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

The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson
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's review
Apr 25, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: history-politics, humor, non-fiction, travel

So I understand that the U.S. is a large country and he can't visit everywhere. But it seems to me that his travels were not to see small town america as he said, but more to drive through some small towns in america as he made his way from one tourist attraction to another. I'm not impressed. Also, I've noticed a trend in his books (this one, A Walk in the Woods, and In a Sunburned Country, at least) where the first 2/3 to 3/4 is one trip that is fairly interesting and ends well, but he hasn't finished what he set out to do, so he has to take another trip. This make-up trip is the last 1/3 or 1/4 of the book and it's kind of a let-down from the rest of the story.

Bryson would do better, imho, to write about the second trip first, as a sort of warm-up introduction to the main story, and then present the larger and most interesting part afterward. Interestingly, Neither Here Nor There has a small trip at the first, and then the larger trip afterward.

Still, the book was interesting enough and could even excite someone's passion to visit less touristy places like, say, Iowa.

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