A Short History of Nearly Everything: Special Illustrated Edition

A Short History of Nearly Everything: Special Illustrated Edition Summary

This new edition of the acclaimed bestseller is lavishly illustrated to convey, in pictures as in words, Bill Bryson’s exciting, informative journey into the world of science.

In A Short History of Nearly Everything, the bestselling author of A Walk in the WoodsandThe Body, confronts his greatest challenge yet: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as his territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. The result is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it.

Now, in this handsome new edition, Bill Bryson’s words are supplemented by full-color artwork that explains in visual terms the concepts and wonder of science, at the same time giving face to the major players in the world of scientific study. Eloquently and entertainingly described, as well as richly illustrated, science has never been more involving or entertaining.

Book Reviews

Richard Bakare

A brief history on knowing and discovery.4 star

What I thought would be a good baseline primer texts of core scientific principles turned out to be so much more. Bryson’s monumental effort both catalogs the general principles of our world and universe, but more importantly captures the history of the great scientific exercise. The countless people over time who worked tirelessly to discover more and more about our selves and the universe. The book is no easy march through history and science. Easy and hard concepts are everywhere for you to discern. But with every page, that inane child like wonder for the natural world and the WHY of how everything works comes roaring back. It would be great if books like this were read concurrently or in summary to the school textbooks on science that we are assigned. The approach would bring a little levity and wonder back to the slog of academia. Some of what you will encounter in this tour of the world of science you will already know, the rest will be new and engaging. Indeed, it’s the interconnected nature of all the disciplines, personal back stories, squabbling, and partnerships that emerge that make this history so complex and entertaining. This was the most accessible scientific text I have ever read. If more people read this we may have been able to not have such a hard struggle with understanding vaccinations during the pandemic.45


Fascinating, disturbing, important5 star

I learned so so much about the world, where it came from, where we came from, what we are, where it might all be going. The more I learned, the more adrift in the meaninglessness of life i became. I would look at society, buildings, conflicts, plans.... everything was reduced to a reminder that all this is is spinning atoms,organized stardust. Is meaning or purpose or even life itself just an illusion? Is it all just random, accidental? Going nowhere? Before this book i could live in a relatively content bubble of a sense of meaning, purpose, control, and yes, a belief that something greater was behind it all, to somehow make it all make sense, a plan, a reason. Now, i have all that thrown into severe doubt, and i live daily with a bleak loss of the comfort of the illusion. But, it’s important to learn everything this book has compiled, to make an educated decision of how to view life.55


On technical site...3 star

I just started reading it in iBooks edition. The dates (years) appear as 1077 instead 1977; at least in references for first chapters. I hope it can be corrected by next update.35


A *must* read5 star

A brilliantly written page-turner, this book disambiguates so much of the world around us it deserves to be on every school's curriculum.55

Alex Banuelos

A Thorough Yet Brief Compendium of Natural History4 star

I'm incredulous of the amount of research Bryson put into this book. He really took the time to go above and beyond toward realms of thought and inquiry far outreaching his scope as an author. I can't help but appreciate the immensity of this work. I encourage anybody of a high school reading level to give this book a chance. The beginning is breathtakingly illustrative of concepts otherwise unimaginable to the average Joe, and what's more, Bryson's language does little to obstruct or obscure the big picture. So much literature of this nature is dismissed on account of lofty diction and esoteric jargon, but this particular book is a breath of fresh air for anybody with even a subtle interest in science and natural history wanting to better understand it all. All that keeps this book from a five-star rating are the brief periods of dry material which prove necessary in compiling a vast summary of time so succinctly. It's a picky critique and easily overlooked.45


Mind Boggling5 star

Absolutely amazing book, portraying the full scope of our amazing world. Thank you Bill Bryson for taking me on that journey and for including your usual insights and humor.55


Wonderful!5 star

This book is amazing! It's so entertaining and informative. The writing was powerful enough to change the way I look at the world. One of my favorites!55

The Gray Ghost of the Plains

Yet another terrific book from Bill Bryson5 star

As I've gotten older, I've become more interested in nonfiction, and this book was a great reintroduction to science for me. Of course, Bryson's wit makes it all the more palatable.55


Not Worth It3 star

Save yourself a couple bucks and buy the regular edition of this book. The illustrations are really just google search worthy, and frankly just take away from the writing. Some of the illustrations were cartoons from the newspaper vaguely referencing the subject, and others are low resolution pictures of nebula and other spacy things (clearly I'm no expert). Overall not worth it, though the regular text is brilliant. I love it.35

Yeppers d

Great book!2 star

I own the hardcover and have read it around 6 times, cover to cover. Great book and easy to read on25

Other Books by Bill Bryson

A Walk in the Woods


A Walk in the Woods
4     771
One Summer


One Summer
4     477
The Body


The Body
4.5     478

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