Notes from a Small Island
"Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain-which is to say, all of it."
After nearly two decades spent on British soil, Bill Bryson-bestsellingauthor of The Mother Tongue and Made in America-decided to returnto the United States. ("I had recently read," Bryson writes, "that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abduct...more
Sometimes I just don’t like Bill Bryson as a man. There’s a smattering of things he writes that are cruel, crass, and otherwise makes him unappealing to me, and he sure drinks a lot of beer, but the nasty material...more
There are snippets of great humour and insight (“a young man with more on his mind than in it”; “carpet with the sort of pattern you get when you rub your eyes too hard”; in Liverpool, “They were having a festival of litter... citizens had taken time off from their busy schedules to add crisp packets, empty cigarette boxes and carrier bags to the otherwise bland and...more
Also, this was introduction to Bryson and I was enchanted with his witty and slightly snarky prose that teach and amuse simultaneously!
A favorite moment: hiking in a rainstorm and reaching the summit to find a cadre of Brits huddled together eating soggy sandwic...more
I am done with Bryson's books. The main reason is that I don't like him. He is funny sometimes but most of the time he is rude, mean, makes fun of other people, does things that I don't quite like.
This was my second book and even this failed to give me much information. I picked this book up since England is on the top of my "must-visit" places from a long time. I have been imagining about this country ever since I picked my first Enid Blyton...more
"Notes From A Small Island" also reflects his desire to stroll through countrysides and insert some social commentary about the communities he encounters. But this time his location is Great Britain and it is a...more
And Bill Bryson's “Notes from a Small Island” must be recorded as the ultimate comfort re-read for an expat Brit; providing on every page diversions that ar...more
Narrator: Bill Bryson
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio, 1999
Length: 6 hours (abridged)
After nearly 2 decades in Britain, Bill Bryson, the acclaimed author of such best sellers as The Mother Tongue, Made in America, and A Walk in the Woods, decided it was time to move back to the United States for a while. This was partly to let his wife and kids experience life in Bryson's homeland - and partly because he had read that 3.7 million Americans beli...more
Having spent a fair amount of time in London, perhaps it spoke to me more deeply then someone not as familiar with the culture, but it is one of the few books I can recall that made me laugh out loud.
Bryson is adept and cle...more
I would recommend this book for anyone who has lived in England, as many of the references in the book would escape someone who has not spent much time there. However, I was just never pulled in by his narrative.
I felt like Bryson writes with a perennial smirk on his face, laughing at his own cleverness as he pens various turns of the phrase. But a few funny...more
Bryson has writt...more
Like several of Bryson's books in the library, this is a travel book written by him in anticipation of his moving back to the U.S. (where he grew up) from Great Britain (where he had lived for about twenty years with his British wife). (You've got to wonder ab...more
I think Bill Bryson is a sharp and witty observor of human beings.
...and Bryson went to A LOT of them...after a while,there's so many similar stories of tearooms,B&Bs,small shops and train stations,you can forget exactly which town youre reading about!...
Sometimes Bryson can be hilarious and insightful,sometimes a total snob...and he seems...more
My first attempt at Travel Writing and deeply successful. Straightaway, I want to read more and am tempted by the Kingdom by the Sea, which this book constantly references. Although I fear they may be too similar.
So this book is written by a kind of outsider - he is American but has lived here for 20 years. He travels most of the country by train, spendi...more
I think what I like most about his travel books is that when he travels with a companion he's at his funniest. Alternatively, when he tells me interesting anecdotes and facts about the place he's travelling through, it can also keep me...more
Nach fast zwanzig Jahren in England will Reise-Autor Bill Bryson mit seiner Familie in sein Heimatland, die USA, zurückziehen.
Doch bevor es so weit ist beschließt er noch einmal via Bus und Bahn durch das Land zu reisen, das ihn so fasziniert hatte, um sich gebührend von dem Land zu verabschieden, das so lange sein zu Hause gewesen ist.
Gesagt, getan und so begibt sich der reiselustige Bryson auf eine abenteuerliche Odyssee.
Im Zuge eines Universitätskurses musste ich mir ein Buch...more
And wow, I can really see the similarities in the way the two books are written. They're both travelogues of a sort, and they do criticise the respective islands (which, in this case is Britain - not that...more
That's what Bill did here. It's once around England and then back to America!
Don't get me wrong: Bill Bryson can be very funny at times. Absolutely.
I just think he needed a better situation to employ his wit. The humor comes through, but not often enough to make this book notable. I actually want to forget it quickly...more
It's always interesting hearing views about your own country. Having read A Short History of Nearly Everything, I'm no stranger to Bryson's charming descriptions, and this was no exception. I find his opinions solid and - mostly - flattering. It really made me feel like something bigger, and I owe him one for that. You probably noticed I only gave four star...more
Problem is, while he spends a fair bit of time telling you what he loves about Britain, a lot of it is stuff that existed 20 years ago (when he first moved there). So we g...more
|What's The Name o...: Who's the guy who writes humorous travel books? [s]||4||59||Dec 03, 2011 12:48pm|
In The Lost Continent, Bill Bryson's hilarious first t...more
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What a wondrous place this was - crazy as fuck, of course, but adorable to the tiniest degree. What other country, after all, could possibly have come up with place names like Tooting Bec and Farleigh Wallop, or a game like cricket that goes on for three days and never seems to start? Who else would think it not the least odd to make their judges wear little mops on their heads, compel the Speaker of the House of Commons to sit on something called the Woolsack, or take pride in a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy? ('Please Hardy, full on the lips, with just a bit of tongue.') What other nation in the world could possibly have given us William Shakespeare, pork pies, Christopher Wren, Windsor Great Park, the Open University, Gardners' Question Time and the chocolate digestive biscuit? None, of course.
How easily we lose sight of all this. What an enigma Britain will seem to historians when they look back on the second half of the twentieth century. Here is a country that fought and won a noble war, dismantled a mighty empire in a generally benign and enlightened way, created a far-seeing welfare state - in short, did nearly everything right - and then spent the rest of the century looking on itself as a chronic failure. The fact is that this is still the best place in the world for most things - to post a letter, go for a walk, watch television, buy a book, venture out for a drink, go to a museum, use the bank, get lost, seek help, or stand on a hillside and take in a view.
All of this came to me in the space of a lingering moment. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I like it here. I like it more than I can tell you.”