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One Summer: America, 1927 Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Oct 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 697 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 14 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group; Unabridged edition (Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739315293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739315293
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.1 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (697 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 422,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A glorious look at one summer in America...Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known."
--Booklist, Starred Review

"Bryson will set you right in this canter through one summer of one year that--once you've turned the final page--will seem more critical to American history than you might have reckoned before... [He] is a master of the sidelong, a man who can turn obscurity into hilarity with seemingly effortless charm--and "One Summer" is an entertaining addition to a body of work that is at its best when it celebrates the unexpected and the obscure... This is a jolly jalopy ride of a book; Bryson runs down the byways of American history and finds diversion in every roadside stop."
--"Financial Times"

."..Bryson himself is captivated by the events of summer, 1927. And why not? They included Charles Lindbergh's solo flight over the Atlantic, Sacco and Vanzetti's execution, Gutzon Borglum's start on the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore, the Dempsey-Carpentier fight, and Babe Ruth's 60 home runs--all of which Bryson covers in characteristically sparkling prose."
--Publishers Weekly

"The book's strength is in showing the overlap of significant events and the interaction of personalities."
--Library Journal

"Bryson is a marvelous historian, not only exhaustively accurate, but highly entertaining. If you avoid textbook histories because they seem too dry, pick up "One Summer", or any other of Mr. Bryson's books. They are intelligent delights."
--Liz Smith, "The Huffington Post"

"There are two kinds of readers: those who love Bill Bryson and those who haven't met him yet... Colorful, rollicking and sweet, this is Bryson being Bryson. Which is to say: marvelous."
--"People"
"A glorious look at one summer in America...Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known."
--"Booklist," Starred Review
"This splendid book, written in the breezy and humorous style that has come to be Bryson's trademark, is sure to delight readers steeped in the history of the period as well as those looking to acquaint themselves with it for the first time."
--The Associated Press
"Bryson will set you right in this canter through one summer of one year that--once you've turned the final page--will seem more critical to American history than you might have reckoned before... [He] is a master of the sidelong, a man who can turn obscurity into hilarity with seemingly effortless charm--and "One Summer" is an entertaining addition to a body of work that is at its best when it celebrates the unexpected and the obscure... This is a jolly jalopy ride of a book; Bryson runs down the byways of American history and finds diversion in every roadside stop."
--"Financial Times"
..".Bryson himself is captivated by the events of summer, 1927. And why not? They included Charles Lindbergh's solo flight over the Atlantic, Sacco and Vanzetti's execution, Gutzon Borglum's start on the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore, the Dempsey-Carpentier fight, and Babe Ruth's 60 home runs--all of which Bryson covers in characteristically sparkling prose."
--"Publishers Weekly
""As a historian, Bryson is the antithesis of stuffy. He's a storyteller, pure and simple, and" One Summer" is a collection of a great many tales about people and events, centered on (but not limited to) a single season in a single year... Bryson could have written a book just as interesting about the summer of 1949 or 1913. That'sc

"Bryson writes in a style as effervescent as the time itself... A wonderful romp."
--"The New York Times"
..".A skillful lesson on the dynamics and personalities that shaped today's America and on how far the country has evolved from a gaudy era fondly but imperfectly recalled."
--"Wall Street Journal"
"There are two kinds of readers: those who love Bill Bryson and those who haven't met him yet... Colorful, rollicking and sweet, this is Bryson being Bryson. Which is to say: marvelous."
--"People"
"A glorious look at one summer in America...Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known."
--"Booklist," Starred Review
"This splendid book, written in the breezy and humorous style that has come to be Bryson's trademark, is sure to delight readers steeped in the history of the period as well as those looking to acquaint themselves with it for the first time."
--The Associated Press
"Bryson will set you right in this canter through one summer of one year that--once you've turned the final page--will seem more critical to American history than you might have reckoned before... [He] is a master of the sidelong, a man who can turn obscurity into hilarity with seemingly effortless charm--and "One Summer" is an entertaining addition to a body of work that is at its best when it celebrates the unexpected and the obscure... This is a jolly jalopy ride of a book; Bryson runs down the byways of American history and finds diversion in every roadside stop."
--"Financial Times"
..".Bryson himself is captivated by the events of summer, 1927. And why not? They included Charles Lindbergh's solo flight over the Atlantic, Sacco and Vanzetti's execution, Gutzon Borglum's start on the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore, the Dempsey-Carpentier fight, and Babe Ruth's 60 home runs--all of which Bryson covers in characteristically sparkling prose."
--"Publishers Weekly
""As a historian, Bryson is the antithesis of stuffy. He's a storyteller, pure and simple, and" One Summer" is a collection of a great many tales about people and events, centered on (but not limited to) a single season in a single year... Bryson could have written a book just as interesting about the summer of 1949 or 1913. That's because his subject isn't really a year. It's human nature in all its odd and amazing array."
--"Chicago Tribune"
"The book's strength is in showing the overlap of significant events and the interaction of personalities."
--"Library Journal
"
"What comes across clearest in Bryson's lucid, lighthearted narrative is the pure energy and crazed optimism of the era. Sure, the rollicking party would end, but it was fun while it lasted--as is Bryson's "One Summer.""
--"Minneapolis Star-Tribune"
.."."One Summer" wins you over by the sheer weigh tof its encyclopedic enthusiasms."
--"The Telegraph
"
"Bryson is a marvelous historian, not only exhaustively accurate, but highly entertaining. If you avoid textbook histories because they seem too dry, pick up "One Summer," or any other of Mr. Bryson's books. They are intelligent delights."
--Liz Smith, "The Huffington Post"
"Highly recommend "One Summer: America, 1927" by Bill Bryson--interesting, entertaining visit to an incredible year."
--John McCain --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'A fascinating snapshot of a season during which America, for better or worse, ushered in the modern world.' (Sunday Times)

