What if you had a healthy interest in science, and wanted to read a book that gives you a broad overview of the current human knowledge ? This is the book !

The author goes on a voyage to tell the reader "all the interesting stuff the science teachers were hiding". Throughout the nearly 600 pages of this book you will be acquainted with physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, medicine, biology and zoology (have I forgot anything ?). For people who are scientifically inclined this is a treasure. Bill Bryson guides you, assisted by these sciences, through the history of earth, the universe and the human species as we understand them. From the research of the big bang and the expansion of the universe and to genetic explorations of mitochondric DNA, anyone will find a lot of new and interesting things in this book.

Truly, the scope of this book is vast. Not only the author teches the sciences "on one leg", he also tells the stories of the researchers and the scientists that made it all happen. Sometimes very interesting human stories hide behind discoveries, and the author has a very nice way to acknowledge those. He also tries to give credit to people who were left unknown even though they contributed, which is kind of righteous.

The book is written in a very readable style. Through most of it, you just can't put it down. I can't remember when was the last time I read such a captivating scientific book.

I must say that some of the book is quite depressing. Bryson seems to have a hobby of dissecting all the reasons for which we may cease existing. Meteorite crash, monstrous earthquakes, tectonic plate movements, volcanoes, ice ages and lethal epidemias are just some of the things that may eventuall wipe us out of this planet.

All in all, the book is very good and I warlmy recommend it.


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