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Una breve historia de casi todo

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  133,514 ratings  ·  6,321 reviews
Bill Bryson se describe como un viajero renuente, pero ni siquiera cuando está en su casa, en la seguridad de su estudio, puede contener esa curiosidad que siente por el mundo que le rodea. En Una breve historia de casi todo intenta entender qué ocurrió entre la Gran Explosión y el surgimiento de la civilización, cómo pasamos de la nada a lo ahora somos.
Paperback, 511 pages
Published 2004 by RBA (first published 2003)
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Manny
A Short History of Goodreads

Surveys show that nearly 40% of all Americans believe the history of literature started in 2007, when Amazon sold the first Kindle; indeed, Amazon Fundamentalists hold it as an article of faith that Jeff Bezos actually wrote all the world's e-books over a period of six days. This is, of course, nonsense. It has been conclusively demonstrated that literature is far older than the Kindle; books already existed thousands of years ago, which were the direct ancestors of t...more
Paul
Okay, so here's my Bill Bryson story. I was in The Gladstone, a public house not too far from this very keyboard, with my friend Yvonne, who will remain nameless. We had been imbibing more than freely. A guy approached our table and asked me in a sly surreptitious manner if I was him. Him who? Was I Bill Bryson? Now it is true that I bear a very slight resemblance



but you could also say that about Bjorn from Abba



and a zillion other white guys with beards and gently rounded fizzogs. Anyway, withou...more
Jamie
Apr 28, 2009 Jamie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: absolutely anyone
Good grief if I had even one textbook half this enthralling in high school, who knows what kind of impassioned -ologist I would have grown up to be. I hereby petition Bryson to re-write all curriculum on behalf of the history of the world.

I would run across things half-remembered from midterms and study guides and think, "You mean this is what they were talking about? You have got to be kidding me." It's never condescending, always a joy.

In fact, what I loved most is the acute, childlike sense o...more
Grace Tjan
What I learned from this book (in no particular order)

1. Phosphor was accidentally discovered when a scientist tried to turn human urine into gold. The similarity in color seemed to have been a factor in his conviction that this was possible. Like, duh. I’m no scientist, but shouldn’t it be obvious enough?

2. “In the early 1800s there arose in England a fashion for inhaling nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, after it was discovered that its use ‘ was attended by a highly pleasurable thrilling’. For...more
Sarah
Bryson's dead serious: this is a history of pretty much everything there is -- the planet, the solar system, the universe -- as well as a history of how we've come to know as much as we do. A book on science written by a non-scientist, this a perfect bridge between the humanities and the natural sciences. A course in the history of science should be mandatory for every teenager, and this should be the textbook.

Yes, it's a big, chunky book. No, it can't be trimmed down any further: when you're ad...more
Foster
This is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. There, I said it

Bryson's book combines the best qualities of science writers like Attenborough, Diamond, Durrell, and Wilson; presenting the information with the wit he is most known for. It is an amazing achievement to condense the entire base of human scientific knowledge into 478 pages, but Bryson has done it. I completely agree with Tim Flannery, who writes on the jacket that "all schools would be better places if it were the core sci...more
Manny
Jan 05, 2013 Manny rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone even slightly interested in science
Recommended to Manny by: Leon Stirling
It's easy to nitpick A Short History of Nearly Everything. Bryson, by his own cheerful admission anything but a scientist, makes a fair number of mistakes. He says that all living creatures contain hox genes; he omits Alexander Friedmann and George Gamow from his description of how the Big Bang theory was developed; when talking about Darwin and Paley, he doesn't seem to be aware that Natural Theology was one of Darwin's favorite books and had a huge influence on him. Those are just a few of the...more
Diane
I must admit that science is not my strong suit -- I've always been more of a Humanities gal. In high school, I had to work harder in my biology and chemistry classes, whereas English, history and social studies always came more easily to me.

Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is a good overview of all the science classes I didn't take (or don't remember) in college. It's like Intro to Physics, Chemistry, Geology and Astronomy all in one wonderfully droll book. Since I read very...more
Patrick
Picked this up on audiobook when I was on tour and listened to it in my car.

I found it fascinating and informative. Kinda like a reader's digest version of the history of science. And even though I knew a fair chunk of what was mention, there was a lot of material I'd never even had a glimmer of before.

