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A Short History of Nearly Everything

Written by: Bill Bryson
Narrated by: Bill Bryson
Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (342 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson’s 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. His challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us 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, 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.

©2003 Bill Bryson (P)2003 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Abridged

Wish there was a non-abridged version available on audible Canada. Missing a lot of content.

42 people found this helpful

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A very abbreviated and American version of history

Writing the readers digest version of history would be a daunting task and I question whether its possible. The book is quick to accept a single and simplistic view of many events.

2 people found this helpful

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Note: Abridged

The full length book is excellent.
Unless I missed something, Audible doesn’t make it very clear this is just an abridged version.

3 people found this helpful

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Awesome

Great book! I enjoy listening to it, which I have done multiple times! Every time I do I hear new information I miss from the previous times. The narrator is funny, and jokes around in between information.

1 person found this helpful

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Eye opening!

So many facts and concepts all stung together in one magnificent story. I hung on every word from the first to the last. I would recommend this book to anyone I know.

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boring

very bland story just spitting surface level stuff at you. not good at all. bleh

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Fun Ride

Thanks Bill - a very thoughtful and articulate journey that is educational and entertaining. You're a philosopher 😊😊😊

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great author great narrator

Bill Bryson's books are full of interesting information, and he reads them really really well

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Great story telling format!

A wonderful way to share scientific history. Bryson has a wonderful way of relaying historical scientific knowledge in a story telling manner. Discoveries and the discoverers are described with personal details and achievements placed in context.
The narration is clear, fast and uses effective inflections and tones where required. I’m surprised that an author would read his/her novel with such skill. Well done. Recommended to anyone who lives the fine details of true human discoveries.

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Amazing Read / Listen

I understand this book was a NY Times Bestseller and no wonder. I was disappointed when I reached the end of the book because I wanted this read to go on forever. If you have studied math and science in high school and university, in a few hours Bill Bryson will take you through everything you have ever been taught and much more. If after the first chapter you don't appreciate how marvelous the uiniverse is on both atomic and galactic scales, then I feel sorry for you. An old classmate (who I work for now) recommended the book and I cannot thank him enough. Everyone can understand science, with the help of Bill Bryson.

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  • David S
  • 2017-07-23

Abridged!

Nothing indicated this was abridged until the closing credits. My only disappointment. I had read this before and some of my favorite parts were missing.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Bloodpickle
  • 2019-01-17

Do not buy this is a short version, not full

Was really disappointed when I realized how much of the actual book was cut from this sham of an audio book

4 people found this helpful

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  • Carolyn
  • 2012-01-23

If you only own one audio book, this is it!

This book was a little hard going as text but completely comes to life when read by Bill Bryson. I love it and have listened to it several times.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Arnold
  • 2019-04-12

Engaging read

absurd amount of knowledge. condensed without losing any of the interesing bits. communicating in an easy way to understand.

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  • Louis-Philippe
  • 2019-03-20

disapointing

i was expecting a lot more of out this book. not that interesting hor entertaining.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-02

Interesting but really tough to follow

Listened to this on my 1hr commutes. Lots of details with many names and dates, long sentences with above average vocabulary..i.e. words that the average person doesn't understand. Gave up after 2 chapters

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  • Mouchizz
  • 2018-08-03

Best books i ever heard

loved it! best science book ive read in a long time. taught me a lot.

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  • vishnu
  • 2018-04-22

Overall good captivating subject and presentation

some what expected from title it's a general overview for people to these subject , good flow and captivating .

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  • Uwais
  • 2017-08-14

Great primer on the history of the world

Very interesting content. Primarily about how the universe, galaxies, earth was created and then moves onto some of the most important discoveries made about living things. The authors voice is a bit monotone and at times the content is packed with names of discoverers, academics, etc., which makes it a bit difficult to follow. All in all a good audiobook.

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  • heather
  • 2017-06-08

my favourite author

Love. if Bryson was my teacher, I would take every subject imaginable, and go to school forever.