Customer Reviews for

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Average Rating 4.5
( 386 )
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(236)

4 Star

(81)

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(41)

2 Star

(6)

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(22)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

One to savor

This book has been sitting on my bedside for two months, and it has NOT been easy folks, and I mean that in the very best way possible. I am savoring this book chapter by chapter, and it has been an exercise in restraint.

Mr. Bryson has accomplished the goal he laid...
This book has been sitting on my bedside for two months, and it has NOT been easy folks, and I mean that in the very best way possible. I am savoring this book chapter by chapter, and it has been an exercise in restraint.

Mr. Bryson has accomplished the goal he laid out for himself (as described in the introduction) brilliantly. He realized that he knew very little about the physical world he lived in, and attributed this to the fact that scientific texts are rarely the kind of read that a layman would term "gripping". He set about researching the history of the various physical sciences -- geology, particle physics, etc., and then filled this book with the fascinating stories behind everything from the invention of rubber to plate tectonics to Einsteins relativity theory.

Reading this book is like tucking into a deliciously rich dessert, and I am savoring every page. I recommend it highly, and especially to anyone looking for a book to read while traveling as it would be a thoroughly absorbing way to while away the time.

posted by DearReader on July 14, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

ABRIDGED? Forget It!

My wife and I love Bill Bryson's books and have listened to most of them on tape while driving. We looked forward to getting A Short History of Neary Everything, but since it is ABRIDGED, we are not going to buy it. We hate books that are chopped up. Sorry Bill, we want...
My wife and I love Bill Bryson's books and have listened to most of them on tape while driving. We looked forward to getting A Short History of Neary Everything, but since it is ABRIDGED, we are not going to buy it. We hate books that are chopped up. Sorry Bill, we want the whole thing or nothing.

posted by Anonymous on May 18, 2003

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  • Posted July 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One to savor

    This book has been sitting on my bedside for two months, and it has NOT been easy folks, and I mean that in the very best way possible. I am savoring this book chapter by chapter, and it has been an exercise in restraint.

    Mr. Bryson has accomplished the goal he laid out for himself (as described in the introduction) brilliantly. He realized that he knew very little about the physical world he lived in, and attributed this to the fact that scientific texts are rarely the kind of read that a layman would term "gripping". He set about researching the history of the various physical sciences -- geology, particle physics, etc., and then filled this book with the fascinating stories behind everything from the invention of rubber to plate tectonics to Einsteins relativity theory.

    Reading this book is like tucking into a deliciously rich dessert, and I am savoring every page. I recommend it highly, and especially to anyone looking for a book to read while traveling as it would be a thoroughly absorbing way to while away the time.

    20 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2008

    I have read this book many, many times!

    I love Bill Bryson books. My love for Bryson's clever and engaging writing style all started with A Short History of Nearly Everything. I picked this book up one day with no real intention to read it cover to cover 'it was purchased for my husband and was lying around our house'. After a chapter, I was hooked! I love this book and have recommended it to others, who also were delighted with it. I have read this book cover to cover at least 3 times. A Short History of Nearly Everything is an informative and interesting look at our world. If you like science (or reading in general), then I recommend this book. Bill Bryson presents information in a way that makes it fun to learn. It helps that Bryson is just plain funny. This book presents everything in a way that makes it donwright fun to read. As a side note, I also love A Walk in the Woods and In a Sunburned Country, also by Bill Bryson. I find myself a but sad when I come to the end of a Bill Bryson book because I enjoy reading them so much 'I never want the book to end!'. My solution is to run out and by something else he has written. Never have I enjoyed reading so much!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Informative and Interesting

    Excellent job of converting complex concepts into examples that can be grasped by most people. Potentially boring explanations come alive to help the reader understand some of the great mysteries of life.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2010

    A Review of A Short History of Nearly Everything

    In this book,the author covers everything from the beginnings of the universe to the beginnings of the human species. The topics covered in this book: The Universe,The Size or this Earth, Physics,the geography of the Earth,and the beginning of Humans and extiction of certain species. This particular book is different because Bryson uses humor to engage the reader. It is also an interesting book beacause he not only talks about the main topics discussed above but he gives a short biography of many of the scientists who were involved in important discoveries. This is any overall intriguing book because he covers such a variety of topics. This book should be used in schools to teach science.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A must Reading for "Buding Scientists"

    I wish I had read this when I was young--except it did not exist then! A fascinating read from beginning to end. Mr Bryson combines his wonderful wit with a detailed layperson approach to science and the people who were/are the scientists.

    This is an excellent starter from which to expand into a detailed examination of most anything. I bought copies for my 40's something sons only to have them tell me "Dad! where have you been? We read this years ago!"

    Parents with 7 to 10th grade children might have fun reading it together (do they still do this?). Us older people will learn about a lot that has changed since we were students. Great fun. It is nice to write a review about something that deserves it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Must read

    This book is a must read for anyone interested in anything. It puts into plain language how man discovered the physical world. I plan to re-read it since there is so much information, it is hard to absord in one read. Loved it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One of the greatest science books of the 2000's

    I was very pleased with this book, this book tells you how scientists know what they know. I'd highly recommend this book for any science buff.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2010

    A must, very recommendable. A great gift...

    I'm reading it, and I'm agree the Boston Globe review: Its makes science interesting and funny...You can bet that many questions you have about the universe and the world will be answered here"

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    I'm smarter now

    I absolutely enjoyed this book. Mr. Bryson has a compelling way of making science enjoyable. I'm happy to have picked this up. I often refer back to it numerous times during the week.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Short History of Nearly Everything - Really Is

    I have read a number of Bill Bryson's books, but none of them were like this one. Missing was his usual humor but included were a set of facts that "knocked my socks off!" I am an engineer by training, but unfortunately never formally studied the Life Sciences. This book opened my eyes as to how complex, glorious and robust "life" is. As Bryson, to my knowledge, is not a scientist or engineer, he did a great job of reporting and documenting the sources of his assersions about the history of scientific thought. I thought it was very well researched and written from the viewpoint of the ordinary, but somewhat educated, person with much of the technical lingo set aside.

    I would rate this non-fiction work among the best books I have read in the last several years. I'll still continue to read Bryson's travel narratives, but his was a real treat as well.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

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    Cftcfg.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    Fgggg

    The book was amasing XD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    Cofusing

    Kinda lost but good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

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    .,jiuh jnjnunuhh bnonn hkn,. M umnbnhnhnnmknj. U hi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Bryson takes a lot of complex historical and science facts and connects the dots making them very understandable. After reading the hardcopy, I purchased the nook version. It is a great way to spend extra time while you might be waiting for an appointment. There are so many good facts that I find it great to review them. I have shared many interesting items with my friends. Often the response is,"Really, I had no idea!" Bill Bryson's writing is often witty with lots of funny explanations to help make this subject really enjoyable to read about. This book is a must for anyone wanting to understand the fundamental workings of life on earth and mankind's place in it all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    AMAZING!!

    Its really entertaining and smart. I cant find a lot books that are intelligent yet fun. A great read for science nerds ( like me :-) ) and people who just want to have a good time! My science teacher reads it to us all the time and its AWESOME!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Love it

    Very spectacular no words to say

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  • Posted January 28, 2013

    All of the questions I asked as a youngster are finally answered

    All of the questions I asked as a youngster are finally answered in an understandable fashion.  A great book to read aloud to family members.

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  • Posted May 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    All Hail Science History

    A pleasantly long down-to-earth walk through the zeitgeists and personalities involved in the untangling and reweaving of the science of the universe into our modern understanding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    Great read

    Fun ideas and really explains a lot in an easy way.

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