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Editorial 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 Ratings

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  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 06-20-15

Excellent and educational in an entertaining way

He makes history interesting. It’s a fine story about a number of things happening in 1927.

My one complaint was the author jumping around too much. I loved what I learned about Charles Lindbergh, but it was told in pieces. Part of the story is told, then other stories are begun, then we return to more about Lindbergh, then to other stories, etc. I’d prefer all the Lindbergh parts together, all the Babe Ruth parts together, etc. - each subject having its own complete chapter.

Other subjects included Jack Dempsey, Henry Ford, Herbert Hoover, President Coolidge, Al Capone, Mississippi flood, disastrous costs of prohibition, and silent pictures to talkies. There were a surprising number of bombs in the U.S. back then. The government never caught most of the attackers. They thought some were done by Italian anarchists living in the U.S.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
The author Bill Bryson narrated his book. He was easy to understand and told it well. At times I wondered about his accent - his odd pronunciation of some words. The recording equipment was good. I did not hear his breaths - yay.

Genre: nonfiction, American history.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Dennis
  • United States
  • 10-11-13

A FUN AND INFORMATIVE LISTEN !

Over the years I have liked and to some degree not liked Bill Bryson's books. I am one of the few who thought his ' A Walk In The Woods ' book to be rather boring. I started reading 'At Home' and never finished it, too long and too much detail. But with this book he has hit a home run. I found the details behind the legends to be fascinating and he presented each story with just enough detail, no boring facts to fill a few more pages. I learned a lot about individuals and important moments in history that previously I thought I knew all that could be known. Mr. Bryson delivers in a fun and easy to listen to way. So I can recommend this enjoyable book to anyone with even the smallest amount of curiosity. A really, really good book. Congratulations Mr. Bryson.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Good author…who should NOT read his own work.

I stuck with this book for the duration, and the story--interwoven stories really--were interesting and well told. The reason it was hard to stay the course, however, was Bill Bryson's performance. I found his voice strange in affect, cadence and pronunciation. His odd manner and herky jerky style were a constant distraction for me. I can't imagine why he was allowed to do his own narration, so I can only assume that he insisted. Too bad, because the book really is worth your time. I'd just recommend you get it through your eyes instead of your ears.

7 of 13 people found this review helpful

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entertaining history

fascinating from beginning to end. Henry for about 5 years but still was interesting all the characters.

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Really good

I really enjoyed this book. The writer takes you through the world during a certain year in such a way as you almost feel you lived through it.

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riveting and rich with stories that amaze.

highly recommend for anyone with curiosity about the story behind the story. liked his reading style as well.

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beautifully pulls together so many events...

however a professional voice actor should have read it. Mr Byrson is an excellent writer but to elevate the material the book needs an experienced, engaging and professional voice. That said I'm so glad I know more about this time.

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Very Interesting and funny book

Bill Bryce not only talks about baseball, flying, and gangsters in 1927. But tells everything about American politics, France, Broadway shows and producers, Silent film stars and Talkies, Publishing houses and authors, radio broadcasters, early TV, Eugenics, and Anarchism. And does so with as much humor and compassion as possible. It's great to listen to him.

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We are now hooked on Bryson

I'm so happy a friend suggested this book. Due to its length, we thought it would be perfect to listen to on a long, multi day road trip . It was fascinating how the author beautifully wove together the lives of so many people in history during this period. There were many audible "wows" and "I didn't know that!" in our car as we listened with eagerness.

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Great Nonfiction

Any additional comments?

Bryson writes with an entertaining voice, weaving together about a dozen strands of events from the summer of 1927 to tell a wonderful story. He also follows up on every single one, which I really appreciated. I wish I had a print edition of the book so I could catch all the statistics he cites, but the One Summer was fun to listen to and I highly recommend it.