Rachel's Reviews > I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away

I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson
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's review
Sep 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: funny, travel, non-fiction

OK, I read this book on a plane back to Poland after a 3 1/2 week visit back to my hometown in the United States. So I was probably a perfect audience for this particular brand of humor...that is, the hilarity you can find in your own culture if you look at it with the fresh eyes of someone who is now accustomed to a very different life. Some of the laughter comes from anger. It really can set your teeth on edge to see your home country going down a path that you feel is destructive when the solutions appear so simple from the outside, so you point and laugh instead of being overcome with distress. Some of it comes from the pure, undiminished joy of biting into a Reese's peanut butter cup (or whatever your equivalent is) after a long period of denial. Some of it comes from making an idiot of yourself when you realize that you no longer understand how to appropriately conduct yourself among your own people. Plus, Bill Bryson is actually really funny. I almost hate to admit it, because he's got such mass appeal, and I'd like to be able to be all smart and above it. But I'm not. This book is hilarious. And occasionally heart-breakingly true. And interesting. But mostly hilarious.

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