A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Downloadable Audiobook - 2003
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Bill Bryson is one of the world's most beloved and bestselling writers. In A Short History of Nearly Everything , he takes his ultimate journey-into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, the intellectual odyssey of a lifetime, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. Or, as the author puts it, "...how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since." This is, in short, a tall order.

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, chemisty, 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. His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it. How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface? How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is? How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out?

On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish 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, as only this superb writer can render it. Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been fuller of wonder and delight.
Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, 2003.
ISBN: 9780739353202
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital
audio file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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t
timniles98
Jul 03, 2016

I have read and listened to many of Bill Bryson's books and found this one to be as entertaining and informative as all the others. I actually liked the version of the book better when read by Bryson (it was abridged, though) than the reader. I hope the 'library edition' is read by Bryson. The earlier comment is accurate in one important way: it is an amusing way to become conversant with the nature and growth of our human knowledge through the last 500 years. Carry on!

t
thepudman
Oct 30, 2015

Bill Bryson makes a great narrator and this short story of everything from atoms to asteroids to Australopithecus is very entertaining.

JCLLauraH Feb 25, 2015

This book is highly readable and surprisingly funny (in typical Bryson style) and will give you a solid overview of... well... everything that has happened over the last 14 billion years. Bryson touches on the Big Bang, cosmology, physics, geology, chemistry, quantum theory, paleontology, biology, evolution, Isaac Newton, Edwin Hubble, Albert Einstein, natural disasters, viruses... the list goes on and on. If you like to learn for the sake of learning and have any interest in our universe, this is the book for you. The audiobook is very well done and the reader is enjoyable.

j
jtodd0099
Jan 12, 2011

Amazing story of scientific breakthroughs through the ages told with insight and humor.

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