A delightful account of almost everything
THIS week Dorking author Liam McCann has reviewed A Short History Of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.
THIS is the first Bill Bryson book I have read and to say that I enjoyed it would be an understatement.
Bryson brings the universe to life – from the Big Bang to the processes that shape our world today via the birth of life, extinction of the dinosaurs and founding of modern science – and makes the study of how it all works thoroughly accessible and entertaining.
His writing style is concise, informative and beautifully descriptive. He will delight and amuse with the stories surrounding some of the stranger characters – the American engineer and chemist Thomas Midgley, for example, the man who added lead to petrol and used chlorofluorocarbons, and who has had, therefore, perhaps the greatest impact on the environment, met an untimely death after becoming entangled in a machine of his own invention that was designed to help him get out of bed.
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Some will criticise the book for both the established and theoretical science being based on Bryson's opinions but, if you approach it with that in mind and accept his research as thorough, you'll be able to make informed judgements and come to your own conclusions.
Every school in the country should have this book as its core science read, and there's no higher praise than that.