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The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain Hardcover – January 19, 2016
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"Although he's now entering what he fondly calls his 'dotage,' the 64-year-old Bryson seems merely to have sharpened both his charms and his crotchets. As the title of The Road to Little Dribbling suggests, he remains devoted to Britain's eccentric place names as well as its eccentric pastimes."
—Alida Becker, The New York Times Book Review
"[Y]ou could hardly ask for a better guide to Great Britain than Bill Bryson. Bryson’s new book is in most ways a worthy successor and sequel to his classic Notes From A Small Island. Like its predecessor, The Road to Little Dribbling is a travel memoir, combining adventures and observations from his travels around the island nation with recounting of his life there, off and mostly on, over the last four decades. Bryson is such a good writer that even if you don’t especially go in for travel books, he makes reading this book worthwhile."
—Nancy Klingener, Miami Herald
"...Bryson’s capacity for wonder at the beauty of his adopted homeland seems to have only grown with time.... Britain is still his home four decades later, a period in which he went from lowly scribe at small-town British papers to best-selling travel writer. But he retains an outsider’s appreciation for a country that first struck him as 'wholly strange ... and yet somehow marvelous.”
—Griff Witte, Washington Post
“Such a pleasure to once again travel the lanes and walking paths of Britain in the company of Bill Bryson! He’s a little older now, and not necessarily wiser, but he’s as delightful and irascible a guide as anyone could ever wish to have, as he rediscovers this somewhat careworn land and finds it as endearing (mostly) as ever. It’s a rare book that will make me laugh out loud. This one did, over and over.”
—Erik Larson, author of Dead Wake and The Devil in the White City
"There’s a whole lot of “went to a charming little village named Bloke-on-Weed, had a look around, a cupof tea, and moved on” in Bryson’s most recent toddle around Britain. Writing 20 years after his bestselling Notes from a Small Island, Bryson concocts another trip through his homeland of 40 years bydetermining the longest distance one could travel in Britain in a straight line... This being Bryson, one chuckles every couple of pages, of course, saying, 'yup, that sounds about right,' to his curmudgeonly commentary on everything from excess traffic and litter to rude sales clerks. One also feels the thrum of wanderlust as Bryson encounters another gem of a town or pip of a pub. And therein lies the charm of armchair traveling with Bryson. He clearly adores his adopted country. There are no better views, finer hikes, more glorious castles, or statelier grounds than the ones he finds, and Bryson takes readers on a lark of a walk across this small island with megamagnetism."
—Booklist, starred review
"Fans should expect to chuckle, snort, snigger, grunt, laugh out loud and shake with recognition…a clotted cream and homemade jam scone of a treat."
"At its best as the history of a love affair, the very special relationship between Bryson and Britain. We remain lucky to have him."
—Matthew Engel, Financial Times
"Is it the funniest travel book I’ve read all year? Of course it is."
"We have a tradition in this country of literary teddy bears—John Betjeman and Alan Bennett among them—whose cutting critiques of the absurdities and hypocrisies of the British people are carried out with such wit and good humour that they become national treasures. Bill Bryson is American but is now firmly established in the British teddy bear pantheon... The fact that this wonderful writer can unerringly catalogue all our faults and is still happy to put up with us should make every British reader’s chest swell with pride."
—Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express
"The truly great thing about Bryson is that he really cares and is insanely curious... Reading his work is like going on holiday with the members of Monty Python."
—Chris Taylor, Mashable
"There were moments when I snorted out loud with laughter while reading this book in public... He can be as gloriously silly as ever."
—The London Times
"The observation, the wit, the geniality of Bryson’s inimitable words illuminate ever chapter."
—Terry Wogan, Irish Times
"Everybody loves Bill Bryson, don’t they? He’s clever, witty, entertaining, a great companion... his research is on show here, producing insight, wisdom and startling nuggets of information... Bill Bryson and his new book are the dog’s bollocks."
