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Publisher's Summary

Here is Bill Bryson’s entertaining and illuminating book about the history of the way we live - complete, unabridged and read by the author.

Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be. Along the way, he researched the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets. And he discovered that there is a huge amount of history, interest and excitement - and even a little danger - lurking in the corners of every home.

Where A Short History of Nearly Everything was a sweeping panorama of the world, the universe and everything, At Home peers at private life through a microscope. Bryson applies the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit, stylish prose, and masterful storytelling that made A Short History of Nearly Everything one of the most lauded books of the last decade.

©2010 Bill Bryson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • william
  • 05-05-15

Favourite Bryson Book!

Another great book narrated by the man himself which gives great personal touch.
I love his History of Nearly Everything but find the subjects hard going at times due to its scientific nature. This book is a much easier listen. Another insight into history with great personality. It brings history to life and leaves you very great full to be living comfortably in the 21st century full sanitary ware for you private convenience and not pissing in vases and wiping your bum with a well used sponge on a stick.

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  • Bundana
  • 03-19-15

Audible Elixir!

BB has done it again. If you enjoyed TSHONE... Enjoy! Thoroughly researched. An amazing piece of undertaking for the pleasure of the listener.

Narrated by BB- the facts are mind blowing, the humour is witty and genuinely funny and we are invited to peer into a history of the anything but inane.

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  • Miss
  • 01-11-15

Love all of bill bryson books

Love all of bill bryson books have read them all a number of times and love listening to them now as well. Full of interesting stuff and funny too :-)

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  • laurence
  • 12-11-14

More of the expected from Bryson

Would you consider the audio edition of At Home: A Short History of Private Life to be better than the print version?

I have never read the book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

N/A factual book

Which character – as performed by Bill Bryson – was your favourite?

N/A

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

?

Any additional comments?

More of what you'd expect if you've ever read or listened to Bill Bryson before. More interesting facts and quirky points of view. I was slightly disappointed that there were times when he seemed to be repeating facts that he had presented in "A Short History Of Nearly Everything". That aside it was a good listen while fixing the shed and garage roof.

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  • Aunty Jean
  • 07-16-14

Entertaining throughout!

If you could sum up At Home: A Short History of Private Life in three words, what would they be?

Quirky, fun, enlightening

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The whole book was enjoyable. A well written, absorbing social history of all manner of things.

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  • James A Brinck
  • 07-08-14

Marvellous

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Go out and buy it. I followed up with the illustrated hardback.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Using an old house as a window on history was an inspired idea.

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  • Avril
  • 04-23-14

Potted history at its best

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Excellent very interesting research that can be listened to in small sound bites or in great gulps.

What did you like best about this story?

Bill Bryson's evident enthusiasm and enjoyment of his subject

Which character – as performed by Bill Bryson – was your favourite?

There were no characters in this except Mr Bryson who read his own words beautifully.

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

Did it provide a laugh, oh yes, many parts were very amusing.

Any additional comments?

I love most of Bill Bryson's writings. This book was particularly enjoyable and will stand listening to many times just to take in all the well researched information.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-25-14

The little things that make a house a home

What did you like most about At Home: A Short History of Private Life?

It's Bill Bryson, so you know by now (if you've ever read and/or listened to any of his other works) what you're going to get - lots of detail and history combined with amusing anecdotes that are made all the more funny by Bryson's wonderful narration.

Would you be willing to try another book from Bill Bryson? Why or why not?

Yes, of course. I've yet to encounter one of his books that I didn't like.

What about Bill Bryson’s performance did you like?

His ability to imbue what are, at best, sometimes only mildly amusing anecdotes with a real impish sense of joy and fun.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

You'll never look at your house in quite the same way again.

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  • Sarah
  • 12-06-13

Another excellent Bryson book

Would you consider the audio edition of At Home: A Short History of Private Life to be better than the print version?

Having read and enjoyed some of Bryson's travel writing and 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' I was looking forward to this book. I wasn't disappointed. Bryson provides a fascinating account of the history of every day objects.

What was one of the most memorable moments of At Home: A Short History of Private Life?

Full of interesting trivia that will leave you looking at tables and windows with renewed appreciation!

Have you listened to any of Bill Bryson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the first audio version of Bryson's work I have listened to -it was great that it is read by the man himself!

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

It was very entertaining. We listened to it on a long drive and it kept us laughing/snorting and 'wowing' along the way!

Any additional comments?

I would thoroughly recommend it.

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  • Cupcake fan
  • 12-02-13

A pleasant surprise

What did you like most about At Home: A Short History of Private Life?

I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this book was. I have read/listened to a few of Bill Bryson's books but was not convinced that this one was based on a strong enough base to make it interesting, but I was very wrong. A fascinating and accessible social history of our homes. Even with no country, large or small, to make notes from Bill Bryson was as fascinating as ever. When I heard about his latest book based on one summer's events I had similar feeling of uncertainty, after enjoying this book so much those doubts have been vanquished and I will certainly be adding it to my wish list!