Fair warning: If you are prone to worry about, say, the end of the world. This probably isn't the book for you.
Dave Gaston
First off, this is a huge departure from Bryson's breezy, excellent travel logs. Secondly, this book should be read with some frequency. It is so densely packed with valuable insight, and sound bites of discovery that you could not possibly absorb it all with one pass. This is my second time reading it and I plan on doing it again next year. The organizational structure is a wonderful series of loosely connected cameos covering several essential and enlightened discoveries of man. As an added bo...more
Martine
Sep 15, 2007 Martine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science dummies with a sense of humour.
I know virtually nothing about science, so it was with some trepidation that I began reading this introduction to life, the universe and everything, which deals with questions such as "How did the universe originate?" and "How much does planet Earth weigh?". I ended up enjoying the hell out of it, as Bryson's writing style is so witty and accessible that it frequently made me laugh out loud. He has a knack of telling you not just about major developments in the history of the universe, but also...more
Maciek
Aug 06, 2011 Maciek rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Basically everyone
This is an immensely readable book with a truly monumental amount of information. While reading it, one might wish to remember all its content, but it's written in a way allowing the reader to pick up the volume and start reading at any point, according to his interests, though Bryson relays all subjects in captivating and available way, with a big dose of humor.

This is a weighty book - 600 pages - but Bryson's not joking. He really tries to cover everything, from the beginning of the universe a...more
Riku Sayuj
Stunning in scope and execution. Loved every page of it, even geology was made exciting. That really is some feat.
Bookshop
Bill Bryson is one of my favourite travel writers. He is immensely funny. He's an American married to a Brit and lives in the UK now. That has an influcence is his writing: he has taken up the dry, self-depreciating humour of the Brits while, at times, remained blunt and straight-forward, as Americans do.

This is his first attempt to write something other than travelling. The book is about science, general science for general public. It covers everything from astronomy to zoology, from the univer...more
Ben Babcock
Second reading review, May 7, 2010.

I cannot recommend this book enough. No word of hyperbole: this is a book that everyone should read. Bill Bryson takes the span of human existence and produced a popular history of science that's both accurate and moving. A Short History of Nearly Everything is a celebration of science, but it also evokes the sense of wonder about the universe that science makes available to us. And, almost inevitably, it underscores how much we still have yet to learn about ou...more
Jacob
May 2009

I "read" the audiobook version about a year and a half ago and really enjoyed it--this book can be really enjoyed in small doses--but I felt like reading it in print this time around. At least, skimming a previous paragraph is a lot easier than trying to rewind while driving.

Turns out it's good in big doses too, or any for that matter. Although I haven't read much science writing (yet) and therefore can't compare it to others, I will admit that A Short History of Nearly Everything is on...more
Yomna hosny
Something is very wrong with the world when this book is not required reading for high schoolers!

If we'd had this back when I was in high school, who knows what I would've done with my life! It certainly would have made things a lot less dreary.

It's just one of those books where you know, upon reading the very first page, that you're getting into something incredible !

I'm only 28 pages in and I'm already squirming in my seat with nerdy excitement.

This won't be the last of Bryson's books that I...more
Sarah
I have to say this is by far one of the best books I've ever read. Although I haven't finished I'm in love with this book.
My chemistry teacher gave me it to read a while back and it took me a while to get started on it, but after I did I couldn't put it down. You don't have to have a real passion for physics or biology or chemistry to appreciate the book as a whole. Although I find some chapters more intresting than others, the footnotes that Bryson includes definetly make the book as lighthear...more
Grumpus
Oct 28, 2007 Grumpus rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to know how it all began
Shelves: audiobook
This is based upon the audio download from [www.audible.com].

Narrated by: Richard Matthews

Don’t let the 3 star rating mislead you. This was an awesome book and I’m certain others will think more highly of it. It is a great introduction for those not into the biography of the universe and the history of science. However, if you watch the Science Channel, History Channel, PBS, etc., then you’ll already know much of what’s covered. It is the true "Once upon a time. . ." story.

As someone with an in...more
F.R.
A sign that a book is really, really, really gripping you is when you find yourself talking to people about it. And by ‘talking to people about it’, I don’t just mean recommending that they read it, but actually spouting out things you’ve read in its pages, developing arguments from what you’ve learnt and generally just crow-barring whole tracts of knowledge into conversations which, left to their own devices, would have happily meandered elsewhere.

Such a book is Bill Bryson’s ‘A Short History o...more
John
Jul 11, 2008 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The world...
Bill Bryson is excellent... so witty and funny. His writing makes me laugh out loud and cry with laughter - sometimes I can barely breathe.

His research is also wonderful and the facts, presented in this book, are not only interesting, but also startling, fascinating and stimulating. The whole book is wonderfully assembled and a delight to read, re-read and simply to dip into.

Indeed... I am re-reading again....

