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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.
Another classic Bill Bryson. Clever, witty, and done with skill. His use and understanding of the English Language, his humourous style and ability to describe even the most... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Carole Titus
Beware the humor is lewd, rather crude and very negative. Not what I was looking for. Couldn't get past the first chapter. Bought our copy at a local used book self. Read morePublished 11 days ago by mom
This is my "must read every couple of years" book. I actually laugh out loud, at least once per chapter (if not every page). Read morePublished 15 days ago by Bekind Rewind
a pleasant travel agent that spawns the imagination of wonderlust.Published 16 days ago by Lord Jim
Reading this made me yearn to return to Britain and to even live there again. Bill Bryson has a true gift for humor and description. Read morePublished 25 days ago by N Anvar
I am an admitted Anglophile and was eager to get Bill Bryson's take on the culture as an American having lived in the UK. Read morePublished 1 month ago by SkepticalSupporter
The first two pages are wittily crafted. I gave up after page 49. I laughed twice in cases where he spent 1-2 pages setting up a joke then finally delivered a punchline. Read morePublished 1 month ago by T. Stilwell