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A Short History of Nearly Everything Paperback – September 14, 2004
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“Stylish [and] stunningly accurate prose. We learn what the material world is like from the smallest quark to the largest galaxy and at all the levels in between . . . brims with strange and amazing facts . . . destined to become a modern classic of science writing.”
—The New York Times
“Bryson has made a career writing hilarious travelogues, and in many ways his latest is more of the same, except that this time Bryson hikes through the world of science.”
“Bryson is surprisingly precise, brilliantly eccentric and nicely eloquent . . . a gifted storyteller has dared to retell the world’s biggest story.”
“Hefty, highly researched and eminently readable.”
—Simon Winchester, The Globe and Mail
“All non-scientists (and probably many specialized scientists, too) can learn a great deal from his lucid and amiable explanations.”
"Bryson is a terrific stylist. You can’ t help but enjoy his writing, for its cheer and buoyancy, and for the frequent demonstration of his peculiar, engaging turn of mind.”
“Wonderfully readable. It is, in the best sense, learned.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
From the Inside Flap
One of the world's most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey -- into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.
In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail -- well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand -- and, if possible, answer -- the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world's most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything" is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.
"From the Hardcover edition.
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Be prepared though to being overwhelmed because there is a lot of information in this book, with references to other works. This book is best read in sections allowing yourself some time to think about what you have learned; and I'm sure you are going to learn at least a few things.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to understand what an amazing place our planet is and life that exists on it.
Enjoy this book, it's a great read or listen to the audio book, it made me look forward to my lengthy morning commute.
A hardcover version of Cosmos covers similar material to this Bill Bryson book. Cosmos’ advantage is its many pictures & illustrations; but Cosmos’ disadvantage is its text (which, in comparison to Bill Bryson’s book, is quite dry). Indeed, it was quite impressive to think that a science-oriented book could be so easy to read and yet also be so interesting and informative. Bill Bryson accomplished this by having the book be as much about the scientists as about the science – and that is what gives this book its special spark. Highly recommended.
Bryson's writing style is like that of a teacher who LOVES to explain things to his students and can do so in a way that is easily grasped. His humour is spectacular, and his research is impeccable. I have recommended this book to dozens of people who claim "I don't get science" because I used to be one of them - until I read A Short History of Nearly Everything. I even understand Relativity now!
If every person read this book, we would achieve global enlightenment in twenty years.