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A Short History of Nearly Everything | Paperback

Released on 01 June 2004

Author: Bill Bryson | Format: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 (5 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller: but even when he stays safely in his own study at home, he can't contain his curiosity about the world around him. A Short History of Nearly Everything is his quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. Bill Bryson's challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry and particle physics, and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know. How do we know what is in the centre of the Earth, or what a black hole is, or where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out? On his travels through time and space, he encounters a splendid collection of astonishingly eccentric, competitive, obsessive and foolish scientists, like the painfully shy Henry Cavendish who worked out many conundrums like how much the Earth weighed, but never bothered to tell anybody about many of his findings. In the company of such extraordinary people, Bill Bryson takes us with him on the ultimate eye-opening journey, and reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (5 reviews)

 Brilliant!!

| | See all img101's reviews (11)

Very good book, but all the confusing science jargon into plain English. A great read, and teaches you a lot along the way. Bill Bryson has defiantly out done himself with this book!

 INCREDIBLE INSIGHTS INTO THE ORIGINS OF EVERYTHING THAT IS!

| | See all Gamebargains99's reviews (58)

Most people would confess that science is quite boring to try and understand. But Bill Bryson has gathered together most of the documented evidence and theories that have been written about the origins of the universe, earth and life itself...and has repackaged it into a thoroughly entertaining read! This book really stirs the imagination, and reminds all of us - despite the superiority complex of most scientists - that actually we know very little about anything! In fact, everything in our lives is just a theory! It also reminds us that just our galaxy, let alone the universe, is so unfathomably vast, that we shouldn't be worrying too much about stuff anyway. We are just a microscopic spec in a vacuum...but there is obviously billions of other life forms out there! Yet we must remember how lucky we are, despite the HUGE odds, that we exist at all! Essential reading! The most interesting book i've ever had the pleasure to read....

 Loved it!!

| | See all smallaubergine's reviews (4)

I am a big fan of Bill Bryson anyway, so was quite intrigued to find him turning his hand to....well nearly everything, which he does with aplomb.

Do not be put off by the subject matter, Bryson, in his inimitable style, manages to make everything not only accessible but interesting and often funny. This is another great addition to the Bryson catalogue. If only school text books could be half as well written as this!

 An amazing adventure in science

| | See all Jonimac1's reviews (1)

This was an utterly exhilarating read that I would recommend to everyone. Bryson packs so much interesting information into this book that it is impossible to put this book down. Ever since reading this I just want to know more, it really does give you a thirst for knowledge.

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AuthorBill Bryson
PublisherTransworld Publishers Ltd (UK)
Year2004
ISBN9780552997041
Formatpaperback - 686 Pages
IllustrationsIllustrations