• A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
  • Abridged
  • Release date: 05-09-03
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4.3 (2,802 ratings)

Regular price: $21.27

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Editorial 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
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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.
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Critic Reviews

"Destined to become a modern classic of science writing." (The New York Times Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Robert on 08-30-03

Listen to this book with your kids!

I admit I am a big Bryson fan, but this is his best book yet. I'll let others speak to content, but I wanted to urge parents to share this book with their kids. I read the unabridged hard copy, then downloaded the abridged version so I could share it with my daughters - ages 10, 16, and 18. We listened on a long road trip through Montana. If you can believe it, they all cried when it was over, touched by Bryson's poignant message at the end about our place in the universe and the attendant responsibility of being at the (current) pinnacle of evolution. When we got home, my two older daughters immediately went to the bookstore to purchase their own copies so they could read the entire book again. It's gotta be good when your teenagers can't put it down. And it has generated great family conversation about a wide variety of topics ever since. Listen to this book. It will make you a more interesting and interested person . . . .

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful


By Brent on 08-04-03

This audio edition is abridged!

As I listened to this book, I had the feeling that it was missing a lot of details, explanations, and Brysonisms though it was nonetheless enjoyable. At the very end, I realized that this is an abridged version due the the crediting of an abridgement editor (I hadn't noticed that the abridgement notice on audible). The audio recording is only about half the book. No wonder it seemed sketchy. From what I've read of the book, it seems much better. I hope that Bill or Random House will put out a recording of the whole book.

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49 of 51 people found this review helpful

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