'We spend our whole lives in one body and yet most of us have practically no idea how it works and what goes on inside it. The idea of the book is simply to try to understand the extraordinary contraption that is us.'
In the bestselling, prize-winning A Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson achieved the seemingly impossible by making the science of our world both understandable and entertaining to millions of people around the globe.
Now he turns his attention inwards to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up.
The Body: A Guide for Occupants will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again.
'What I learned is that we are infinitely more complex and wondrous, and often more mysterious, than I had ever suspected. There really is no story more amazing than the story of us.'
– Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. Settled in England for many years, he moved to America with his wife and four children for a few years, but has since returned to live in the UK. His bestselling travel books include The Road to Little Dribbling, The Lost Continent, Notes From a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods and Down Under. In a national poll, Notes from a Small Island was voted the book that best represents Britain. His acclaimed work of popular science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Aventis Prize and the Descartes Prize, and was the biggest selling non-fiction book of its decade in the UK. His new book The Body: A Guide for Occupants is an extraordinary exploration of the human body which will have you marvelling at the form you occupy.
"A directory of wonders. Extraordinary stories about the heart, lungs, genitals [...] plus some anger and life advice – all delivered in the inimitable Bryson style"
– Gavin Francis, Guardian
"Remarkable [...] Every page is dense with scientific facts written as vividly as a thriller, as well as answers to conundrums such as why we don't fall out of bed when we are asleep [...] It is woven through with the kind of human stories that Bryson has made his trademark."
– Mail on Sunday
"Readable and useful [...] witty, jargon-free prose that glides you through 400 pages. It's fun to read because it's not just comprehensive, but quirky."
– Richard Morrison, The Times
"'Classic, wry, gleeful Bryson [...] richly interesting [...] an entertaining and absolutely fact-rammed book. If it sells hundreds of thousands of copies, like the last one, it will be no bad thing.'"
– The Sunday Times
"It is a feat of narrative skill to bake so many facts into an entertaining and nutritious book [...] where Bryson really shines is in his imaginative glosses on the facts he has collected."
– The Daily Telegraph