'Another winner ... witty and engrossing.' (The Irish Independent)

'Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known. A glorious look at one summer in America.' (Booklist)

'Few writers of nonfiction, and, let’s be honest, few enough writers of novels, can crack the narrative whip like Bryson. One Summer fairly whirls along ... full of exhilarating, fact-filled fun ... surely the most sublime distraction published this year.' (The Observer)

'...a gripping slice of history with all sorts of reverberant echoes of today ... Bryson, the travel writer turned non-fiction impresario, has now invented what may be an entirely new genre of non-fiction: the brief history of an era told through the biography of a summer. It is a book from which you can read many lessons or just revel in the writing.' (The Times) --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
How on earth one person can create a book, albeit a very long book, out of such an extreme diversity of events, developments, people and plain downright pecularity, that is quite simply riveting and entertaining and somehow holds itself together? That person can only be Bill Bryson. No idea how he does it, but this is a book that is great fun to read, will contribute at least one fact to quite possibly every subject you can think of, and by the end of it, make you feel as if you have been at the centre of a whirlwind. As America must have felt at the end of the four months of summer in 1927 - whew.

A lot happened or came to fruition over that four months. Bill Bryson would seem to touch on all of them in some way - amongst others the beginnings of television, talking films, manipulation of the US finanical system, Ponzi schemes, Al Capone, boxing, devastating floods in the Mississippi, Henry Ford's new Model T car. But of total dominance, overshadowing everything that occurred during that period are the trans Atlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh and the magnetic power of Babe Ruth - baseball and planes. You will learn a lot about both, much of which you never really needed or wanted to know, but because it is written about in such an engaging and conversational manner, somehow the facts, and there are many of them, do stay with you.

However this compendium of often quite bizarre, fancy that, overall useless but intensely fascinating informaton is not so much about April to September 1927, but about the years that lead up to the various events that reach their zenith over that particular year. The book more becomes a history, mostly social and economic of America during the 12-13 years since the end of WWI .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is there any kind of book that couldn't be improved a thousandfold by getting Bill Bryson to write it? Already my favourite-books-list includes 'Mother Tongue' a glorious history of the English language, 'A Short History of Everything,' which wraps up a thousand years of science and 'At Home' which is a cosy history of domesticity. And I've lost count of the number of times I've recommended Bryson's 'Shakespeare'. So that's linguistics, science, and literary biography to add to the canon of travel books that Bryson is best known for, and now here he is with an off the wall volume of American History that packs about half a million little-known facts about the American Summer of 1927 into five hundred pages and somehow ends up creating the most compelling book I've read since ... well probably since the last Bill Bryson book.

Bryson has stumbled upon a magical and pivotal summer in US history, and in his infectious, folksy style he takes us on a romp from May to September introducing a riotous cast of characters that you simply couldn't invent. Take the writer Zane Grey, for example, who earned a third of a million dollars from his books in 1927. Bryson reveals that Grey's hobbies included compiling detailed journals of his sexual exploits, and being photographed in the act. 'Edgar Rice Burroughs,' Bryson tells us, 'had a tamer life than Grey - but then, after all, who didn't?' It is this deliciously conversational style, a compote of statistics and gossip, that makes this book so compulsively readable. The summer is bookended by two events that gripped the consciousness of America - Lindbergh's crossing of the Atlantic, and Babe Ruth's record breaking season with a baseball bat.
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By IOWBOY TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always found Bill Bryson to be one of the most consistent authors around; I await each of his books with eager anticipation and I am yet to be disappointed.

And so it is with "One Summer: America 1927".

The book itself has striking cover art and weighs in at an impressive 560 pages; the prologue and epilogue are separated by five main sections:

1. May: The Kid
2. June: The Babe
3. July: The President
4. August: The Anarchists
5. September: Summer's End

These in turn are then divided into a large number of chapters.

There are also nearly fifty glossy photographs split across two sections; these are great and really helped bring the text to life.

The book is written very much in the style we have come to expect from Bill Bryson, warm and funny whilst providing a constant stream of fascinating information, some of it well known but much of it new to me.

The concept itself of taking just a few months at a pivotal time in America's history is very clever and it really is fascinating to learn just how much was happening at that time; America was gripped with the pioneer spirit and it was quickly realising that it had the wealth and resources to do pretty much anything it wanted, and it did!

At the end of the book there is a section titled "Notes on Sources and Further Reading"; this is a brilliant addition and provides a wealth of recommended reading material to further the experience.

As with Bill Bryson's superb
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