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I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on…

I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years… (1999)

by Bill Bryson

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Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Bill Bryson is one of the funniest and most erudite writers going around, so obviously I grabbed "Notes From a Big Country" (as it was called then) as soon as I saw it. A series of amusing essays written upon his return to the US following some decades in the UK but it obvious that they were originally published elsewhere and there was no great central thread holding everything together.

Still, a disjointed Bryson is far better than most travel writers in top form. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Mar 6, 2019 |
Mr. Bryson gives the reader a variety of short vignettes (70+) based on his coming back to America after 20 years in Great Britain. Interesting, humorous, and with a bit of cut at times. Worth the read, but not of the caliber of some of his other works. ( )
  addunn3 | Oct 23, 2018 |
Love Bill Bryson! ( )
  MegPerry2 | Oct 17, 2018 |
An entertaining series of two to four page essays written by one of the most amusing authors. The book is lighthearted and witty, a brainless, sometimes cynical, view of America. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
I like Bryson. He is a soothing and funny bedtime read.
However, it was really distracting to read "oriental person". Spent the rest of the evening not paying attention to the material but wondering about the editor, and if people Bryson's age all say that, and how it happens that generations get so out of step. We are now all strangers to the nation Bryson describes now that so much time has passed. Whatever you can't accomplish with geography, you might try with time. ( )
  rosechimera | Mar 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
You can be a Bryson fan -- and I am, really -- and still think that these particular columns might best have been left to their original foreign audience. People who have lived in the United States more recently than the mid-1970's have already recovered from their astonishment that there is a breakfast cereal called Count Chocula.
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To Cynthia, David, Felicity, Catherine, and Sam
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I once joked in a book that there are three things you can't do in life.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Published in Britain as "Notes from a Big Country"
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 076790382X, Paperback)

In the world of contemporary travel writing, Bill Bryson, the bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods, often emerges as a major contender for King of Crankiness. Granted, he complains well and humorously, but between every line of his travel books you can almost hear the tinny echo: "I wanna go home, I miss my wife."

Happily, I'm a Stranger Here Myself unleashes a new Bryson, more contemplative and less likely to toss daggers. After two decades in England, he's relocated to Hanover, New Hampshire. In this collection (drawn from dispatches for London's Night & Day magazine), he's writing from home, in close proximity to wife and family. We find a happy marriage between humor and reflection as he assesses life both in New England and in the contemporary United States. With the telescopic perspective of one who's stepped out of the American mainstream and come back after 20 years, Bryson aptly holds the mirror up to U.S. culture, capturing its absurdities--such as hotlines for dental floss, the cult of the lawsuit, and strange American injuries such as those sustained from pillows and beds. "In the time it takes you to read this," he writes, "four of my fellow citizens will somehow manage to be wounded by their bedding."

The book also reflects the sweet side of small-town USA, with columns about post-office parties, dining at diners, and Thanksgiving--when the only goal is to "get your stomach into the approximate shape of a beach ball" and be grateful. And grateful we are that the previously peripatetic Bryson has returned to the U.S., turning his eye to this land--while living at home and near his wife. Under her benevolent influence, he entertains through thoughtful insights, not sarcastic stabs. --Melissa Rossi

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:20 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

This is a hysterically funny tour of America's most outrageous absurdities from a master humorist. Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are his hallmark, Bryson, who lived 20 years abroad, proves that there's truly no place like home, especially if it's in America.… (more)

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