Extended Audio Sample

Download A Short History of Nearly Everything Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00001243332629 out of 54.00001243332629 out of 54.00001243332629 out of 54.00001243332629 out of 54.00001243332629 out of 5 4.00 (80,429 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bill Bryson Narrator: Richard Matthews, Simon Vance Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2003 ISBN: 9780736697958
Regular Price: $27.50 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $21.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Bill Bryson is an ambitious man. A book with the title "A Short History of Nearly Everything" can't be written by any other sort of person. The hardcover printed edition weighs in at 478 pages, not including notes or index, and the audiobook runs to almost 18 hours--and a very enjoyable 18 hours they are!

Of course, even at ten times that length, he can't talk about everything, which is why the book is about "nearly everything". Still, he does his best within the confines of his subject. He stays mostly to the physical sciences. In chapters tellingly and entertainingly labeled with titles such as "How to Build a Universe", "Good-bye to All That", "The Stuff of Life", and "The Mysterious Biped", Bryson takes us from atoms to galaxies, chemistry to biology.

Rather than a dry rendition of what we know, he gives us an entertaining account of how we know it, which leads the reader along the path of the history of modern science, and the fascinating men and women who shaped it.

Bill Bryson, born in America in 1951, is a popular author of non-fiction books. He moved to England in the 1970s and has lived there almost ever since. His earliest books were notes on his travels through Europe and America, but he has since branched out into well-respected books on language, history, and science. His trademark humor puts the listener at ease and makes a subject which might be weighty or even boring in other hands a sheer delight to listen to.

A fascinating exploration of life, the universe, and, well, everything, Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" will keep you fascinated from beginning to end, and give you a whole new perspective on the world around us.

One of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey—into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.

In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail—well, most of it. In In a Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book yet, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, and apprenticed himself to their powerful minds.

A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BKOT_000131

Quotes & Awards

  • Stylish [and] stunningly accurate prose. We learn what the material world is like from the smallest quark to the largest galaxy and at all the levels in between . . . brims with strange and amazing facts . . . destined to become a modern classic of science writing. The New York Times
  • Bryson has made a career writing hilarious travelogues, and in many ways his latest is more of the same, except that this time Bryson hikes through the world of science. People
  • Bryson is surprisingly precise, brilliantly eccentric and nicely eloquent . . . a gifted storyteller has dared to retell the world’s biggest story. Seattle Times
  • Hefty, highly researched and eminently readable. Simon Winchester, The Globe and Mail
  • All non-scientists (and probably many specialized scientists, too) can learn a great deal from his lucid and amiable explanations. National Post
  • "Bryson is a terrific stylist. You can’ t help but enjoy his writing, for its cheer and buoyancy, and for the frequent demonstration of his peculiar, engaging turn of mind. Ottawa Citizen
  • Wonderfully readable. It is, in the best sense, learned. Winnipeg Free Press
  • “[A Short History of Nearly Everything] is a crash course in the basics of climatology, chemistry, biology, botany, geology and physics. Bryson’s enthusiasm is infectious, his explanations simple. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to get them. The Citizen’s Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 2/20/2014

    " Fascinating book, well organized and fun. Heard the whole thing as audiobook. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter Harben | 2/20/2014

    " Bill Bryson shows how to explain complex concepts in a clear and entertaining way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Stanley | 2/19/2014

    " My prejudice - I love Bryson. I can see hanging with him, drinking a pint and trading pub tales. This book is entirely Bryson but much more disciplined. He has a love for nature and the scientific realm which shines through. I taught a variety of science classes. I could quite easily have thrown out our textbooks and used the appropriate sections of this book. Easily the most enjoyable 'non-science guy" book I've read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Canice | 2/6/2014

    " Re-read this several times... I love how is it seemingly comprehensive but concise and always with humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven James | 1/30/2014

    " Life, The Universe, and Everything. Bill Bryson takes on a description and history of sciences major accomplishments with humor and a modest hubris. Yes Life on earth is miraculous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jon | 1/29/2014

    " This book contains an incredible amount of information, but after reading you realize we humans, have very little understanding of "nearly everything". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shamoon Atique | 1/23/2014

    " One of my favorite books "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Tebbe | 1/17/2014

    " Science that cuts to the chase, a noble attempt at marrying the precise, technical with narrative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeroen Berndsen | 1/16/2014

    " One of my favourite books of all time, and possibly the best book about science ever written. Perhaps it takes a dedicated layman to write such an accessible introduction to science. For anyone looking to boost his common knowledge, look no further. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ravi Singh | 1/12/2014

    " If you have to read one book on a diverse history, this is it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rodger | 12/10/2013

    " Wonderful overview of the history of science, especially the scientists cheating eachother out of acclaim. The chapter on the lurking doom beneath Yellowstone gave me the willies! Highest recommendation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 12/2/2013

    " One of my all time favorite books. Bill Bryson for science geeks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Justin | 12/1/2013

    " A fantastic read and a fantastic way to get a quick background on a wide array of topics "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Celia - Menel - Char - Pippin | 4/27/2013

    " This is kind of one of those books you don't have to read from beginning to end but can scan for specific information. For younger kids I reconmend another book by Bill Bryson. A really short history of nearly everything. It's almost the same thing, but it's shorter, and simpified for kids. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karl | 3/24/2013

    " I usually tell people this book should be subtitled "All The Ways We're Going To Die". Every chapter seems to wind up in some way talking about a doomsday scenario. Undoubtedly my favorite is the Yellowstone supervolcano. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew Smith | 11/9/2012

    " I found this hard going after a while, but thought the first chapter was absolutely masterful. If I want to interest kids in science, I always suggest they read that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elisa Marie | 11/2/2012

    " Fascinating book, very well done, but Bill Bryson needs to stop using the following as adjectives: plump, stately, retiring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wdmoor | 5/27/2012

    " Interesting and tedious in equal measure, and it's not just the subject matter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carl | 12/15/2011

    " All of the stories a science teacher could want. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Walker | 10/27/2011

    " Entertaining and informative. Brings scientific invention to life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tangahi | 7/1/2011

    " Best book I have every read. I have read ALOT OF BOOKS. Its the WOW factor that really had me coming back to read it. Just loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dee | 6/28/2011

    " This book is well written. Easy to read! It touches a wealth of subjects without being boring or too technical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tj | 6/25/2011

    " Bryson is great at these books. They are what they are, very enjoyable, often illuminating. he has a unique kind of ability to cast a comprehensible and panoramic eye over almost any subject "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J | 6/22/2011

    " Enjoyable but not the rollicking good time that other Bryson books have been.
    Interesting when you are awake, a good way to fall asleep when you are tired.
    Which says more about the subject matter (chemistry, physics, geology) than the writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 6/21/2011

    " OK, how does he take complex subjects and make them understandable and funny. Oh, I like this guy very much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan | 6/21/2011

    " Such a great book. Well written and informative! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sadaf | 6/21/2011

    " Every science student can learn a lot from this ( though I've totally forgotton what I learnt :p) . It drags a little. Thats its only flaw. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 6/19/2011

    " Great reading--a fun approach to the history of the earth and science "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 6/18/2011

    " I quoted facts from this book at everyone I knew for months. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachelmouser | 6/15/2011

    " Amazing how often tidbits and insights from this book (as well as other's by Mr. Bryson, including HOME) come up in my daily life and conversations. Maybe that just makes me an incredible dork... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 bobby | 6/13/2011

    " bryson can synthesize a quantum of stuff and distill it to its essence about as well as anybody. a fantastic hike through natural science that enthralls and educates. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ribhu | 6/13/2011

    " very well researched and hilariously written , recommended ! "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations