Ciara’s review of The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Finally! I meet someone else who doesn't like Bill Bryson. I read "A Walk in the Woods" about the Appalachian Trail and disliked it so much, because of his ill-informed but highly opiniated and shallow view of mountains, ecosystems, people that I've never read anything else of his. But everybody LOVES "A Walk in the Woods" and he's revered as a great travel writer! Not to mention William Least Heat Moon's "Blue Highways" and how condescending and dismissive he was of all the people he met in small town America!

message 2: by Ciara (new)

Ciara Thanks Barbara! I thought I was delusional not to like him too.

message 3: by Lorenzo (new)

Lorenzo Pilla Me too. Bryson is an annoying fat-ass who should go back to wherever he now comes from! This book is so cynically condescending that even a left-wing, elitist, latte drinking, former expat like me wants to kick him squarely in the ass and send him right back to whichever enlightened European country he feels is worthy of him. Jeez, and the rest of my book club thought he was funny??!! What are they smoking?

message 4: by Leftbanker (new)

Leftbanker I have to join in on the Bryson virtual lynching. I just can't understand how anyone finds him funny. Why does he even bother to travel? He seems to depise coming across anything unfamiliar. I pretty much slammed him in my review and I give almost everything 5 stars.

message 5: by Yanbing (new)

Yanbing Last time I checked, which is 2 seconds ago, he did not even mention Pittsburg or Charlotte. Are you reading a different book?

I think most people who could not stand the book seem to have missed the point that apart from being a travelog it is also meant as a standup comedy. Like all comedians the author is wearing a persona, and he is making as much fun of himself as he is of everyone else. His snide comments are often satire and self-mockery at the same time. The fat white male who is afraid to stop in an unfamiliar black neighborhood is not just Bill Bryson, but also you and me, only we don't want to admit (or at least don't feel comfortable talking about) it.

Finally, is one allowed to write a travel book that does not praise the places he visits, all the time?

message 6: by Jozef (new)

Jozef Nakielski I'd agree with that Yanbing

message 7: by D.A. (new)

D.A. Cairns Massive overreaction Ciara, but I agree that most of his commentary is negative and nasty. It is very well written though.

message 8: by Stefan (new)

Stefan Martiyan What does Bryson's weight have to do w/anything? I only ask b/c it's mentioned in the original post and then in a few "hate mail" type responses too. Does stating his race and weight at the beginning of your argument help validate your dislike for the author's own personal perspective or are you just adding to the stereotype that fat white guys are not able to "get off their ass" and smell the roses? He's a cynic and he's also very funny. I would presume that anyone who can't see the lighthearted humor in Bryson's books doesn't really have a good sense of humor.

message 9: by Jozef (new)

Jozef Nakielski I'm not sure, because whilst pointing out the facts that he is white and is fat, is cynical, is a guy and is travelling America isn't racist, because they are facts, a lot of criticism about the books racist over tones is included.
I did notice that there seems to be a lot of references to race and colour and to be honest it did make me feel slightly uneasy. It felt borderline of humour. It wasn't good.

message 10: by Tim (new)

Tim Rise If I'm reading this review correctly, is it okay for someone to be bigoted and racist if he's skinny?

message 11: by Antonia (new)

Antonia Ok, so if you stay in motels, drink beer, eat candy bars and watch TV at the same time, just like Bill Bryson...I would bet you're not that fit.

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