It is, however, a severe worry to me that many of the facts that I am re-reading for th...more
Dayanand Prabhu
I finished this book in little over a week. 570 Pages of pure unadulterated trivia. One might argue that this isn't a science book. You see Bill is no scientist, but he is a storyteller, a very good one at that. So in this book Bryson has with all his might presented us a story of how science came to be. A story of how over the centuries our knowledge of the world and beyond has evolved and how different personalities have contributed and fought for it. That itself makes it a very important book...more
Penny
Sep 28, 2012 Penny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Penny by: One of my supervisors
I loved this book! You don't have to be a scientist to enjoy A Short History of Nearly Everything as part of Bryson's motivation was to make science more accessible to Joe Public, but I have to say that as a scientist this book resonated deeply with me. Bryson delivers the most interesting facts of many of the greatest, and sometimes pretty obscure, men and women in the history of science. Since some scientists can be rather eccentric it makes for some very good stories! It's a remarkably easy r...more
Marian
You're probably looking at this book thinking it is so far off my normal path. And it is. I'm chalking it up to penance for doing so poorly in every science class I ever attended.

I truly gave this book an honest effort, but at 2/3 of the way through I cannot continue. In all honesty, the book probably deserves a 5-star rating given there is no fault to be found with either the research or the writing. The problem here is this reader has a 1-star IQ. So I split the difference with 3 stars.

Bryson...more
Mrs Sarah
Not everyone is a science geek. Bill knows that.

I am a science geek. Not that I took a lot of science courses, but it's a source of fascination for me. There was a lot of stuff I already knew -- if you've read A Brief History of Time the first two chapters are a wash -- but there was also a lot of stuff I didn't. It is miraculously accessible and funny, like all of Bryson's work.

This is a textbook on its face, but at its heart is the diary of a grown man coming home every evening for a year with...more
Mare
Jako poučna knjiga koja se lako čita. Umjesto detaljnih opisa znanstvenih metoda, ova knjiga uglavnom opisuje ideje koje su dovele do znanstvenih otkrića i borbu znanstvenika da te ideje budu prihvaćene. Nakon čitanja ove knjige neke teme su mi "napokon sjele" i uspjela sam razumjeti kako se istražuje svemir ili zemljina unutrašnjost, i koliko su "činjenice" koje "znamo" točne.
Moram priznati da mi je drugi dio knjige bio dosadniji, ali samo zato što me fizika zanima više o biologije, pa mi to n...more
Megan
It says I finished this is March 2008 but it is important to note I started it last summer. It took a long time. Interestingly though that doesn't mean it was bad, it is just long and caters easily to frequently month long stops. It is an easy book to pick up and start anywhere. All in all I really liked it, it is mostly a nicely written history of science and some sciences have more interesting history's than others but they all have their eccentrics.
Bill Byrson is always entertaining and fun...more
Sean Endymion
Oh my gods, what a waste of perfectly good paper! I am flabbergasted that this has such consistently high reviews...

Three problems with this tripe:
1. falsity of the science (most blatantly around cosmology, but not limited to any one field) and misunderstanding of scientific principles;
2. a focus more on "biography" rather than on real "history";
3. trivial worthlessness of the information.

Number 1 is briefly chronicled below. Within just the first 20 pages or so, there are ridiculous factual er...more
Sammy
Jan 10, 2008 Sammy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone that enjoys earth science, living on earth, or understanding the planet on which they live.
I really love this book.
I really think you should read it.

I must admit that I'm somewhat biased; I was already a fan of Bryson's work, and I am generally interested in the sciences. Perhaps as a function of that, I believe this to be my favorite of his books (so far).

It's hard for me not to talk to people about the things I read in this book. I mean, it's all so completely interesting to me that I think it should be discussed at all times, in addition to the fact that I don't think people reali...more
Jason
I found the title of this work somewhat misleading. Perhaps it should have been called A History of the Natural Sciences or maybe even A Short History of Natural History. Nevertheless, science books often do not sell well so I am sure the idea in titling the book A Short History of Nearly Everything was to attract more of a broad readership. The book itself isn't awful but certainly reads like a survey work. In other words, you won't learn complicated how-tos of scientific methodology but you wi...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Fabric of the Cosmos (Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality)
  • The Ascent of Man
  • The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
  • Coming of Age in the Milky Way
  • Earth: An Intimate History
  • Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution
  • Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body
  • The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth
  • Bad Science
  • Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
  • The Diversity of Life
  • The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
  • Why Does E=mc²? (And Why Should We Care?)
  • Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End...
  • Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes Us Human
  • Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel
  • The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
  • Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
7
Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. He settled in England in 1977, and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer. He lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire. He and his family then moved to New Hampshire in America for a few years, but they have now returned to live in the UK.

In The Lost Continent, Bill Bryson's hilarious first t...more
More about Bill Bryson...
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail Notes from a Small Island In a Sunburned Country At Home: A Short History of Private Life I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away

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“Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result -- eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly -- in you.” 1352 likes
“Tune your television to any channel it doesn't receive and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.” 233 likes
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