After all that I have read by Bill Bryson, I have come to believe that the man can write just about anything and make it funny. He can. That is almost an undisputed fact now, where I am concerned. You read any of his books and you will believe in what I say.
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This latest addition to the rapidly growing corpus of Bryson's work in fact contains nothing new: it is a collection of his weekly columns, written between October and May for the Mail on Sunday. But unlike some of his travel books, these essays are not only hilarious but also insightful and informative.
Subject matter ranges from the private emotional outpourings about the loss of his eldest son to a dollar-munching university and rants about design flaws in his computer keyboard to the public why American policy regarding drug offenders is stupid.
One reason why this material is so appealing to a British audience is that Bryson knows exactly our prejudices regarding the USA and delights in confirming them. Take lawyers for example: I have just learned from this book that the USA has more lawyers than the rest of the world put together, and that Americans file 90 million lawsuits each year.
Then there is the delightful fact that Americans never walk. Typically, we get the story through not only statistics eg that the average American walks only yards a day , but also unmistakable Brysonian anecdote inviting his neighbours to dinner and they drove. On the same theme, I have also learned that not one of the children in Bryson's son's high school except Bryson's son, of course knew the name of the British Prime Minister. It is similarly gratifying for a non-American to learn that a seminal moment in Bryson's life was arriving in Europe at the age of 21 and eating Belgian chocolate for the first time.
A slight snag is that the reader can never really know where genuine fact becomes ludicrous exaggeration. Did a woman really sue Walt Disney for the trauma her children suffered after they saw Disney characters taking off their costumes backstage? Did Bryson really do a book tour of American states, being interviewed along the way by people, none of whom had read his book, or indeed any book?
Was there really a note in his New York hotel room stating that "For your convenience a charge of Not that we should worry overmuch about journalistic detail in a book in which some chapters begin with apologies that Bryson can't write much because his wife has just cooked dinner. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
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Book Review: Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson
Notes from a Big Country , or as it was released in the United States, I'm a Stranger Here Myself , is a collection of articles written by Bill Bryson for The Mail on Sunday ' s Night and Day supplement during the s, published together first in Britain in [ citation needed ] and in paperback in The book discusses Bryson's views on relocating to Hanover, New Hampshire , after spending two decades in Britain. The American and British editions are not quite identical as, besides spelling differences, some explanatory information suitable for each intended audience is added or omitted within individual articles. This is freely acknowledged in the introduction. The book contains articles which Bryson wrote for the Mail between and From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Notes from a Big Country Front cover of first edition.
Notes From A Big Country
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? From perfectly formed potatoes to adulterous US presidents, and from domestic upsets to millennial fever, Bill Bryson just cannot resist airing his opinions and standing up for his mostly law-abiding fellow American citizens. But of course after twenty years in England, he is now back on the other side of the pond, and is obviously having a little trouble finding his true American self again. After vigorous exercise on the Appalachian Trail comes this edited collection of Bryson's most splenetic comic pieces culled from his humorous regular column in The Mail on Sunday. Read more Read less. Customers who viewed this item also viewed.
I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away
This latest addition to the rapidly growing corpus of Bryson's work in fact contains nothing new: it is a collection of his weekly columns, written between October and May for the Mail on Sunday. But unlike some of his travel books, these essays are not only hilarious but also insightful and informative. Subject matter ranges from the private emotional outpourings about the loss of his eldest son to a dollar-munching university and rants about design flaws in his computer keyboard to the public why American policy regarding drug offenders is stupid. One reason why this material is so appealing to a British audience is that Bryson knows exactly our prejudices regarding the USA and delights in confirming them. Take lawyers for example: I have just learned from this book that the USA has more lawyers than the rest of the world put together, and that Americans file 90 million lawsuits each year. Then there is the delightful fact that Americans never walk.