Home Authors Books Subjects Events Software Features Links Newsletter Gifts Blog Write Review What's New

Review - A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson

 

Visit bookshop

A while ago John Gribbin wrote Science: A History, which attempted to cover all of the development of science in a single volume. The trouble is, it fell between two stools - it wasn't readable as a narrative, nor was it a comprehensive encylopedia. Travel writer Bill Bryson has now done the same thing, but with significantly more success as he has very clearly abandoned any attempt to be comprehensive - the result is a much easier read.

If (like me) you are a Bryson fan you may find the book a slight disappointment. His genius is as a humorous raconteur of  everyday events that have happened to him, and although he includes many enjoyable anecdotes, his style doesn't work anywhere near as well when talking about a historical event. Despite this and a decided lurch towards the biological and earth sciences that leaves the rest a little under-covered, this is the best attempt yet to cover pretty well everything in a readable way. Bryson is perhaps at his best when coming up with amazing back-of-the-matchbox facts (if you took all the salt out of the sea and spread it evenly on the land it would form a layer 500 feet thick), and describing encounters with real live scientists, but it's all good stuff.

Also in hardback:                                           Also in audio:

   Visit bookshop Visit bookshop            Visit bookshop Visit bookshop

Also in illustrated hardback:                            Also in audio CD:

 Visit bookshop Visit bookshop              Visit bookshop

Reviewed by Brian Clegg

DISCLAIMERS

This site has no connection with Popular Science magazine or other sites and publications with a similar name.

Much of the content of this site is written by popular science writers or friends of popular science writers. Inevitably many of the reviews in such a small community are written by or about someone we know. We always aim to be impartial in our reviews, but there is a connection which we need make clear, as there is no intention to deceive. The content of any review or article is solely the opinion of the author and should not be read or understood on any other basis. The site exists to promote popular science writing and popular science authors and for this reason should be considered promotional material, just as the editorial reviews in an online bookshop or the blurb on the back of a book should be considered promotional.

The website should not be eaten or used where it can come into contact with water.

Disagree with our review? Want to comment on a feature? Contact us at info@ popularscience.co.uk - have your say!

Part of the Popular Science  site

Copyright Creativity Unleashed Limited 2005
Last update 05 June 2007