24 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good but not one of Bryson's best,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: At Home: A short history of private life (Gebundene Ausgabe)
As a big fan of Bill Bryson, I have to start by saying that ANY book from Bill Bryson will pack you so full of trivia that you can use to impress the masses at fancy dinner parties and will entertain on a level not easily accomplished by other, less talented authors. I have read not all, but many books from the vast Bryson library; A Walk In The Woods, I'm A Stranger Here Myself, The Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Shakespeare and Notes From A Small Island.
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.