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A Short History of Nearly Everything

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A Short History of Nearly Everything Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Bryson...achieve[s] exactly what he'd set out to do, and, moreover, [he does] it in stylish, efficient, colloquial and stunningly accurate prose....[S]eems destined to become a modern classic of science writing." Ed Regis, The New York Times

Review:

"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." People

Review:

"Hefty, highly researched and eminently readable." Simon Winchester, The Globe and Mail

Review:

"All non-scientists (and probably many specialized scientists, too) can learn a great deal from his lucid and amiable explanations." National Post

Review:

"One of the most engaging general-interest science books around. Think of it as a kind of a handy manual to the cosmos....Mr. Bryson believes that much of what humankind has learned can be conveyed to the average reader with humor and clarity." Dallas Morning News

Review:

"[T]o 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....[A] trip worth taking..." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"I can't vouch for the accuracy of the content, but written the way it is, it undeniably makes learning fun....I can't imagine what Mr. Bryson will tackle next....But I look forward to his future undertaking with unabashed eagerness." BookReporter

Review:

"Bryson is surprisingly precise, brilliantly eccentric and nicely eloquent...a gifted storyteller has dared to retell the world's biggest story." Seattle Times

Review:

"A 545-page doorstop that is neither a hilarious travelogue or a witty book about language, both trademarks of the author. Rather, it's a swift tour of the sciences and an ambitious one at that....Bryson is a master of his craft." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Bill Bryson's latest tome...delivers exactly what the title suggests....Readers familiar with Bryson's wry sense of humor and casual writing style will find plenty here; he makes science interesting and funny." Boston Globe

Review:

"A Short History of Nearly Everything is everything a book should be — informative, engaging, well styled, rewarding both for the information it provides and the art that shapes it." Minneapolis Star Tribune

About the Author

Bill Bryson's bestselling books include A Walk in the Woods, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, In A Sunburned Country, Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Bill Bryson's African Diary, and A Short History of Nearly Everything. He lives in Norfolk, England, with his wife and children.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. I Lost in the Cosmos 7
1 How to Build a Universe 9
2 Welcome to the Solar System 19
3 The Reverend Evans's Universe 29
Pt. II The Size of the Earth 41
4 The Measure of Things 43
5 The Stone-Breakers 63
6 Science Red in Tooth and Claw 79
7 Elemental Matters 97
Pt. III A New Age Dawns 113
8 Einstein's Universe 115
9 The Mighty Atom 133
10 Getting the Lead Out 149
11 Muster Mark's Quarks 161
12 The Earth Moves 173
Pt. IV Dangerous Planet 187
13 Bang! 189
14 The Fire Below 207
15 Dangerous Beauty 224
Pt. V Life Itself 237
16 Lonely Planet 239
17 Into the Troposphere 255
18 The Bounding Main 270
19 The Rise of Life 287
20 Small World 302
21 Life Goes On 321
22 Good-bye to All That 335
23 The Richness of Being 350
24 Cells 371
25 Darwin's Singular Notion 381
26 The Stuff of Life 397
Pt. VI The Road to Us 417
27 Ice Time 419
28 The Mysterious Biped 434
29 The Restless Ape 453
30 Good-bye 469
Notes 479
Bibliography 517
Index 529

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Joyce FitzSimmons , August 10, 2012 (view all comments by Joyce FitzSimmons )
It is not especially short but considering what he is covering, amazingly short. I LOVE Bill Bryson, even more so when I can listen to him read his books on audio editions. You learn, you laugh and you find yourself going searching for more answers to the topics he brings up. Give this one a try if you are curious about many of the things in the history of our earth and its abundant life.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Bill Harding, December 15, 2009 (view all comments by Bill Harding)
If you own just one book this one should be it. Bill Bryson does an excellent job of taking absolutely everything into account and explaining it all in a way that is fascinating, funny and thorough.

I have already purchased this book for many of my friends.

Bill
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780552151740
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Author:
Bryson, Bill

Related Subjects

Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

A Short History of Nearly Everything
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details pages - English 9780552151740 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Bryson...achieve[s] exactly what he'd set out to do, and, moreover, [he does] it in stylish, efficient, colloquial and stunningly accurate prose....[S]eems destined to become a modern classic of science writing."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Hefty, highly researched and eminently readable."
"Review" by , "All non-scientists (and probably many specialized scientists, too) can learn a great deal from his lucid and amiable explanations."
"Review" by , "One of the most engaging general-interest science books around. Think of it as a kind of a handy manual to the cosmos....Mr. Bryson believes that much of what humankind has learned can be conveyed to the average reader with humor and clarity."
"Review" by , "[T]o 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....[A] trip worth taking..."
"Review" by , "I can't vouch for the accuracy of the content, but written the way it is, it undeniably makes learning fun....I can't imagine what Mr. Bryson will tackle next....But I look forward to his future undertaking with unabashed eagerness."
"Review" by , "Bryson is surprisingly precise, brilliantly eccentric and nicely eloquent...a gifted storyteller has dared to retell the world's biggest story."
"Review" by , "A 545-page doorstop that is neither a hilarious travelogue or a witty book about language, both trademarks of the author. Rather, it's a swift tour of the sciences and an ambitious one at that....Bryson is a master of his craft."
"Review" by , "Bill Bryson's latest tome...delivers exactly what the title suggests....Readers familiar with Bryson's wry sense of humor and casual writing style will find plenty here; he makes science interesting and funny."
"Review" by , "A Short History of Nearly Everything is everything a book should be — informative, engaging, well styled, rewarding both for the information it provides and the art that shapes it."
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