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  • A Million Years in a Day

  • A Curious History of Everyday Life
  • By: Greg Jenner
  • Narrated by: Greg Jenner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (748 ratings)

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A Million Years in a Day

By: Greg Jenner
Narrated by: Greg Jenner
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Editor reviews

Intriguing and amusing, Greg Jenner’s A Million Years in a Day: A Curious History of Everyday Life is the perfect explanation for every task and every item the average human uses on an ordinary day. In this historical audiobook edition narrated by Jenner himself, listeners learn of the history and logic behind so many of those items often taken for granted in their ability to help make life easier. As Jenner divulges the secrets behind human behaviour in this book, listeners begin to understand just how much more intelligent the human race is than already assumed. Available now from Audible.

Summary

'A wonderful idea, gloriously put into practice. Greg Jenner as is witty as he is knowledgeable.' (Tom Holland)

'Delightful, surprising and hilarious, this is a fascinating history of the everyday objects and inventions we take for granted.' (Lauren Laverne)

Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. In this gloriously entertaining romp through human history, Greg Jenner explores the hidden stories behind these daily routines.

This is not a story of politics, wars or great events, instead Greg Jenner has scoured Roman rubbish bins, Egyptian tombs and Victorian sewers to bring us the most intriguing, surprising and sometimes downright silly nuggets from our past.

Written and narrated in a chatty style by Greg Jenner, Historical Consultant to CBBC's multi-award-winning Horrible Histories, it is an entertaining history of all those things you always wondered - and many you have never considered. It is the story of our lives, one million years in the making.

©2015 Greg Jenner (P)2015 Orion Publishing Group
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about A Million Years in a Day

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A good idea ruined by irritating narration

What would have made A Million Years in a Day better?

This is a great idea for a book and I was looking forward to hearing it. The content, is reasonably interesting, but I confess I gave up after a few chapters as I couldn't stand anymore of the chirpy, unfunny narration. The book should have been a little more serious in tone. Nothing wrong with jokes, if they are funny, but he tries to hard to be humorous and fails.

What didn’t you like about Greg Jenner’s performance?

Sometimes when an author reads his own book it really works; alas not in this case. I found his style patronising and irritating. He fancies himself something of a comedian, but his humour is puerile and childish.

What character would you cut from A Million Years in a Day?

The narrator.

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The most enjoyable history lesson you've ever had

Really enjoyed this book - entertaining, fascinating and often surprising. Made all the better for being read by the author. :)

Highly recommended!

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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So many fascinating facts!

If you could sum up A Million Years in a Day in three words, what would they be?

Lively, engaging and informative

What did you like best about this story?

All of it! I thought the format of using a modern day as a way of looking at the history of everyday things & routines was great

Have you listened to any of Greg Jenner’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't heard any other performances by Greg Jenner but I really enjoyed this one. Author's reading their own books can be hit or miss, but I thought this was great and Greg's chatty style worked really well with the contents of the book

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Well as a non-fiction book I wasn't waiting to hear what happened in the way that you might with a novel but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it definitely helped pass the time ion a long drive

Any additional comments?

Anyone who like popular science & history would enjoy this book

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too eager to please

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I was really intrigued by this book and greatly looking forward to it. Unfortunately it was quite a disappointment. The jokey tone quickly became grating, it felt like listening to a supply teacher desperately try and be cool and fun,

What was most disappointing about Greg Jenner’s story?

I think Home by Bill Bryson often covers similar ground and does so in a style and manner that is far more entertaining and thought provoking.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The tone of the book is quite jokey, and the narrator was a little too keen to emphasise that fact. It felt like a reading for children.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I have to be honest and say I listened to two hours of this before finally giving up. It wasn't for me.

Any additional comments?

I think Home by Bill Bryson often covers similar ground and does so in a style and manner that is far more entertaining and thought provoking

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Detailed, but could be more thorough

I love the premise of the book, and Jenner executes it well. However, whilst the areas covered in the book are done so in detail, the book misses out certain key areas such as more recent historical events (particularly much of the 20th century). Perhaps this is the makings of a sequel? I'd love to read a similar coverage of wider society, for instance with government, healthcare, policing, and other such areas not explored all that much in this book.

Please do read this book if you've ever wondered, for instance, how our cave-dwelling ancestors slept!

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Humour and history, what's not to like?

Thanks to QI and Horrible Histories my interest in history has been rekindled.
Greg being a historical consultant for Horrible Histories this was the perfect opportunity for me to download, listen and consume history in a funny and accessible way.
Greg takes us on a tour of how in one day of our lives, different societies have contributed to how modern life has been shaped.
Congratulations to Greg who makes this an enjoyable experience.
It was all fascinating, funny and sometimes bizarre.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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History Doesn't Repaet Itself, People Do

Greg has done a stellar job with this book. I am a history buff. Greg's delivery and animated prose riverted me. The line he shared, "History doesn't repeat itself, people do." arrested my attention.

This is a book for all ages.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • J
  • 03-03-16

Fascinating.

Will make you think more of those day to day things.
A glimpse of the history behind such things as beds, dentists, clothes, and even cutlery
The author reading the book really helps add to the enjoyment

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting History, Annoying Delivery

The content of this book should speak wonderfully for itself... but it doesn't get a chance, because Greg Jenner wants you to think he's funny; at least, that is how this audiobook comes across.

Jenner constantly uses colloquialisms and vulgarity to try and achieve humour (thus reach?). Unfortunately, this results in a very forced and condescending delivery, which was irritating, and immensely distracting from the often interesting factual content.

A hard, hard book to get through.

4 people found this helpful

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  • kk
  • 01-06-16

buy and listen now!

Funny and informative: a plethora of useless yet fascinating information narrated in a unique and engaging manner.

4 people found this helpful

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  • woolf13
  • 09-08-22

A brilliant listen

Greg Jenner has written, and told, a fascinating, informative and fun weaving together of human histories that enable you to relate to people of cultures and times in a unique way.
I couldn’t recommend this brilliant book highly enough (and don’t be daunted by the length - it’s perfect for listening to in chapters.