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What On Earth Happened? by Christopher Lloyd is 'The Complete Story of the Planet, Life & People from the Big Bang to the Present Day'. Needless to say that fitting 14.5 billion years of history into a single 400 page volume means that the primary aim of the book is to provide an overview into the key points of the world's history rather than detail on specific events or periods.
The chapters are arranged into a chronological order starting at the very beginning (The Big Bang) and ending with the present day and some brief speculation on the future of the planet. The periods are described by using a 24 hour clock as a scale. Although this frequently used metaphor is designed to make the often huge lengths of time more palatable it doesn't really work because under this scale humans only came into existence at 23:59:59 I.e. the last second of the day! Therefore, as most history does involve humans, over three quarters of the book are labelled as happening in the last second of the day.
What the book lacks in depth on any subject it makes up for in the breadth of events covered. Very few major happenings are omitted and the authors easy writing style ensure that it is a simple and enjoyable read. Plenty of illustrations, graphs and photos are included so that there is rarely a double page of solid text.
I think that this book is aimed at secondary school ages or those with a mild interest in history. Enough info is provided to allow that reader to decide if they would like to read further into a given period but any kind of history buff would need not read this book.
*This review is my own although I may post it elsewhere.