Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
Bill Bryson Binge!
on July 11, 2014
Right. Well this book completely derailed my reading list for the summer. I was supposed to be catching up on Criminal Justice texts and memorizing terms from Barron's Law Dictionary... Instead, I purchased Notes from a Small Island and things went out of control from there. It is literally the first time in my life that reading a book made me laugh out loud and uncontrollably, to TEARS. This gem was highly recommended by English friends as a must-read before I make the move to the UK for my year of study abroad this fall. I obliged. Not even halfway through the book, I decided to order more of his books right away in order to have them ready when I finished with this one. That is how my Bill Bryson binge began. Currently I am on my third book (by order of what arrives in the mail first) called A Short History of Nearly Everything.
Bryson is merciless in his observations of British towns and the British in general, but it's all in the spirit of that endearingly cynical, self-deprecating, quintessential British humour. (see what I did there?!) His way of writing puts you at ease and it's like a cross between travel guide, government & history lesson and stand up comedy, as Bryson loves to go off on barely relevant and hilarious tangents. You never get the sense that he is trying too hard or being pretentious, either. A bonus is the glossary he provides in the back of the book for British words like "dual carriageway" and "naff."
The fact that it was recommended to me by English and Welsh friends is testament to the authenticity of Bryson's observations and his comedic genius. Seriously recommend this read if you're an Anglophile or just enjoy a good, fun read.