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I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away (1998)

by Bill Bryson

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7,3551161,260 (3.76)126
A classic from the New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and The Body. After living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and four children (he had read somewhere that nearly 3 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens--as he later put it, "it was clear my people needed me"). They were greeted by a new and improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, twenty-four-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item. Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I'm a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man's attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but it is also an extended if at times bemused love letter to the homeland he has returned to after twenty years away.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
Amusing, entertaining, decent. ( )
  wsampson13 | Mar 2, 2024 |
Not Bill's best. Too whiney. ( )
  BBrookes | Dec 5, 2023 |
"Just" a selection of newspaper articles. Which is nice if yu're looking for a lot of short diversions. Not so much if you've been hoping for a connected story like the other random Bryson book I picked up and read before.

Entertaining, but not a story and definitely not, as a blurb says, "one of his best books". ( )
  cwebb | Oct 23, 2023 |
At first each entry was fun and funny to me, and as it went along (that is to say, the longer he was back in the USA) they were less funny and more complaining. This book was my breakfast read, which meant I only read one or two entries a day and ended up having to renew the book twice. Then I stopped reading it in the mornings because it was no longer starting my day with a smile, and when it came time to renew it again I just didn't bother. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
These newspaper articles are more hit than miss and as you would expect funny glimpses into American life. At times laugh out loud and always interesting. ( )
  CarolKub | Jul 27, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (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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A classic from the New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and The Body. After living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and four children (he had read somewhere that nearly 3 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens--as he later put it, "it was clear my people needed me"). They were greeted by a new and improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, twenty-four-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item. Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I'm a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man's attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but it is also an extended if at times bemused love letter to the homeland he has returned to after twenty years away.

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