Ian Catchpole'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
Feb 09, 2009

it was amazing

This was the first Bill Bryson book that I read back in 2000. It was particularly relevant to me since I was a newcomer to the USA having spent the first 30 plus years of my life in England. Bill Bryson had been away in England for 20 years and so had a unique perspective of American life when he returned. He could contrast it with England and also see the biggest changes when he compared it to the USA he left as a younger man. I suspect that when I eventually return to England (which I haven't done for 12 years now) I will be equally surprised. We just don't see those changes when they are continuous. I most strongly related to his descriptions of the frustration of asking for something in a store when you only know the words used in your home country - especially when they are brand names that become generic terms (like speckle = polyfilla; wall anchors = rawlplugs). Recommended for British/USA exiles.

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