps I should have known this was a secular, anti-Biblical book. Despite his Darwinism theories intertwined the book did have a lot of well presented information. If anything, it strengthen my belief in God and creationism. Several times the author noted that there wasn’t an explanation. The creation of man, the great flood and other Biblical facts fill in the blanks perfectly.

    4 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mukesh Bhargava Sanford, ME 05-20-04
    Mukesh Bhargava Sanford, ME 05-20-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "A Short History of Nearly Everything"

    This is a book with no head or tail. I gave it a good try to see where it was headed but could not pay attention under any circumstances.Suggest you do not waste time.

    1 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick New York, NY, USA 07-08-03
    Patrick New York, NY, USA 07-08-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    20
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    "It's good."

    It's good. Nuff said. Just some boring parts but not too much. definately learn a thing or two in this. I'm a 21 year old college student in NYC.

    1 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jimmy Ponchatoula, LA, United States 06-18-08
    Jimmy Ponchatoula, LA, United States 06-18-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    8
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    "Interesting but a bit lacking"

    i found most of the story very informational, however, i expected more info on some areas versus others.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
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