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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 (2757 )
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4.5 (808 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Eric 08-23-04
    Eric 08-23-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    5
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    "A must hear!"

    This is a book for everyone. It lets you understand science even if you slept through all of high school science. So if you have a great deal of curiosity about the world it a must hear.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BigJ 08-14-04
    BigJ 08-14-04 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Fantastic. I'm dl'ing the full version as I type!"

    Witty, ironic, a bit dark, optimistic and wholly realistic is how I would describe this work. I often found myself pondering what I had just heard, and then needing to rewind what I just missed! I particularly enjoyed how Mr. Bryson took every opportunity to point out how human nature has often made (or more appropriately, unmade) science despite the often obvious facts. He echos perfectly what I have felt all along: in order for us to prosper as a species, we must first realize just who and what we are, and where we've come from.

    I look forward to hearing the unabridged version!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Winnipeg, MB, Canada 08-10-04
    Paul Winnipeg, MB, Canada 08-10-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Highly Recommended"

    Entertaining and educational! This audiobook made a 2 day drive home through upper midwest very enjoyable. It's told in a story like fashion by the author himself who has a great voice. Learned alot of things I'd either forgotten or wasn't aware of. It's the kind of book you can listen to several times and pick out new tidbits each time.

    Highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    csp 06-16-04
    csp 06-16-04 Listener Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "excellent"

    very enjoyable and informative.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sajitk IL, USA 05-06-04
    sajitk IL, USA 05-06-04 Listener Since 2004
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    "Excellent"

    Great audio book - well narrated

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Crofton, Moldova, Republic of 12-05-03
    Donald Crofton, Moldova, Republic of 12-05-03 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thoroughly Entertaining"

    Literally all of the great names of science are mentioned here with their sometimes serendipitous discoveries that enhanced our lives and gave us a better understanding of our place in the universe!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Chicago, IL, USA 12-04-03
    Daniel Chicago, IL, USA 12-04-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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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
    2
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    Overall
    "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
    69
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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 Toupal Dallas, Texas 08-10-03
    Ron Toupal Dallas, Texas 08-10-03 Member Since 2002

    rtoupal

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    13
    5
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    Overall
    "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

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