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

The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson
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Jul 03, 2008

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bookshelves: biography-memoir, travel
Read in September, 2008

The quote on the cover of this book is by New York magazine and says, "The kind of book Steinbeck might have written if he'd traveled with David Letterman instead of Charlie the Poodle."

Thus proving my theory that any and every situation can be improved by the presence of a dog.

As others have mentioned, Bryson tends to be fairly degrading towards minorities in this book, depending on the situation. HOWEVER, throughout this book, Bryson is degrading towards everything... all people, white, black, male, female, fat, thin, child, adult. So it's a bit fanatical to flat out say that he is racist - he just doesn't like anyone (at least in this book). All places, too, whether it be in a city or suburbs or countryside. I've been to most of the places he talks about and was really surprised to read him talking about, for example, how a particular stretch of highway was boring and/or ugly. I remember some of these areas as amazingly beautiful. Sure, he wrote the book twenty years ago but many of these areas are old wood forests and deserts that would have been the same twenty years ago, if not more beautiful because now there's more of a chance that places are being overpopulated and modernized.

Bryson is always amusing and witty and this balances the book out a bit but not enough to make me recommend it to anyone.
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