CORE Google

A Short History of Nearly Everything

“A Short History of Nearly Everything” Audio Book Review:  What you Don’t Know About the Universe and Everything in it Might Not Hurt You, But Bill Bryson Sure Does Make it Fun to Learn Out About… 

Have you ever wondered about how the heck all of this stuff got here in our world…or even more so, in our universe?  Bill Bryson did … the only difference is that he went on a three year hunt for the answers, and wrote down everything he learned in an over 500 page book that’s actually very entertaining to read.  Not many people can do that with scientific type of stuff…just look in your old high school text books and you can clearly see that. 

Yet Bryson has a distinct way of making learning all of this normally mundane material fun.  He’s done the same thing for years and years for us with his travel articles and books.  Bryson was born in America, moved to New Zealand at a young age, from there went to live in Britain with his wife and 4 kids, and has since made the good old USA home once again.  

He started out as a travel journalist for a British newspaper and subsequently ended up writing entire books which quickly grabbed the attention of the masses because of his witty humor… as well as his uncanny ability to find interesting facts, and tons of irony in nearly anything and everything. 

With “A Short History of Nearly Everything” Bryson used his unique curiosity to find out everything that he always wanted to know regarding our planet and other complicated scientific material – and subsequently describe everything that he had learned in layman’s terms so that anybody who couldn’t sit through this stuff when they were being graded on it in high school can pleasantly sit through it now and actually learn something now.  The peppering of his wit and humor makes this book an easy read, and even more so it’s a book that you won’t easily be able to put down.   

One of the reasons that this is true is probably due to the fact that Bryson not only gets to the nitty-gritty of what everything is from molecules and atoms, the earth itself, dinosaurs, and the interesting arrival of us humans (he consulted with experts in all the fields of science and conducted tons and tons of research in order to intertwine all of his facts in a way that only Bryson can)…but that he also gave much credit where credit was due to the actual scientists who discovered and came up with these astounding theories.   

He even goes as far as to describe a great many of the scientists and everyday folks who actually had stumbled upon the same great facts yet never got any credit for it…which apparently happens quite often in science come to find out.  

Bryson’s insatiable appetite for knowledge, along with his need to find out what’s around every corner…then research it…makes this one of the most interesting books that you’ll ever have the privilege of picking up.   

Now the best way to beat the fact that reading a five hundred plus page book is a huge undertaking is by picking up the unabridged audio version.  This makes for some very interesting listening and will make a great companion for nearly any car trip you take.  In fact, there were many times when I found myself sitting in the car when I was supposed to be getting out just hearing what Bryson had to say next.   

The other thing that makes this book such a great read (or listen) is the obvious fact that it’s clear that Bryson puts a ton of joy into it – and that he literally relishes in all of his facts and findings – and is just as excited about sharing them with you… the listener… as you would be if you were excitedly telling a dear friend about your newfound knowledge.   

Bryson describes his book as: “a book about how it happened“… “In particular how we went from there being nothing at all – to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us… and also what happened in between and since.” 

If you’ve ever wondered about why we’re here, why everything else is here (such as the entire Universe); or any other trivial fact in the world like: the number of atoms that it takes to build a pinhead; the distance from where you’re sitting at your computer right now to Pluto (at least approximately); and the depth of the Earth’s crust then do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of the audio-book “A Short History of Nearly Everything” and sit back and go along with Bryson on his scavenger hunt for scientific knowledge.