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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

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    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.

70 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.

21 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!

8 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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Amazing

3 stars because it ended up having more physics included than I expected! I loved the final chapters though

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A very interesting book delivered in a humorous way

I really liked it, the voice however it is delivered a little too rapidly considering all the facts and information, I had to rewind frequently lol.

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Great Book

It’s a pleasant excursion…a short trip through all time and creation!Well read,and provides a wealth of information. Makes some diffficult topics very tangible.

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Love it

I've read the book and listened to the audiobook now. There's so much information to ingest and all presented in such an approachable easy way. I'm sure I'll revisit it again in another year or two.

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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.

23 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

7 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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  • Jeremy
  • 2021-06-19

Bill Bryson is the Best

This isn’t bad for an abridged book, you can’t tell. Still, as a fan, I wish the unabridged was available in my region.

The book is so good it’s impossible not to want more of it.

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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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  • Kindle Customer
  • 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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  • Amelie
  • 2021-03-06

Edited version of the book

Let me start by saying that I have the paper book and it is AWESOME! For anyone who likes to understand Science or History I highly recommend it and have purchased it as a gift for many friends.

Now, I'm really dissapointed by this audio book because it is edited. My paperback is the one with the same cover as shown in this audiobook and whole paragraphs have been removed. Maybe the main ideas are still there but I was looking for the whole thing to listen to while on my daily walk to get out from behind my computer since I've been working from home for a year now due ro covid.

I must admit, I therefore stopped listening and have only listened to the first 5 minutes. And although reading any book by Bill Bryson feels like listening to an old friend you havent seen in a while telling you his stories in front of a nice crackling fireplace with hot cocoa, listening him read his book was very underwhelming and it felt like my 10 year old reading his science lesson...

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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.