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

The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson
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's review
Dec 31, 08

Recommended for: No one I care about. Go read something else - life's too short.
Read in February, 2008

I was really excited to read this book, as I love observational memoir-style writing - especially when it deals with travel and cultural habits people keep with food. And at first I thought his observations were snarky, spot-on, and funny. But as the book wore on (like, about 25 pages or so in), I started to become appalled at how really shallow and mean he started to sound: everyone he encountered was disgusting, stupid, or fat - or all three - and the places he visited never measured up to the ideal he had envisioned. Perhaps his observations would ring true to someone who had just come here - if anything, he captures his disillusionment well. That said, however, his scopes of both exploration and expectation are ridiculously narrow. It all just got so tiresome; and while I performed a forced march to the end of the book, I can't say I felt enamoured with his writing or his perspective.
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D.A. Cairns I agree. I know it was supposed to be funny but it didn't make me laugh. Bryson comes across as the kind of guy I would rather not have a conversation with. It is very well written though. His descriptive language is evocative, and poignant, and it isn't all negative and nasty commentary.

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