Originally published March 23rd, 2013
Surprisingly depressing for a Bryson. He talks, as it seems everyone does these days, about the allocation and consumption of resources and the effect it’s having on the planet. But combined with the history of child labor and the repression of women (or indeed anyone who wasn’t a land-owning nobleman), the end of the history of the home sinks slowly into the ground under the weight of human misery.
I was also expecting what Bryson discussed to be more firmly linked to the idea of the home, its rooms, and contents. Often his chapters start off well grounded, then seem to meander to whatever else Bryson wanted to discuss at the time. This book could almost be an accumulation of what Bryson learned in researching for his other books, but couldn’t justifiably put into any of them. A short, scattered history of human history, not so much of the home itself. Bryson At Home: He Shouldn’t Have Been Left Unattended. Seen that way, I quite enjoyed it.