687 pages, Illus
This is Bryson's quest to discover everything that happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. On his travels through time and space, he encounters a diverse collection of eccentric, competitive, obsessive and foolish scientists, like the painfully shy Henry Cavendish, who solved many problems, such as the weight of the Earth, but failed to tell anybody about many of his findings.
`The prose is just as one would expect - energetic, quirky, familiar and humorous. Bryson's great skill is that of lightly holding the reader's hand throughout; building up such trust that topics as recondite as atomic weights, relativity and particle physics are shorn of their terrors. It's hard to imagine a better rough guide to science.' John Waller, The Guardian
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."
"Bryson is surprisingly precise, brilliantly eccentric and nicely eloquent . . . a gifted storyteller has dared to retell the world's biggest story."
"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."
"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."
"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
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