Monday, May 30, 2005

Review 3: A Short History of Everything

A short history of nearly everything
by Bill Bryson

This book should be a must-read in every school. Bill Bryson describes the history of Science in such a compelling and funny way you wouldn't have imagined possible. For me, as for a lot of other people I guess, sciences always were something rather dull and grey. Apart from geeks and nerds who could possibly have any interest in such weird theories and concepts as the Big Bang, evolution, gravity, tectonic shifts, microbes, cellular structures and the like? Oh, how wrong I was!

Mr Bryson not only explains the scientific concepts in a very understandable way, he also tells us who the scientists behind these discoveries were, how they made them and especially how excentric a lot of the men were! They were certainly, in a sense, crazy compared to the regular people, but this 'craziness' was needed for their accomplishments. Or would you have told yourself: Well, let's just find a way to measure Earth!?

The book is a quest to understand everything that happened from the Big Bang to the rise of the civilization. It really is an eye-opening journey that reveals the world around us in a way that most of us probably haven't seen before. And for someone like me who likes to understand why things are or happen the way they do it was pure delight. Of course the book doesn't contain the answers on everything, some things are probably unknowable. But reading, and realizing, the marvels of Nature and Existence itself and Man's quest to decypher them is just overwhelming. We usually live our daily life and take more or less everything for granted when in fact we're part of something huge, incredible, mysterious, weird and despite all problems, beautiful. And this book helps you discover that.

Hm, I think I got a bit carried away there ... so here's now finally my rating: 9/10.

Some information about the author: Bill Bryson was born in Iowa in 1951 and now lives in Great Britain. He's the bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods, I’m a Stranger Here Myself, In A Sunburned Country, Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Bill Bryson's African Diary, and A Short History of Nearly Everything.


Blogger John said...

It's the book I'm reading at the momment - I agree it's excellent

Blogger Daldianus said...

So I'm not the only one! ;)

Have a great read then.

Blogger EuroYank said...

Greetings from another guy in Luxembourg.

Blogger W. S. Cross said...

Thanks for the suggestion!

Blogger Daldianus said...

ws: you're welcome :)

Blogger 357martini said...

Once I tried to feed my brain but the burger wouldn't fit in my ear.

Blogger gethky said...

Hope you don't mind that I copied your post in my "Sampler" blog.

Blogger Daldianus said...

hm ... perhaps you should have started with a simple cheeseburger and not a quarter pounder? :)

that's ok. but I'd prefer if you would make it more obvious right from the start that it's an article from a different blog, and not just by the name at the end. something like: "Daldianus on wrote:". Thanks!

Anonymous Fence said...

I read somewhere that Bryson is giving copies of this book to every school in the UK.
I have it at home, but haven't read it all yet.

Blogger Daldianus said...

fence: really? that would be cool though!

Blogger Gareth said...

Let me help... Here's the Bryson news link... Bryson to give copy to every school in Britain.

Great book. My favourite of his so far are his two "language" ones - Mother Tongue and Made In Amercia. Most excellent!

Blogger Daldianus said...

thanks alot gareth!


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