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Comment: Moderate wear on cover and edges. Minimal highlighting and/or other markings can be present. May be ex-library copy and may not include CD, Accessories and/or Dust Cover. Good readable copy.
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A Short History of Nearly Everything Paperback – Sep 14 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Canada; 1 edition (Sept. 14 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385660049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385660044
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Amazon

There must be a special place in author's heaven for writers like Bill Bryson (In a Sunburned Country, Neither Here Nor There), those bold enough to tackle the seemingly insurmountable and, improbably, succeed. With the aptly named A Short History of Nearly Everything Bryson has, quite simply, documented the advent of the universe in just under 500 pages, charting the evolution of man, planet Earth, its oceans and mountains, and all the atoms holding them together. And he explores the cosmos beyond. He asks how each was created and then sets out, quasi-scientifically, to explain it. And he doesn't just regurgitate scores of books, although that's part of it. Bryson introduces pioneering researchers into the fray, giving face to some pretty impressive (in some cases outrageous) theories of why things are the way they are. It's an astonishing synthesis of information, and if contemporary paleontologists, geologists, astronomers, physicists, chemists, and various other people of science dismiss History as strictly layman, then Bryson has truly succeeded in his task. He tells us why there are diamonds in South Africa but not Iowa, why old panes of glass are thicker at the bottom than on top, and why the Earth's oceans are more mysterious to us than the Moon. Best, Bryson tells us things that should be dry as dust in language as sparkly as sunshine on chrome, often through inventive personification. Take his description of carbon: "It is shamelessly promiscuous. It is the party animal of the atomic world, latching on to many other atoms (including itself) and holding tight, forming molecular conga lines of hearty robustness." Or this: "White cells are merciless and will hunt down and kill every last pathogen they can find." At times the sheer breadth of data conveyed is overwhelming, but Bryson consistently inspires awe--in himself and his subject matter--while teaching us really neat stuff along the way. --Kim Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“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.”
People

“Bryson is surprisingly precise, brilliantly eccentric and nicely eloquent . . . a gifted storyteller has dared to retell the world’s biggest story.”
Seattle Times

“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.”
National Post

"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.”
Ottawa Citizen

“Wonderfully readable. It is, in the best sense, learned.”
Winnipeg Free Press

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on June 28, 2003
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