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Bill Bryson's Appliance of Science

Length: 1 hr and 40 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Science
4.5 out of 5 stars (260 ratings)

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Summary

Sunday Times best-selling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson, teams up with The Science Museum to celebrate the ideas and inventions of the incurably curious. 

Across this five-episode series, Bill Bryson, with the help of The Science Museum's curators, takes us object-by-object through some of the museum's lesser known inventions and discoveries - and the human stories behind them. 

Discover how a teenage inventor, a pig's head, a lump of plywood and a famous British record label made medical history or how some inventions simply happen by accident. This 'museum for your ears' looks at how experimentation, competition, hard work and a desire to change our lives for the better have contributed to the progress of mankind. 

This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 5 episodes to your Library now.

©2017 Audible, Ltd. (P)2017 Audible, Ltd.

Critic reviews

"Quirky, humorous and mercifully free of jargon." (Financial Times)

"The excitement of the Science Museum's curators is infectious as they share their expertise, bringing the ideas and inventions of the incurably curious to life." (The Guardian)

"Perfect for a weekend train journey." (Buzzfeed)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars

Good exploration of objects in the Science museum.

Similar in style to Neil MacGregor's History of the world in 100 objects, which examined artefacts in the British museum, this is equally entertaining. Led by the ever listenable Bill Bryson, these examine and explain objects in the Science museum. Shame there are currently only five episodes - more please audible!!

17 people found this helpful

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Very interesting

Not much more to say than the title sorry, so sprouts, potatoes, carrots to fill the requiremt

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great content another poor construct

The content is great and both Bryson and the curators are interesting and engaging. But why do they cut between them mid sentence? It's neither a conversation better Bryson and his guest or an interview or mini Bryson book with specialists adding flavour.

There are several audible podcasts like this which are interesting but ruined by the awful editing/construct or whatever you want to call it.

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Always good to hear his voice

What can I say
...I love museums...I love podcasts...I love audio...I love this man's voice = bliss

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Didn't like the editing

I didn't find it overly interesting, which is personal taste really, but what I really hated was the way it was edited together. Half a sentence read by the curator, then the other half by the presenter or vise versa. Very clunky and annoying, they should have just scripted the curators instead, it would have sounded much better.

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Interesting story, well presented

Enjoyed the insight and the conversational presentation of each chapter. All are worth a listen.

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Why so Happy?

Top subjects and Top albeit brief biographies somewhat diminished by overly jaunty multi narrator quick edit delivery. Love Museums - should be longer...

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Great series

Really enjoyed it hopefully we will get more in the future fingers crossed for that

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Enjoyable nuggets of science discovery

I'm enjoying the human stories and nuggets of information about scientific discoveries curated by the science museum in London and Bill Bryson, delivered by Bill Bryson in his unmistakable and brilliant story telling style!

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  • Emily Lewis
  • 02-03-19

Great narration

Interesting stories but would be better with pictures. Sometimes it is hard to imagine what is being described. But the storyteller keeps your interest.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 05-02-19

Almost great

Very informative, engaging. But ruined by abysmal editing. This “audio tour” touches on unique history on pop medical solutions.

3 people found this helpful

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  • R. MCRACKAN
  • 02-07-18

Mixed bag

Fascinating facts with unexpectedly dull presentation. Which pains me to say because I love Bryson.

7 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 04-11-19

Fascinating, compelling and informative.

I love the sciences and to have access to such a well produced audiobook has made me very greatful for all the work that is involved.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Robinb
  • 29-10-19

More, More MORE!!

Love Bill Bryson and really love this podcast format. Informative and engaging. Please give us more!

1 person found this helpful

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  • STACEY
  • 09-12-18

Interesting

I liked this and found it interesting and entertaining. I liked Bill as narrator. Great listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lisa Noyes
  • 01-05-20

This should be called “The History of British Science and Engineering.”

This should be called “The History of British Science and Engineering.”

It was entirely historical with nothing recent, and that was not clear from the name or description.

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  • Elizabeth P. Fowler
  • 29-04-20

Tour of obscure scientific objects

This book is nicely written and narrated by Bill Bryson, with guest appearances by various curators at London's Science Museum. However, it is nearly impossible to follow this without images, so one comes away without any clear idea of how each object actually works.

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  • Gabriela
  • 28-04-20

Very interesting

It was very instructive and left me wanting to know about more objects from this museum.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-04-20

A frustrating listening experience

The files within this book do not play in order. After every chapter I was returned to the beginning of that chapter or the beginning of the book altogether. Also, each chapter seems to end rather abruptly.