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4.6 out of 5 stars33
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 February 2010
Brilliant! I got hooked onto this book having found it on a shelf whilst spending an hour in a waiting room. I had to buy one for my 8 year old son who needs encouragement to read. The two of us are going through astro-physics and not only enjoying it but actually understanding it as well.
Also to mention, the hardback is far better than the paperback; there are more photos and graphics which make the learning fun and understandable.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 September 2012
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, Transworld Publishers, 2005, 624 ff.

The title of this book may lead you to expect something about the unification of the four forces of nature - what the scientists call the Grand Unifying Theory. In fact, the subject matter is much more general - and much more easily accessible - than that. In a book that is profusely illustrated on nearly every page Bryson takes us through the development of ideas about the natural world. He begins by discussing how cosmologists see the origin of the universe, then homing in on our solar system and then the Earth. Bryson then follows the natural progression into geology and the fundamentals of chemistry and atomic theory. The remaining half of the book is devoted to biology culminating in the origins of Man.

I am a scientist but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and there were many details I learnt for the first time. It reminded me of a classic text from many years ago called `Science for the Citizen' by Lancelot Hogben which inspired me into science when I was a schoolboy.
Some of the illustrations, which are mostly in colour, are there to improve the aesthetic reader appeal and tell us very little. But the majority convey some interesting or useful information. The publishers also produced a paperback edition of the book which is virtually devoid of illustrations in its nearly 700 pages but with identical text. If you can afford it, I would recommend you go for the illustrated version as the coloured pictures really do illuminate the text. Both editions have extensive Notes, Bibliography and an Index at the end of the book. If you have any interest at all in science, this is the most comprehensive and accessible account I have read.
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on 3 March 2010
We purchased this for 2 youngsters who are showing an interest in nearly everything and they love it. Well illustrated and well written it made an excellent Easter gift along with the Easter eggs!!
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As a fan of a lot of Bill's works I'm always interested to see what he turns up with next. Here, in this abridged version, he answers questions that young readers have been asking for years, presenting them in easy to understand language. Add to this, quirky facts, a comprehensive breakdown and it's a great book for young readers and adults alike.

The only downside to this title is the ending of this offering, as it left me feeling quite low due to the bleak outlook. Still a good book for reference and one that will entertain which when backed up with a love of learning will make this a great addition to any young persons personal reference library.
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on 9 February 2009
Excellent book, small amount of information about nearly everything! Certainly helps me help my grandchildren do their homework when they are staying with me!!! Highly recommend it to others.
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on 15 April 2011
I loved the original, and always wanted a 'primer' to look up the facts I can't keep in my head. And here it is, in glroius colour and great language. When I saw this, I bought 2, intending to give one to one of my twin nephews and the other to my son (well, me, really). When they arrived, I carefully read one and ended up giving the twins one each as they shouldn't have to share this amazing gift. Bill Bryson is my hero now, and this book is a great gift and a fabulous resource.
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on 10 January 2011
I bought this for my nephew at Christmas, he is 9 and a reluctant reader. He found the illustrations inviting and kept reading bits to people. the book went round the whole family during the day, everyone dipped into it and enjoyed. A definate success.
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on 19 January 2013
Loving the big version I bought this to read it to my daughter so to improve her English and satisfy her curiosity about Universe. I just couldn't imagine she would enjoy it so much! Every night she asks me for one more page and gets really upset if we can't find the time to read it.

I definitely recommend it.
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on 4 March 2015
Great coverage of all sorts of 'stuff' - lovely illustrations and layout. Great for a curious 11 year old who prefers science & encyclopaedias to fiction books. Also great for her 9 year old sister to dip in & out of
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on 25 April 2014
This man is brilliant! His books are the best I have ever read! He manages to educate you, give you real insight yet make you laugh on every page!
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