Colorado Jess, October 24, 2013 (view all comments by Colorado Jess)
Bill Bryson will be no stranger for many. His cleverness, insightfulness, and humor are on full display in this new non-fiction book. This delightful romp will educate and amuse anyone remotely intrigued with America in the years surrounding 1927. And, yes, fascinate those of us that didn't know we were interested in what went on then, as well!
He brings subjects to light and to life that would not ordinarily be of interest. For instance, I am not a boxing fan, yet he drew me into the life of Jack Dempsey and his ilk. There is something for everybody and I have even recommended it to people who were not born here but have made America their home. I wish my history classes had been this interesting!
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rj_haigh, October 19, 2013 (view all comments by rj_haigh)
Who knew that the summer of 1927 was so fascinating? The woven stories of Babe Ruth, prohibition, flooding, bombings,delicious scandals and Charles Lindberg make history into a fun interesting read. The author's writing style and sense of humor make this a book not to be missed!
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Trust Bill Bryson to make the summer of 1927 as immediate and thrilling to the reader as it was to the Americans who lived through it. Written with Bryson's characteristic combination of wit, irony, and genuine fondness for his subject matter, One Summer is a joyful read by a master of narrative nonfiction.
by Rhianna Walton
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"'People in 1920s America were unusually drawn to spectacle,' states Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything) in his prologue — an unusual claim that his latest, a sprawling account of a brief period in a singular year in that decade, seems to want to substantiate. Whether or not the claim is objectively true, Bryson himself is captivated by the events of summer, 1927. And why not? They included Charles Lindbergh's solo flight over the Atlantic, Sacco and Vanzetti's execution, Gutzon Borglum's start on the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore, the Dempsey-Carpentier fight, and Babe Ruth's 60 home runs — all of which Bryson covers in characteristically sparkling prose. These notable happenings are worth relating and recalling, but others have done so, and more authoritatively and fully. Here, there's not much connection between them; a string of coincidences (and there are many of those each day) hardly justify a book. So this isn't history, nor is it really a story with a start, finish, and thematic spine. No analysis, only narrative — it's diverting but slight." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
by Booklist, Starred Review,
"A glorious look at one summer in America...Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known."
by Library Journal,
"The book's strength is in showing the overlap of significant events and the interaction of personalities."
by Liz Smith, The Huffington Post,
"Bryson is a marvelous historian, not only exhaustively accurate, but highly entertaining. If you avoid textbook histories because they seem too dry, pick up One Summer, or any other of Mr. Bryson's books. They are intelligent delights."
One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country — a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive for us on the page in this certain bestseller.
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