- Gebundene Ausgabe: 544 Seiten
- Verlag: Doubleday; Auflage: First U. S. Edition First Printing (27. Mai 2010)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0385608276
- ISBN-13: 978-0385608275
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,2 x 4,5 x 24 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 31 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 209.689 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
At Home: A short history of private life (Bryson) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 27. Mai 2010
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"A work of constant delight and discovery. Bryson's wit is both dry and charmingly goofy. His great skill is to make daily life simultaneously strange and familiar, and in so doing, help us to recognise ourselves. At Home is a treasure: don't leave home without it." (Judith Flanders Sunday Telegraph)
"Enchanting...a book about reinventing the ordinary, and finding the extraordinary in the humdrum business of living...Bryson tackled science in his brilliant A Short History of Nearly Everything. This new book could as easily be categorised as 'a short history of nearly everything else'...extraordinarily entertaining." (Antonia Senior The Times)
"The much-loved writer takes the attention to detail that made A Short History of Nearly Everything such a fantastic guide to all things science, and applies it to our homes. Written in his laid-back style, this is a wonderful celebration of what makes a house a home." (News of the World)
"Quite as ambitious as his A Short History of Nearly Everything. This is a genuinely compelling book...a kind of layman's encyclopaedia full of 'did you know' moments...This companionable volume is as dense as a rich fruit cake and, by the same measure, rewarding, too." (Country Life)
"A charming read that blends scholarship with warm writing and provides an endless source of banter for dinner parties." (Good Housekeeping)
The irresistible book by Bill Bryson which does for the history of the way we live what A Short History of Nearly Everything did for science.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
Dabei stößt er auf interessante Fragen: Warum haben wir (aus einer Auswahl von hunderten von Gewürzen) schlussendlich bevorzugt Salz und Pfeffer auf dem Tisch (und warum nicht zum Beispiel Salz und Kardamom)? Warum haben Gabeln vier Zinken statt zwei oder sechs? Warum haben Japaner Angst vorm Treppensteigen? Bryson kümmert sich erneut um Fakten und Phänomene, die sich im Laufe der Jahrhunderte zu langsam entwickelt haben, um bemerkt zu werden, und bietet in "At Home" die gleiche unbändige Neugier, unwiderstehlichen Witz und unterhaltsame, erhellende Erzählung, die "Eine kurze Geschichte von fast Allem" zu einem der erfolgreichsten Sachbücher der letzten Jahre gemacht haben. Wobei er wenig eigene Forschung betreibt, aber sich erneut als Meister der Recherche und unterhaltsamen Zusammenstellung präsentiert (der Anhang des Buches hat eine fast 30-seitige Literaturquellenliste).
Bill Brysons außergewöhnliche Leistung mit "At Home" ist, den Blick auf das gesamte menschliche Leben durch ein "häusliches" Teleskop zu machen und dabei für uns alle festzustellen, dass unser Zuhause nicht der Zufluchtsort vor kultureller und sozialer Geschichte ist, sondern der Platz, an dem Geschichte beginnt und endet.
At Home: a short history --- of almost everything else ... (or: new facts and funny stories from Bill Bryson)
His subject is supposedly becoming more focussed: from the entire universe of his latest bestseller to life on Earth and its history. His approach remains the same: to put more or less everything he finds interesting in a book -- luckily to say, he is an absolute expert in doing so. Bill Bryson makes a journey within and around his own house (an old rectory in sleepy Norfolk) and wanders from room to room while he investigates where the things around him come from. Along the way he makes some amazing, surprising and humorous digressions about the history of architecture, the discovery of electricity, the invention and development of modern toilets and countless more bits and pieces. And to his personal discomfort, he learns about a frightening number of epidemics, diseases and other threats to health and well-being. (But, as we know, in those cases Bryson is almost always at his humorous best.)
He encounters interesting questions: Why do we finally have (from a selection of hundreds of spices) preferred salt and pepper to be on the dining table (and why not, for example, salt and cardamom)? Why do forks have four prongs instead of two or six? Why are the Japanese afraid of climbing stairs? Bryson brilliantly collects facts and phenomena that have evolved over the centuries too slow to be noticed, and, in "At Home", shows the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit and entertaining, illuminating narrative that made "A Short History of Nearly Everything" to one of the most successful non-fiction books of recent years. He presents himself as a master of research and entertaining compilation again (the book has an almost 30 pages literature source list appendix).
Bill Bryson's extraordinary achievement with "At Home" is to view all human life through a "domestic" telescope and to discover (for all of us) that our homes are not the safe haven and refuge from cultural and social history -- but simply the place where history begins and ends.
For Bryson standards "At Home" is merely okay and although entertaining, is not up to the standards set in a "I'm A Stranger Here Myself" or "A Walk in the Woods", which I consider to be Bryson's best. I found "At Home" to be meandering and even, dare I say it, at times a bit boring because of the sheer amount of information presented. Bryson's research and detail, as always, is unsurpassed and I assume his facts are correct, although looking through some reviews at Amazon UK I see that this is brought into question in a couple reviews.
One problem that I have with the book is that it is not at all what I expected given the title and book description. The themes throughout the book are often only very loosely connected to any typical room or item in a modern home, and often Bryson wanders off topic and the connection to home life is no longer evident. This is not to say that what is covered isn't, for the most part, fascinating, Bryson discusses topics such as child labor during the industrial revolution, the significance of the spice trade and how bloody it became and Charles Darwin and his little excursion where he formulated the theory of evolution. Although I did enjoy this book my expectations of what I would be reading about and what I ended up getting were not one and the same.
Another reason that "At Home" isn't as great as some of his other books is that the fresh and clever humor that I have come to expect and cherish in a well crafted Bryson tome is for the most part, absent. Bryson weaves his facts and stories artfully as always but mostly without the little obvious or clever comment that makes one laugh out loud such as the following gem in which Bryson recounts the goods on display in London's Crystal Palace in 1851:
"If the building itself was a marvel, the wonders within were no less so. Almost 100,000 objects were on display, spread among some 14,000 exhibits. Among the novelties were a knife with 1,851 blades, furniture carved from furniture-sized blocks of coal (for no reason other than to show that it could be done), a four sided piano for homey quartets, a bed that became a life raft and another that tipped its startled occupant into a freshly drawn bath"
Unfortunately passages like these that make you laugh out loud are few and far between in "At Home".
Most of "At Home" centers on the Victorian age in Britain (and to a lesser degree in America) as that is the time when Bryson's home was originally constructed and many of the terms Bryson refers to come from the original architectural blueprint that was used to erect the home. So "At Home" could have easily been titled "The Victorian Homestead" or something that gave a nod to the time period and we would have had a clearer idea of what to expect.
In any case, any, and I do mean ANY Bryson book is always worth a read, but if you are not familiar with Bill Bryson's work, I would recommended starting on one of his earlier books and eventually coming round to "At Home" after you have tasted the best Bryson has to offer first.
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