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  • Published: 3 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473508156
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

The Body

A Guide for Occupants

Eagerly awaited, must-read new science book from the UK's bestselling non-fiction writer. Bryson is the prize-winning author of A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Road to Little Dribbling

In the bestselling, prize-winning A Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson achieved the seemingly impossible by making the science of our world both understandable and entertaining to millions of people around the globe. This time he has turned his attention inwards to explore the human body, how it functions and its extraordinary ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up. This wonderful new book will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again.

  • Pub date: 3 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473508156
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

About the Author

Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. His bestselling books include The Road to Little Dribbling, Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods, One Summer and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. In a national poll, Notes from a Small Island was voted the book that best represents Britain. His acclaimed work of popular science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Aventis Prize and the Descartes Prize, and was the biggest selling non-fiction book of its decade in the UK. His new book The Body: A Guide for Occupants is an extraordinary exploration of the human body which will have you marvelling at the form you occupy.
Bill Bryson was Chancellor of Durham University 2005–2011. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society. He lives in England.

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Praise for The Body

“A directory of wonders. Extraordinary stories about the heart, lungs, genitals ... plus some anger and life advice – all delivered in the inimitable Bryson style”

Gavin Francis, Guardian

“Remarkable ... Every page is dense with scientific facts written as vividly as a thriller, as well as answers to conundrums such as why we don’t fall out of bed when we are asleep ... It is woven through with the kind of human stories that Bryson has made his trademark.”

Mail on Sunday

“Readable and useful ... witty, jargon-free prose that glides you through 400 pages. It’s fun to read because it’s not just comprehensive, but quirky.”

Richard Morrison, The Times

“SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019: 'so packed with arresting facts (you eat 60 tons of food in a lifetime) and unlikely anecdotes (such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel's six weeks with a half-sovereign lodged in his throat) that you barely notice the sheer volume of anatomical knowledge you're digesting ... makes complex subjects simple and eminently entertaining.'”

Sunday Times

“‘It is a feat of narrative skill to bake so many facts into an entertaining and nutritious book..where Byrson really shines is in his imaginative glosses on the facts he has collected.’”

The Daily Telegraph

“The extraordinary story of what we are made of and how we work ... This revelatory book reads as captivatingly as a thriller.”

Teresa Levonian Cole, Country Life

“Through anecdotes about scientific history and startling facts that seem too extraordinary to be true—the DNA in one person, if stretched out, would measure billions of miles and reach beyond Pluto—Bryson draws the reader into his subject. ... Bryson’s tone is both informative and inviting, encouraging the reader, throughout this exemplary work, to share the sense of wonder he expresses at how the body is constituted and what it is capable of. ”

Publishers' Weekly

“Bryson rummages about in our vital organs, emerging with a parade of fascinating facts.”

Daily Mirror

“‘Classic, wry, gleeful Bryson… richly interesting… an entertaining and absolutely fact-rammed book. If it sells hundreds of thousands of copies, like the last one, it will be no bad thing.’”

The Sunday Times

“[Bill] takes us with him, wondering at the complex functions of the tongue, seeing him stick a finger in the aorta…The book’s a bestseller.”

Gillian Reynolds, The Sunday Times

“There is not an organ Bryson describes that is not illuminated by a fun fact or unlikely anecdote.”


“Bryson tackles the body in an amusing, fact-filled guide”

The Sunday Times (Ireland)

“Written with his trademark wit and insight”

RTE Guide

“As ever, the bestselling writer takes a familiar subject and delivers one revelation after another”

The Irish Mail on Sunday

“A comforting compendium of fascinating facts”

Irish Independent

“The brook bristles with data…but the star turns are Bryson's wry forays into the histories of neuroscience, genetics, anatomy and immunology.”


“Stuffed with enthralling, often mystifying facts.”

Christina Hardyment, The Times

“A joy to read ... every paragraph contains at least one startling, even awe-inspiring fact ... Infused with an infectious sense of wonder at the miraculousness of it all.”

Reader's Digest

“One of the strengths of Bryson’s delightful new book... is that it reveals the thousands of rarely acknowledged tasks our body takes care of as we go about our day”

A.J. Jacobs, The New York Times

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