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The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town…
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The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America (original 1989; edition 1990)

by Bill Bryson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,85194953 (3.66)80
Member:atrautz
Title:The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America
Authors:Bill Bryson
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (1990), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Non-Fiction, Read
Rating:****
Tags:Memoir, Humor, Travel, America

Work details

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America by Bill Bryson (1989)

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    RedEyedNerd: 26 American works published between the 1870s and the 1960s. Poems and short stories in full length, novels as excerpts. They share the small town setting as an essential ingredient. Editor's headnotes on the small town aspect of every work.
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Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
I know a lot of people love Bill Bryson's books, but I found this one to be tedious. He seems to complain about everything he sees. Sure he's witty, but page after page of complaints gets tiresome fast.
  homeschoolmimzi | Nov 28, 2016 |
I don’t know whether people from small town America are charmed or insulted by Bill Bryson’s Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America, but for me this was a humorous and light-hearted look at rural America. Both his snide comments and outright zingers were dangerously close to “going to far” but at the same time there was always a grain of recognizable truth in his comments. Although his observations seemed neither terribly original or outstandingly witty, they reminded me of things my own snarky family would say to amuse each other.

What this book did do was fire me up, got me ready to grab a travelling companion and hit the roads for my own exploration of small town America. Road trips have long been my preferred mode of vacationing, I enjoy the “getting there” better than actually “being there” so this book appealed to me on that level. I kept an American road map close by during the reading which helped me visualize where he was and how he got there. I totally agree with his disdain towards the large interstate freeways, as I too, prefer to travel the scenic byways and smaller highways.

To me there is a magic to be found on the open roads and The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America captured this feeling perfectly. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Nov 16, 2016 |
Bill Bryson comes home from England to see his mother. He borrows his mother's car to travel around the country visiting 38 states. He isn't shy about expressing his opinions on different states and different towns or cities. He has a good sense of humor but sometimes seems a bit hard. A good light read.
  taurus27 | Sep 25, 2016 |
Author is like a snarky Garrison Keillor, and brings a very entertaining view to his road trip around the country in search of true small town flavor. I only gave three stars though, because the final segment seems rushed. The early chapters are well written and the travel anecdotes are hilarious, but by the end of the book he is just blowing through towns and describing terrible food and lousy service without any attempt at redeeming features. For some reason he skipped 10 states - it seems like he could have spent fewer pages complaining about miles of cornfields in the Midwest and made time to fit in a bit of everywhere. ( )
  Darth-Heather | Jun 21, 2016 |
Reading this was like eating the Tootsie Rolls because all the good chocolate from the Halloween candy is gone. I want to read more like [b:A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail|9791|A Walk in the Woods Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail|Bill Bryson|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1388189974s/9791.jpg|613469], but I'm going to have to try other authors. I have had more than enough of Bryson. I'm just glad I didn't actually go on these trips with that man. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bill Brysonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schalekamp, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I come from Des Moines.
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Haiku summary
he drives through the states,
acts miserable,
eating junk and talking shit.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060920084, Paperback)

A travelogue by Bill Bryson is as close to a sure thing as funny books get. The Lost Continent is no exception. Following an urge to rediscover his youth (he should know better), the author leaves his native Des Moines, Iowa, in a journey that takes him across 38 states. Lucky for us, he brought a notebook.

With a razor wit and a kind heart, Bryson serves up a colorful tale of boredom, kitsch, and beauty when you least expect it. Gentler elements aside, The Lost Continent is an amusing book. Here's Bryson on the women of his native state: "I will say this, however--and it's a strange, strange thing--the teenaged daughters of these fat women are always utterly delectable ... I don't know what it is that happens to them, but it must be awful to marry one of those nubile cuties knowing that there is a time bomb ticking away in her that will at some unknown date make her bloat out into something huge and grotesque, presumably all of a sudden and without much notice, like a self-inflating raft from which the pin has been yanked."

Yes, Bill, but be honest: what do you really think?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:34 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

When a native of Iowa returns from England to wander across America's heartland in search of the perfect small town, the result is a string of hilarious anecdotes and biting social commentary

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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