In Bryson’s most significant book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, traveling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read), pestered them with questions, and apprenticed themselves to their influential minds.
A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest. It is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always obvious and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.