Laura's Reviews > The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America

The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson
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Feb 18, 12

it was ok
bookshelves: essays, biography-autobiography-memoir, nonfiction
Read from February 11 to 18, 2012

This book was recommended on two different booklists so I finally found and bought a copy.

Bill Bryson is a clever writer. He has a dry, sardonic wit which kept me reading the book all the way through. Unfortunately, he doesn't really like people very much. He likes places but not people, especially not Americans. He reminds me of those kids in college who went through school making fun of the middle class and yearned to be where they really belonged, usually Paris. They were clever intellectuals but not nice people.

I enjoyed his descriptions of places and history. I did not enjoy the derision so pervasive throughout the first half of the book. By the second half of the book, he pulled back on the "wit" but he'd already lost me as a sympathetic audience.

Halfway through, I realized he writes in superlatives. He has a broad vocabulary which I appreciated. I'm curious about him now as an author but I don't know how I'd feel about his other books.

I may check out another one of his books because I do think he's a clever writer. Maybe it was just the topic but I don't think I'll finish the next book if his idea of wit is to put-people down.
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