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A Short History of Nearly Everything…

A Short History of Nearly Everything (Abridged Audioboook)

by Bill Bryson

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A Short History of Nearly Everything does not misrepresent itself; it ranges from theories on the origin of the universe and how long ago that (probably) really happened, to the structure of atoms and cells and the most basic, essential foundations of life and its evolution on Earth (which is all we Earthlings are really able to study at this point.) The book was originally published in 2003 and is therefore missing a decade of scientific developments, including the identification of the Higgs boson and the demotion of Pluto from "planet" rank. However, I think that's an inherent hazard of writing history on any topic, let alone science, without confining the discussion to "historical" time periods, and I don't think that the book suffers for it. Bryson's emphasis on the often obscure people and personalities who have developed and documented our understanding of the physical world, and his meanderings down narrative sidetracks for further exploration, make it all work.

MORE: http://www.3rsblog.com/2014/05/audiobook-talk-short-history-nearly-everything-bi... ( )
  Florinda | Jun 30, 2014 |
This was especially wonderful for the overview of the history of western science and all of the anecdotes of scientists. Bryson sometimes (often) wants to use facts or research for sweeping statements about reality, which is unjustified, but his awe and enthusiasm are contagious, so in the end it's forgivable. ( )
  kerpami | Jun 10, 2014 |
This review is on the audio book which is read by the author Bill Bryson. Bryon covers a unique history of the world, mankind and the universe. Obviously he covers a multitude of subject from big bang to astronomy to evolution and more. He covers earth quakes, asteroids, dinosaurs and more. Some of the details are very unique and really get you to thinking about how insignificant mankind is in relation to time and the universe. The section on bacteria is quite eye opening. There is so much more that it would be impossible to include in a review. I think this book either rerad or listened to would require more than one go thru to really grasp the full content. ( )
  realbigcat | Nov 8, 2012 |
I really loved this book. Covering the history behind astronomy, meteorology, biology, anthropology, physics, chemisty, paleontology, geology and probably more - it covers the major breakthroughs and the minds that thought of them. I was disappointed to dicover that this version is abridged; I will certainly read the full version. ( )
  yosbooks | Mar 26, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0739302949, Audio CD)

From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of Nearly Everything reports what happened and how humans figured it out. To accomplish this daunting literary task, Bill Bryson uses hundreds of sources, from popular science books to interviews with luminaries in various fields. His aim is to help people like him, who rejected stale school textbooks and dry explanations, to appreciate how we have used science to understand the smallest particles and the unimaginably vast expanses of space. With his distinctive prose style and wit, Bryson succeeds admirably. Though A Short History clocks in at a daunting 500-plus pages and covers the same material as every science book before it, it reads something like a particularly detailed novel (albeit without a plot). Each longish chapter is devoted to a topic like the age of our planet or how cells work, and these chapters are grouped into larger sections such as "The Size of the Earth" and "Life Itself." Bryson chats with experts like Richard Fortey (author of Life and Trilobite) and these interviews are charming. But it's when Bryson dives into some of science's best and most embarrassing fights--Cope vs. Marsh, Conway Morris vs. Gould--that he finds literary gold. --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:27 -0400)

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The author traces the Big Bang through the rise of civilization, documenting his work with a host of the world's most advanced scientists and mathematicians to explain why things are the way they are.

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