- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 19 hours and 2 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 21 Jan. 2005
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ7R96
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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A Short History of Nearly Everything Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Alongside the huge amount of science contained in this book, we also look back at the constant bickering, back-stabbing and fallings-out of history's great scientists and revolutionaries and wonder how scientific knowledge managed to advance in light of this.
This is truly a magnificent achievement given the author is not a scientist, but then if it were written by a scientist, would I have understood a word of it, and would I have enjoyed it so much?
It didn't, but it did cause me to go AWOL from my domestic responsibilities for quite some time, and sometimes to stagger round clutching my head as my brain refused to assimilate any more. I enjoyed it enormously. It's Bill Bryson's enviable gift to be able to write so clearly and elegantly, conveying his enthusiasm without drawing attention to his erudition. The fact that you find yourself becoming passionately interested in glaciers after a lifetime of not giving them a second thought says it all. Reading this book is a moving, frightening, awe inspiring and yet curiously optimistic experience, and everyone should do it.
My only complaint is that Doubleday have chosen not to bind this book properly. Gluing books together, especially hardback books, ought to be some sort of crime.
He has brought this skill to bear in amazing ways - making the history of the English language (Mother Tongue) or English versus American culture (Made in America) absorbing and hilarious reads, even making a dictionary of tricky and often misused words a great book to sit down and read page by page (Troublesome Words).
A Short History of Nearly Everything is far and away his most ambitious book. I personally love books like this, and if I had a wish list of authors I would like to sit down for 3 years to try and make sense of the heaviest scientific questions I could think of, and try and make the answers enlightening and amusing, I would pick Bill. This man could research the inside of a ping-pong ball and come up with fifty amusing factual stories about it. When he's dealing with the history of the universe... I just wish the book were longer. Or part of a series.
I don't wish to sound selfish, but every moment Bill Bryson spends not writing books like this is just an annoyance to me.
The book does way more than that. In five hundered pages roughly evenly divided between what can be grouped as physics, chemistry, biology and geo/eco sciences he exaplins the bare bones of what you need to know to understand human life and the galaxy we live in. And boy does he describe it well. By providing us with amusing pen portraits of the key figures (and there are some very odd fish indeed) and taking the protracted route to his point in order to fit in a few good anacdotes he accompanies the science with fascinating and funny information.
As for the science itself, it's blissfully acessible. In fact, at times I found myself wishing he'd go into slightly more depth because I recognised that he'd left out things I'd covered in science GCSEs. On other occasions however, especially in the realm of quantum physics and subatomic physics (what else?), I did have to concentrate very hard to get it. Accounting for individual differences I'd say that most people could understand the science without too many problems.
His gift with language is wonderfully apparent throughout the book. Not only is it well structured, craftily so in fact, but the prose is snappy, the pace comfortable and his paragraphing perfect.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is classic Bryson; very easy reading, covering a range of topics and with a nice philosophical point to finish up on.Published 12 days ago by JPRsean
Extremely interesting book. I just dip into it now and again so as not to overload my brain. It is easy to read and has in parts the humour expected of the brilliant Bill Bryson.Published 16 days ago by Francie
Full of interest if our world and it's place in the cosmos means anything to you. To quote "there are known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns"Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I was most disappointed in this ...usually humorous..... writing. I am not stupid and have had a good education but aftr readingsomwthing of the book I put it down to give to book... Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Steinmann
fantastic book, I am not quite sure how Bill Bryson manages to pluck historical events out of obscurity and transform them into such interesting and at times a very funny read .... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Piglet