A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • by Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by William Roberts
  • 19 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Featuring a special introduction written for the audiobook edition and read by the author
A Radio 4 Book Club Selection.A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's fascinating and humorous quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

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Audible Editor Reviews

In his latest release, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson compounds the story of human existence, or rather what is known of it so far, into one incredible audiobook expertly narrated by American voice performer William Roberts. Be entertained by even the most complex of discoveries, all broken down in a way that makes them understandable and enlightening. Covering innumerable topics of human achievements, you will be tremendously inspired by the significance these discoveries have had on life as we know it today. Available now from Audible.

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What the Critics Say

"To read Bryson is to travel with a memoirist gifted with wry observation and keen insight that shed new light on things we mistake for commonplace. To accompany the author as he travels with the likes of Charles Darwin on the Beagle, Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton is a trip worth taking." (Publishers Weekly)
"Stylish [and] stunningly accurate prose....Brims with strange and amazing facts...destined to become a modern classic of science writing." (The New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A short Review of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson is best known for writing fun travelogues of his journeys around the world and, here, he turns the same sense of humour and writing style to this brief walk through the history of science.

Split in fairly broad swathes by subject, he addresses what we know, what we suspect and what we thought we knew but now figure we got wrong. This is interspaced with tales of the people behind the discoveries (many oddballs and eccentrics).

This is by no means complete, but there is a surprisingly large amount covered including cosmology, geology, biology and lots of other things you hated at school because they weren't presented this clearly or interestingly.

The only downside to the audiobook comes when discussing some numbers where the sheer immensity gets lost a bit without seeing it written down but it's the most minor of quibbles for a truly special text introducing reasonable intelligent science to the reasonably intelligent person.
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- Roy

Terrific

I was gripped by this from beginning to end. Bryson provides an overview of modern science, tracing the story of various disciplines. What stands out is the way that he makes each narrative strand fascinating in its own right, while weaving them into a bigger picture. I loved the way that he provides a historical perspective on scientific endeavour. He's really good at explaining where various ideas came from and why they seemed radical in their day. I'm sure that if you're a serious scientist then Bryson is just glossing the surface. But as an interested non-scientist I found that this explained and illuminated a lot of ideas I had previously found vague and confusing. Fascinating.
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- Jane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 21-01-2005
  • Publisher: Audible Studios