Reviews

Review: At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Editorial Review - Bookreporter.com - 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

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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. 

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2011
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.  

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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. 

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All reviews - 120
5 stars - 31
4 stars - 62
3 stars - 22
1 star - 0

All reviews - 120

All reviews - 120