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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.
I would have rated this book even lower, except for one thing.
For Americans or travellers, you will find interesting bits of British culture, life and history that will make any visit much more fulfilling.
I have lived in England, returned to travel throughout it, and totally enjoyed Bill Bryson's book of his wanderings.
I like every other Bill Bryson book I've read, but this one was less funny, and more a catalogue of travel complaints.Published 6 days ago by wonder7
Bryson is hilarious as usual. He is cleverly outspoken in his travel stories.Published 1 month ago by janice mcclelland
A Grand Slam, if the four events are whining, bitching, cursing, and repeating. How much does he pay for book blurbs. Many years ago I enjoyed A Walk in the Woods. Read morePublished 1 month ago by pen
The narrative is of a one man's extended, nostalgic journey through parts of the British isles, using mainly public transport. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gosse Bote Molenaar
Bill Bryson is currently one of my favorite authors. Working my way through his entire body of work and chuckling all the way.Published 1 month ago by judy f harper
Another unique, interesting book about his adopted country in the Bill Bryson style.Published 1 month ago by Merielle