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26 Reviews
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Bryson ... Entertaining if not deep
It is not possible to state, with any precision, what this book is about. It would probably be closer to say it is about just about everything as opposed to anything in particular. Mr Bryson uses the various rooms in his Victorian parsonage as inspiration for essay subjects and then skips onwards and upwards in ever more prodigious bounds to touch on the most disparate...
Published on Oct. 11 2010 by C. J. Thompson

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but messy read
Let me start by saying I love Bill Bryson, and I've been eagerly making my way through his collection. Therefore, I was salivating in anticipation of reading his "At Home" book. And I'm a Victorian buff (Judith Flanders's seminal study on the Victorian Home is amazing).

But "At Home" is disappointing. Sure, it's chock full of Brysonian tidbits. (I'm sure the...
Published 13 months ago by Insomniac Reader


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5.0 out of 5 stars UK husband is a big fan, Feb. 4 2013
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My husband and I moved here from the UK 5 years ago and Bill Bryson is his fav!! He enjoyed this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Bill Bryson tour de force, Nov. 29 2012
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Marjorie Tuck (Fonthill, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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Bill Bryson uses the example of his English home, a Victorian parsonage, as he moves from room to room, to take us on a journey of the historical background of ordinary household rooms and objects. In his usual fashion, Bryson uses his enormous amount of research to amuse and amaze.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Bryson At Home, June 27 2012
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If you love Bill Bryson, you'll love this absolute mine of information. How he links each room of the house to the interesting facts is just amazing. I just got lost in it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A SHORT HISTORY ABOUT WHATEVER THE AUTHOR WANTS TO WRITE...,, April 10 2012
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Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Hardcover)
This book caught my attention, in part, because I have read other books by the author and enjoyed them. I was also drawn to the topic, which purported to be a short history on private life. Well, while I enjoyed it overall, the author definitely went off on tangents and did not really deliver what he promised.

The author used his own home, a nineteenth century rectory, as the starting point for each chapter, which is named after each room in his home, plus the garden. As he goes through each of the chapters, which are really somewhat like essays in which he ruminates about the room and the things associated with them, he does goes off in many directions that often have little to do with the room in question. It is as if each room were merely a vehicle for expounding on various historical references and issues that caught his fancy.

Still, I found it enjoyable and interesting, though I do wonder about some of the assertions the author made, especially since the book contained an extensive bibliography but no footnotes or sources for his "history". In the final analysis, the book is a hodgepodge of historical trivia, tidbits that are often interesting and amusing, but hardly elevate to a cohesive history of any kind. It is a work of pure self-indulgence by the author and a guilty pleasure for the reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, Jan. 9 2011
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S. Barker (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Hardcover)
A typical Bill Bryson book - very readable, very interesting, thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommended. Reveals a series of fascinating facts that I for one wasn't aware of.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I love Bill Bryson's friendly writing style, Dec 8 2014
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aluura (Bradford, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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I love Bill Bryson's friendly writing style. The book is strangely laid out but his writing is so much fun, I really don't care. An excellent read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another hit!, Nov. 28 2010
This review is from: At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Hardcover)
I love Bill Bryson's books! I am soo happy to be reading this; it's the perfect mix of history and entertainment. :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars At Home, Jan. 2 2012
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I had this book read to me, on cd,by the author Bill Bryson. I had me totally captivated and I was looking for excuses to go for a drive to listen to more.The book was recommeded by a friend in Viet Nam. I ordered it right away...it was in my mailbox within48 hours. The author starts his journey when he enters an old house in England and traces the history of every room in the house through out history and takes some very exciting trips tracing man,s history. It tought me so much about background of mans development and how things could have been so different if we had taken a slightly different direction in history. I was spell bound throughout. I ordered another book by the same author right away,also on cd. Cant wait!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bryson at His Finest, Dec 28 2011
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Greg Tomkins (North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
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With this book, it seems like Bill Bryson is trying to top 'Sunburned Country' for witty and interesting historical and quasi-scientific trivia. He hit it way out of the park. Extraordinary.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Dec 10 2011
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David (Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
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Another fascinating collection of historical facts and anecdotes from a master of chatty storytelling. However does he manage to uncover so many abstruse details? I love his friendly, rambley style of writing. "At Home" did not grab me as did Bryson's "Short History of Nearly Everything" but nevertheless an excellent read for plane or train, or just relaxing.
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At Home: A Short History of Private Life
At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson (Hardcover - Oct. 5 2010)
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