11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
a fantastic introduction to. . . everything,
This review is from: A Short History Of Nearly Everything (Paperback)
This was my first taste of Bill Bryson, and after reading it I have bought almost all his other novels. It's a wonderful take on science, looked at from the refreshing perspective of a normal person, not a scientist (although he writes with an air of authority; he knows what he's talking about and has thoroughly researched every topic).
Bryson has attempted to summarise everything in this novel, and doesn't fall short. Although nothing is explained in so much detail as to confuse the casual reader, everything has been looked at - well, almost everything. Bryson's wonderful style makes topics that seemed dry and dull during those tedious science classes at school come to life, and I avidly read through this in a couple of days. What's interesting is that there's as much history in this as there is science - in fact, more. The infuriating thing about most other science books is that they don't tell you how the scientists know what they know, but here he explains it all in detail.
I like to think that even a scientist well beyond the knowledge of Bryson (which is, nevertheless, substantial) would enjoy this, and as for most of us, you can think of it as a wonderful introduction to a wide variety of scientific topics or as an enjoyable read. It's both.