—Independent on Sunday
"Stuffed with eye-opening facts and statistics..... Bryson's charm and wit continue to float off the page....Recognising oneself is part of the pleasure of reading Bryson's mostly affable rants about Britain and Britishness."
"His millions of readers will probably enjoy this just as much as its predecessor."
"We go to him less for insights—though there are plenty of these—and more for the pleasure of his company. And he can be very funny indeed. Almost every page has a line worth quoting."
"At last, Bill Bryson has got back to what he does best—penning travel books that educate, inform and will have you laughing out loud... I was chuckling away by page four and soaking up his historic facts to impress my mates with. Sure to be a bestseller."
"Bryson has no equal. He combines the charm and humour of Michael Palin with the cantankerousness of Victor Meldrew and the result is a benign intolerance that makes for a gloriously funny read."
Top Customer Reviews
My first Bryson read was A Walk in the Woods, giddily passed around my workplace, and hurriedly followed by the prequel to The Road to Little Dribbling: Notes from a Small Island – the book that made Bill a celebrity in Britain and supposedly outsold more than any other travelogue. Subsequently, I was hooked and devoured most of Bryson’s other efforts. Some of those efforts (e.g. Shakespeare) are outstanding, but it was the travel narratives that left the deepest impression.
Bill Bryson introduced me to travel literature, meaning that prior to A Walk in the Woods, I didn’t know the category existed. In an interview, Bryson intimated he liked Paul Theroux (whose Kingdom by the Sea may have inspired Notes from a Small Island) and Redmond O’Hanlon, so I read their books and the authors they liked and discovered a rich genre populated by talented and erudite writers. Bill Bryson also introduced me to a unique style: fluid yet humourous, informative yet entertaining, charmingly complimentary yet devastatingly critical. Once a fan who eagerly anticipated Bill’s newest release, I eventually discovered other wordsmiths and gave his last two efforts a miss.Read more ›
This is rubbish. In fact, Bryson veers all over the south of Britain, going as far west as Cornwall and Wales and as far east as Norfolk and East Anglia, and showing remarkably little interest in venturing north. Two thirds of the way through the book and he's only made it to Birmingham. Scotland gets a mere 12 pages of the total 381 (Wales gets 15). So really, he should have been honest about the fact that when he says Britain, what he really means is England. There is a map at the front of the book showing all sorts of places in Britain: it bears zero resemblance to the places that he actually visits.
The other thing that emerges - and I suspect the real reason for the lower English focus - is that rather than being one long piece of travel, this is a group of day trips and overnight trips, which are broken up by family events and trips to the US and various other commitments. If this was to be the approach, I wish Bryson had taken a bit more care in the planning. So often he turns up somewhere, realises it's Sunday and the museums are closed, and then gives up and leaves again.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bill Bryson is, by most reviewers estimates, one of today’s pre-eminent travel writers. His whimsical narrative style makes for easy reading while his eye for the absurd... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Wilson Morcom
Bryson is a genius. He takes us on a walk in this book, that none of us really want to take and makes it a superb adventure. He is always educational and laugh out loud funny. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Patsy Crow King
I've read most of Bill Bryson's books and enjoyed them all, but this was in all a rather dull book. It has very little of his usually fascinating snippets of lesser known facts or... Read morePublished 2 days ago by LizzieB
Like other reviewers I enjoy Bill Bryson very much. Like other reviewers I found this book to be tedious and written by a grumpy old man. Read morePublished 4 days ago by E. Young
As an unabashed Bryson fan, and reader/owner of nearly everything he has written, I was very sorry to have read this book. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Roxann S.
Full disclosure: I gave up trying to get through this 73% (according to Kindle) of the way through.
Bryson begins by describing a plan to travel Britain along, roughly,... Read more
A charmless, extended screed by someone who has no clue or interest in life in Britain as it is actually lived by most British people. (And by the way, Britain? Read morePublished 6 days ago by A customer