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Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Notes from a Small Island (1995)

by Bill Bryson

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Showing 1-5 of 159 (next | show all)
Bryson is laugh-out-loud funny as always. I was most surprised by the critique of modern urban planning, which was well-done and much-needed. I was least surprised by the ending, which lacked any great profundity and concluded pretty much as anyone would expect it to. ( )
  StefanieBrookTrout | Feb 4, 2017 |
A couple of decades after first setting foot in Great Britain and preparing to move his family to the U.S., Bill Bryson spent several weeks traveling from one end of the island to the other. Some places on his itinerary were familiar and dear, while he hadn't set foot in others since his arrival some twenty years earlier. First impressions and other memories intermingle with the contemporary travel narrative. Bryson's affection for his adopted country is apparent. The humor is as much at his own expense as at the expense of others. I felt a particular kinship with Bryson as another American who made a home in Great Britain as a young adult. Both natives of Great Britain and Anglophiles will find a lot to like here. ( )
  cbl_tn | Dec 31, 2016 |
LOVED. LOVED LOVED LOVED. Bryson writes in a super witty style, and incorporates the best of British and American humor. Must read if you love a laugh. ( )
  AllyWatkins | Aug 31, 2016 |
As with most Bill Bryson books, I found this book fascinating and entertaining. Most of the time it was mildly amusing, and at times I was laughing out loud and repeating passages to my husband. I have been to England and Wales a number of times, and had a son who went to school in Newcastle, so I had some familiarity with some of the towns he described. Bryson has a way of understanding the British - their eccentricities and strengths - that few of us in the USA have been exposed to, and I value his insights. I finished the book 2 days after England decided to leave the EU, and I believe the book helped me understand why, and I thought, 'Well, they might just make it work.' ( )
  peggybr | Jun 25, 2016 |
Bryson's books are really all about Bryson. In this book he'd spout one stereotype about the British people in one chapter, and in the next chapter he'd say Brits are so xxx" and the 'xxx' would be in direct contradiction to the previous assertion. Every time I laughed I felt guilty for doing so." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bryson, Billprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bauer, JerryPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Case, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLarty, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruschmeier, SigridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilde, Suzan deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My first sight of England was on a foggy March night in 1973 when I arrived on the midnight ferry from Calais.
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Bill Bryson, although living in Yorkshire, England, was born in America, and after deliberation with his wife, decided to move back there. Before departing, however, Bryson travelled one last time around England, from Dover to Liverpool to John O’Groats, keeping a record of his experiences. The result was Notes from a Small Island, a book filled with trains, tea-rooms, and (mostly) polite, amiable people.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380727501, Paperback)

Reacting to an itch common to Midwesterners since there's been a Midwest from which to escape, writer Bill Bryson moved from Iowa to Britain in 1973. Working for such places as Times of London, among others, he has lived quite happily there ever since. Now Bryson has decided his native country needs him--but first, he's going on a roundabout jaunt on the island he loves.

Britain fascinates Americans: it's familiar, yet alien; the same in some ways, yet so different. Bryson does an excellent job of showing his adopted home to a Yank audience, but you never get the feeling that Bryson is too much of an outsider to know the true nature of the country. Notes from a Small Island strikes a nice balance: the writing is American-silly with a British range of vocabulary. Bryson's marvelous ear is also in evidence: "... I noted the names of the little villages we passed through--Pinhead, West Stuttering, Bakelite, Ham Hocks, Sheepshanks ..." If you're an Anglophile, you'll devour Notes from a Small Island.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:01 -0400)

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Before returning to America after spending twenty years in Britain, the author decided to tour his second home and presents a look at England's quirks and its endearing qualities.

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