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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
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (441 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 listeners say about A Short History of Nearly Everything

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Abridged

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

56 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.

13 people found this helpful

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its abridged!

great book, but i am very frustrated that nowhere did it say that it was abridged!

4 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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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.

1 person 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.

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A Godsend of amazing stories to occupy Covid time

wonderful combination of enchanting narrative and mind bending facts. For the visually impaired a must.

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  • KB
  • 2021-01-05

Educational, presented with humour and panache

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thought it would be longer given the length of the printed book.

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favorite book

this book changed my my entire outlook on life. i would highly recommend it to anyone... kinds miss the orriginally intro though.

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  • MW
  • 2020-05-12

Bill Bryson is awespm

so happy to hear the author's voice on top of the excellent book. very good balance of detail and brevity

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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.

22 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

6 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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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-01-19

Terribly boring

If you're looking for a good history book of the world you will be better served by E. H. Gombrich with his book: A little History of the world.

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  • Greg
  • 2020-12-10

An Excellent Primer

This is a short listen that I will undoubtedly be returning to in the future. There's something to be said for an author's ability to summarize long periods of time and keep it engaging. Bryson has a wonderful delivery here. This can be used best a primer for delving into deeper subject matter, or as a means of brushing up on oft forgotten generalized facts.

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  • Layne
  • 2020-08-12

Wtf soooo much is cut out

I am VERY disappointed as I didn't realize how much was is cut out of this version. It barely makes any sense anymore. I just want the full version.

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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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  • Pierre Gauthier
  • 2020-06-21

Masterful!

This lively, short book presents a synthetic history of the universe, including living beings and the human species. The approach includes not only a description of current hypotheses but also a telling of how they came to be formulated and a short bio of those involved. Some may consider its views a bit biased in favour of the Anglosphere, but it is still international in outlook. The fact that it was written in 2003 makes it a bit dated for certain elements but does not reduce its pertinence inordinately. The audio version is narrated with expertise and gusto by the author himself.