AT HOME: A Short History of Private Life

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

Bryson (The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir, 2006, etc.) takes a delightful stroll through the history of domestic life.Now living in a 19th-century church rectory in Norfolk, England, the author decided to learn about the ordinary things of life by exploring each room in his house. In each, he finds the stories that make up this discursive romp through British and American life of ... Read full review

Review: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Editorial Review - - Roz Shea

Bill Bryson just can't help it. He writes funny, even when he's being serious, as he is in this latest history of how people have lived over the centuries. This subject could be dry as toast in another author's hands, but with his curious nose buried firmly in historical research while his waggish tongue is planted firmly in cheek, Bryson serves up a rich banquet of utterly fascinating and ... Read full review

User reviews

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AThurman - LibraryThing

Bryson's history of everyday life has his trademark charm and seeming effortlessness. Greatly enjoyed it, and recommend it as a bracing dose of anti-nostalgia. On balance the good old days were always more nasty, brutish and short than the present. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sscarllet - LibraryThing

This book has forever cemented Bill Brysons place on my book shelves. He is a wonderful story teller and extremely good at breaking down difficult topics into easily understandable language. This book ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I would give this book 6 stars out of 5, if I could. I found it interesting, entertaining, and enlightening. Every day I would learn something new that stuck with me all day and I wanted to share with people. The machinations of rodents, the glimpses of Victorian society and life, the etymology of words and phrases - why we "make a bed" for instance - it's all too good. The topics of servitude, medicine, hygiene and human waste are pretty intense, but so chock full of eye-opening perspective and morsels of interest that every time I had to stop listening, I couldn't wait until I could pick it up again. Mr. Bryson is a clever and gifted prose writer as well. I've read about 200 books in my life, and this is in the top ten. 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Somehow expected this to be more of a sustained essay on the home; instead, it's more a compendium of trivia and one-off ideas that made a mark on history. Bryson's always enjoyable, and it's
fine for what it is, but I wound up feeling it was the product of a great deal of research, none of which was original.  

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This is a tremendously interesting book filled with so much information, i couldn't put it down. I'm not sure how most of it ties to our homes, and after forgetting about 80% of the book, still have a head full of information. The last paragraph was an environmental rant that was a non-sequitor, but at that point, who really cares. The man was entitled to a rant. It was a long book. But a great read. 

Review: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

User Review  - Noah Barfield - Goodreads

I truly enjoyed At Home. Having read a number if his books, I've found that a little of Bill Bryson goes a long way. Unlike some of his earlier work where his narrative voice got in the way of his ... Read full review

Review: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

I really love Bill Bryson...entertaining, enlightening, and an all around good read. I'm now driving my wife crazy by bringing up little "tid-bit" facts that I learned from this book. Full review ... Read full review

Review: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

User Review  - Matthew - Goodreads

Although I found it rambling and without a coherent structure, At Home was chock full of the facts, trivia and history that I was hoping for. I would recommend it, but be prepared for a sometimes tedious commitment. Read full review

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All reviews - 47
5 stars - 14
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All reviews - 47

All reviews - 47
Kirkus - 1