HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

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

by Bill Bryson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bill Bryson's Travels (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,2441281,479 (3.66)96
Travel. Nonfiction. HTML:

In an ageing Chevrolet Chevette, he drove nearly 14,000 miles through 38 states to compile this hilarious and perceptive state-of-the-nation report on small-town America.

From the Deep South to the Wild West, from Elvis' birthplace through to Custer's Last Stand, Bryson
visits places he re-named Dullard, Coma, and Doldrum (so the residents don't sue or come after him with baseball bats). But his hopes of finding the American dream end in a nightmare of greed, ignorance, and pollution. This is a wickedly witty and savagely funny assessment of a country lost to itself, and to him.

Travel through small-town America with Kerry Shale's popular BBC Radio 4 reading of Bill Bryson's comic travelogue.

.
… (more)
  1. 20
    Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (John_Vaughan)
  2. 10
    American Gods {original} by Neil Gaiman (rockhopper_penguin)
    rockhopper_penguin: I read these two books one after another. It wasn't a deliberate decision, but the two did seem to work well together. The books visit a few of the same places, and it's interesting to note how differently they are portrayed in each.
  3. 10
    Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time by Michael Perry (bnbookgirl)
  4. 00
    The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner (Othemts)
  5. 00
    If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska by Heather Lende (bnbookgirl)
    bnbookgirl: most enjoyable
  6. 00
    The Small Town in American Literature by David M. Cook (RedEyedNerd)
    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.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 96 mentions

English (122)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
I wanted to love this. I wanted to be cool and adore Bryson like the rest of the world. But in this book, at least, I found him to be snobbish and snarky and small minded and in a few cases downright mean. Didn't like this at all. ( )
  Kim.Sasso | Aug 27, 2023 |
Fun to read.
  kevindern | Apr 27, 2023 |
I had a hard time getting through this book. Maybe I was disappointed after the blurb on the cover told me it was the book Steinbeck would have written if he'd travelled with Letterman instead of Charley. Puh-leese. Bryson seems to mostly loathe his native land, and I'm not sure why he bothered to take this heartless journey. A big disappointment. ( )
  CarolHicksCase | Mar 12, 2023 |
"I mused for a few moments on the question of which was worse, to lead a life so boring that you are easily enchanted, or a life so full of stimulus that you are easily bored."

In September of 1987, shortly after the death of his father and having lived in England for ten years with his wife and children, Bill Bryson got into the small red Chevette borrowed from his mother and set out on a road trip to re-discover America, echoing the epic holiday road trips of his childhood. Bryson wrote up his impressions in a journal and this opinionated travelogue is the result.

13,978 miles through thirty-eight states over two separate trips, one in the autumn and one in the spring, make up the sum of his excursions. Small towns are the focus, as Bryson searches for the fantasy backdrop of the Hollywood movies of his childhood. He is rather predictably regularly disappointed, and vents his chagrin freely. There are plenty of good experiences, too, but these rather pale into insignificance when seen alongside his constant complaints. The book does however, end on an positive note because although Bryson fails to find his utopia he does admit that there are indeed places in America where life is good.

I found this an interesting book, it reveals as much about about the author as it does his native land, a few parts made me smile but in the end these failed to outweigh his constant carping and ultimately the book failed to really grip me. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Dec 19, 2022 |
Another Bill Bryson classic! ( )
  thewestwing | Aug 12, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bryson, Billprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schalekamp, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To my father
First words
I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.
Quotations
For one giddy careless moment, I was almost serene myself. It was a strange sensation, and it soon passed.
"I don't know, dear," my mother would answer mildly. My mother only ever said two things. She said, "I don't know, dear." And she said, "Can I get you a sandwich, honey?" Occasionally on our trips she would volunteer other pieces of intelligence like "Should that dashboard light be glowing like that, dear?" or "I think you hit that dog/man/blind person back there, honey," but mostly she kept quiet.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Travel. Nonfiction. HTML:

In an ageing Chevrolet Chevette, he drove nearly 14,000 miles through 38 states to compile this hilarious and perceptive state-of-the-nation report on small-town America.

From the Deep South to the Wild West, from Elvis' birthplace through to Custer's Last Stand, Bryson
visits places he re-named Dullard, Coma, and Doldrum (so the residents don't sue or come after him with baseball bats). But his hopes of finding the American dream end in a nightmare of greed, ignorance, and pollution. This is a wickedly witty and savagely funny assessment of a country lost to itself, and to him.

Travel through small-town America with Kerry Shale's popular BBC Radio 4 reading of Bill Bryson's comic travelogue.

.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
he drives through the states,
acts miserable,
eating junk and talking shit.

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.66)
0.5 4
1 28
1.5 11
2 85
2.5 23
3 345
3.5 97
4 519
4.5 26
5 244

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 195,094,693 books! | Top bar: Always visible