Download The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way Audiobook

The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way Audiobook, by Bill Bryson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Bill Bryson Narrator: Stephen McLaughlin Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2015 ISBN: 9780062458537
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With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson—the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent—brilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience, and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can’t) to the fine lost art of swearing, Bryson tells the fascinating, often uproarious story of an inadequate, second-rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world’s largest growth industries.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “English is spoken by more than 300 million people around the world…Its story has been told before but seldom as deftly or as memorably…An enthralling excursion…A motherlode of delectable trivia.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Vastly informative and vastly entertaining…A scholarly and fascinating book.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Diverting and richly anecdotal…Bryson is an unalloyed fan who relishes the language’s versatility, verb hoard, and vast vocabulary.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Bryson’s blend of linguistic anecdote and Anglo-Saxon cultural history likewise keeps us turning pages…He retells old tales with fresh verve.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This extraordinary audiobook is a must-listen for the billions of people who speak English every day. It’s full of riveting facts and oddities about the origin of the language that has taken over the world…There are funny anecdotes throughout, and the author has done his research well.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Book-of-the-Month Club Selection

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About the Author

Bill Bryson is the New York Times bestselling author of At HomeA Walk in the WoodsThe Lost ContinentMade in AmericaThe Mother Tongue, A Short History of Nearly Everything—winner of the Aventis Prize—and various other works. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he now lives in England, where he has worked for both the Times and Independent and written for most other major British and American publications.

About the Narrator

Stephen McLaughlin was born in Washington, DC, in 1951 and grew up there and on a farm in the Virginia Piedmont. He studied English and philosophy and worked in theater as an actor and director. He has also worked as a librarian, a musician, a landscaper, a cab driver and dispatcher, a handyman, an artist, and a waiter, among other things.