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Reacting to an itch common to Midwesterners since there's been a Midwest from which to escape, writer Bill Bryson moved from Iowa to Britain in 1973. Working for such places as Times of London, among others, he has lived quite happily there ever since. Now Bryson has decided his native country needs him--but first, he's going on a roundabout jaunt on the island he loves.
Britain fascinates Americans: it's familiar, yet alien; the same in some ways, yet so different. Bryson does an excellent job of showing his adopted home to a Yank audience, but you never get the feeling that Bryson is too much of an outsider to know the true nature of the country. Notes from a Small Island strikes a nice balance: the writing is American-silly with a British range of vocabulary. Bryson's marvelous ear is also in evidence: "... I noted the names of the little villages we passed through--Pinhead, West Stuttering, Bakelite, Ham Hocks, Sheepshanks ..." If you're an Anglophile, you'll devour Notes from a Small Island. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Before his return to the U.S. after a 20-year residence in England, journalist Bryson (Made in America) embarked on a farewell tour of his adopted homeland. His trenchant, witty and detailed observations of life in a variety of towns and villages will delight Anglophiles. Traveling only on public transportation and hiking whenever possible, Bryson wandered along the coast through Bournemouth and neighboring villages that reinforced his image of Britons as a people who rarely complain and are delighted by such small pleasures as a good tea. In Liverpool, the author's favorite English city, he visited the Merseyside Maritime Museum to experience its past as a great port. Interweaving descriptions of landscapes and everyday encounters with shopkeepers, pub customers and fellow travelers, Bryson shares what he loves best about the idiosyncrasies of everyday English life in this immensely entertaining travel memoir. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I've been to most of Britain many times and could relate immediately to Bryson's very colourful descriptions and stories. Read morePublished 24 days ago by RW
as expected. Very good book; especially, for someone travelling to UK. This is not a guide; but it gives an interesting background.Published 5 months ago by MD
Mr. Bryson nails what England is like exactly and perfectly. I myself have had similarly bewildering encounters with the english when traveling there, and I was born and raised... Read morePublished 16 months ago by idonotusescreennames
While I will say that Bryson's writing improved over the years, it's hard not to enjoy reading his perspective on the United States. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2013 by Dennis Myers
I have read this book a half dozen times or so. It is Bryson (almost) at his best. There is very little in the way of historical fact, or socio-economic observations here, rather,... Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2010 by C. J. Thompson
I usually enjoy brysons work but this book was painful to finish. very few interesting insights into the british. Read morePublished on March 28 2010 by Jason Certi
I saved reading this book for my lastest trip to England, and finished it on the plane home. Bryson gives a fantastic, tongue-in-cheek description of small town, and well, large... Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2005 by L Merryweather