Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be. Along the way, he researched the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets. And he discovered that there is a huge amount of history, interest and excitement - and even a little danger - lurking in the corners of every home.
Where A Short History of Nearly Everything was a sweeping panorama of the world, the universe and everything, At Home peers at private life through a microscope. Bryson applies the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit, stylish prose, and masterful storytelling that made A Short History of Nearly Everything one of the most lauded books of the last decade.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Stewart Webb on 06-06-10
More Fact Pact Bryson
I am a lifelong fan of Bill Bryson. His travel books are legendary. However since he has ceased travelling he now writes books such as this and many previously, basically packed with interesting facts and historical anecdotes.
He uses his house here to take us on a journey to each room, then onward to tell us for instance the story of archaeology or the life of the inventor Alexander Graham Bell or the origin of underwear.. see what I mean random, but it has to be said mostly fun.
My only two gripes (and why I did not give it 5 stars) are firstly it is read by the author. He is not a bad reader, but at times tends to drone, I do wish authors would leave reading there books to the people trained to do so. Many of his older books were read by Kerry Shale, and very good they are to.
Secondly he does have a tendency to repeat some items from his earlier books, not sure if this intentional or not, but it is a bit annoying, if like me, you have read all his output.
If this is your first foray into Bryson, I should start with an earlier book, but that is not to say this is a bad book by ant means, but he has done much better.
48 of 51 people found this review helpful
By William on 26-08-10
This book is an interesting look at our houses and how the things inside it came to be. It may not be everyone's taste but I enjoyed it. If you have a curious mind about history this book is for you.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Andrew on 05-09-12
New Speaker Needed acquire within!
Is there anything you would change about this book?
Bill Bryson is a terrific writer I have everything he has written to-date, however please use a professional reader on future books. Your voice is far too soft lacking in any emotional impact.
What could Bill Bryson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Find a professional reader!
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bill Bryson?
William Roberts was great narrating The History of Nearly Everything. Grover Gardner is another name that comes to mind.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
No. The subject matter is too vast and spasmodic.
Any additional comments?
Keep the books coming Bill.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Rachel on 22-05-12
Best use of a credit
I've listened to "a short history of nearly everything" before and I enjoyed "at home" just as much. It's great for listening to in short bursts as each chapter doesn't rely on the previous one, but is explained in such a way that listening for a longer period isn't overwhelming. I can see myself listening to this again as there is no way I will be able to remember all of it after one reading and I think it would be just as enjoyable a second time around. Bill Bryson is a fantastic reader, really drawing you into his superb writing. I couldn't recommend this more.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful