Editor reviews

A tremendous look at the very dense but often overlooked history of ordinary, everyday life can be found in the brilliant audiobook At Home: A Short History of Private Life, written and narrated by award-winning and appraised author Bill Bryson. This book delivers the perfect combination of lighthearted entertainment and thoroughly researched facts. Bryson’s beautifully constructed prose brings even the most seemingly insignificant of household items to an entirely exciting front. Listeners will find themselves gazing far more closely and with much more appreciation at the small items that make up much of their daily life. Available now from Audible.
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Summary

Here is Bill Bryson’s entertaining and illuminating book about the history of the way we live - complete, unabridged and read by the author.
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.
©2010 Bill Bryson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
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.

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46 of 48 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 23-07-10

A fascinating journey

Bill Bryson is a great writer and this is a spell-binding book, but I must agree with Stewart that this would have been very much easier on the ear if read by a professional. Mr Bryson's reading is hurried and his diction nasal and it would have put me off completely if the content hadn't been so wonderful. I kept thinking 'if only Stephen Fry were reading this'. On balance, though, the depth of research and Bryson's wit and compassion compensate.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By mr kieran j murphy on 21-10-11

right up my alley

The trivial nature of this book wad right up my alley. If you like finding out about both the history of words and also where everyday objects came from this is the book for you. I am an unabashed Bryson fan, and he has used one of the techniques which makes him such a good travel writer (weaving 'trivial', but fascinating facts throughout a story) to create this book - it is really good.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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