Stephen Fry in America
Each state is covered, some in more detail than others. I liked the fact that he focused on things that readers may not have known about each state rather than going for the obvious things. I do feel that some of the states were a little short-changed. I know that he had a timescale to stick to in getting around all the states, but for t...more
Partly it's because I like things covered in reasonable depth...and this did not happen on Fry's trip to America in 2007/8. Here he covers 50 states in about 26 weeks - therefore giving about 2 weeks to each state, and the book is full of snips. In Massachusetts there is a snip about whaling, then we are whipped off to meet the historical role-playing inmates of The Mayflower, and from there off to Salem, where we are given a snip about the...more
That all of these things are true definitely formed my opinion on this book. I enjoyed it immensely. It was a light, quick, little jaunt through the USA with a friendly and fond citizen of a country much like us, but still very much not us.
For the US reader, Stephen Fry is very, very British. His language, British English, wi...more
I was interested to see his impressions of the different states and the variety one encounters while traveling across this country. I knew that the impressions would likely be superficial simply because of the amount of time he had to travel and the sheer space that he had to traverse. However, even given that, I just don't think the book was very good.
Yes, he did skip...more
He approaches the US with an xenophilic infatuation, happily unencumbered by any deep knowledge of the country's history, people, or politics (past or present). He is aware of the Civil War and at least some of the civil rights struggles, but to him, racism is a thing of the past, bigots are non-existent or at least vanishingly small in numbers, and everyone and everything is peachy keen.
This could have been an interesting b...more
I say shallow because, obviously Mr. Fry and his TV crew were on a schedule to complete their trip within a certain time frame, and consequently certain states receive only a brief stop and a page of discussion. Yet, these...more
Yes, I picked it up and flipped to my home state to see where he went and if I'd been there. Of course, how egotistical we all are- sigh. No it wasn't MY hometown, or MY favorite area of the state- or that state. My typically narcissistic disappointment was quickly surpassed with utter fascination in reading about where Mr Fry DID go. I learned a lot from this book about places that were not so far away...more
I learnt quite a bit whilst reading this book - although I think I could probably name every state, and had a general idea of where each one was located, I previously couldn't tell you much about them. For instance, I never had any...more
It reminded me a lot of the Michael Palin travel books, except with a bit more Fry and a little less Python.
Everyone has a beef about how their state was treated by Mr. Fry, and I am no exception. Honestly, a dozen theories of how we came to be called Hoosiers? And then he dismisses all of them? I'm...more
Fry decided to try and understand the nature of Americans and visit the beautiful landscapes of our country by going state by state through the Union. What could have been a slap-dash travelogue instead turned out to be a very insigh...more
This was an enjoyable read, which only fueled my desire to see more of the US. As usual with books like this, I didn't want it to end as it felt like I was along for the journey too. If only there were more states!
I have to say, though, that this wasn't really what you'd call a 'real' journey, as in...more
The US really is 50 different countries - each state has its own bit of uniqueness. And yes, a few states were glossed over, but the US is also freakin' HUGE, man. As in GIGANTIC. As in VAST. As in most *Americans* will never see them all. That said, I do hope he comes back and does the bits he missed.
This being Stephen Fry, the book is wit...more
The book covers each and every state in the US which Fry personally visited on a whistlestop trip in his London taxi cab. Each chapter is full of information about each state, its own unique history and what there is to see. Having said that this book isn't a trourist guidebook at all and often overlooks famous landmarks. The point of the book is to find out...more
I've loved him since I first saw him in Blackadder. I love hearing him speak, and I love his turns of phrase, and if I could have anyone narrate my life story, it would be him.
So it didn't surprise me that I loved hearing his take on America. What did surprise me is how fair he was about the states he visited, and how positive he was about the people he met. This gentleman spent an afternoon on the campaign trail with Mitt Romney, and I can't recall a negative thing Fry...more
I probably would have enjoyed this book more were I not American. As it is, I already knew many of the facts presented in this book. Some were new, however, and Stephen Fry is utterly delightful, and his adventures interesting. Most of the charm of the book for me was actually found in Stephen Fry being funny, gently poking fun at things.
Each state has a few pages to itself. Some had about ten, and others only had two. A few states got almost no attention at all, probably due to the fast paced s...more
This must be so much better as a TV show. I often wondered, "Why am I reading this? I am American; I know all this boring unflattering shit." Fry isn't...more
I enjoy Fry's writing, and his — admittedly superficial and rushed — tour of the United Stated was entertaining and occasionally enlightening. He pretty much skipped Ohio and Idaho completely because of scheduling pressures. (I think he should feel honour bound to come back and down a proper tour of those two states.) And he makes some odd (in my view) choices or what to visit and what to see in the short time that he is in each state.
The book was interesting but not amazing. While it definitely gave a new insight on the US, especially from the perspective of a foreigner, Stephen Fry experienced such a variety of things that it's hard to say what perspective it could really give him on the US, except that it's a big count...more
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There is no living creature here that cannot, in its right season, be hunted or trapped. Deer, moose, bear, squirrel, partridge, beaver, otter, possum, raccoon, you name it, there's someone killing one right now. When I say hunted, I mean, of course, shot at with a high-velocity rifle. I have no particular brief for killing animals with dogs or falcons, but when I hear the word 'hunt' I think of something more than a man in a forage cap and tartan shirt armed with a powerful carbine. In America it is different. Hunting means 'man bonding with man, man bonding with son, man bonding with pickup truck, man bonding with wood cabin, man bonding with rifle, man bonding above all with plaid'.”