Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

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"Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain-which is to say, all of it."

After nearly two decades spent on British soil, Bill Bryson - bestselling author of The Mother Tongue and Made in America-decided to return to the United States. ("I had recently read," Bryson writes, "that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another,so it was clear that my people needed me.") But before departing, he set out on a grand farewell tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home.

Veering from the ludicrous to the endearing and back again, Notes from a Small Island is a delightfully irreverent jaunt around the unparalleled floating nation that has produced zebra crossings, Shakespeare, Twiggie Winkie's Farm, and places with names like Farleigh Wallop and Titsey. The result is an uproarious social commentary that conveys the true glory of Britain, from the satiric pen of an unapologetic Anglophile.

Title : Notes from a Small Island
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0380727501
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 324 pages


Diane rated it ★★★★☆

July 26, 2016

This book combines several of my favorite things: travelogues, England, and the charm of Bill Bryson. It is the book version of comfort food. So you can understand why I instinctively reached for this audiobook on the the first day of my new job. I wanted something comforting. And humorous. And Bri...

Alissa rated it ★★☆☆☆

April 12, 2017

Bill Bryson likes hedgerows, yelling at people, the English language, complaining, pretending to be a hiker, the fifth Duke of Portland, W.J.C. Scott-Bentinck, and himself. He tries too hard to be clever, and although you're being introduced to some interesting mental pictures ("a mid-face snack...

Algernon rated it ★★★★★

May 31, 2016

Newsflash: I have a new entry into my Top Ten Authors (past and present) that I would like to invite to a night out at the pub for a session of heavy drinking and tall tales. Bill Bryson, with his sly humour and irreverent atitude towards tourism, is a strong contender for the top position right...

Cecily rated it ★★★☆☆

July 05, 2013

After 20 years in England, Bill Bryson decided to tour Britain in 1995 by public transport over ~6 weeks and write a book about it. HUMOUR There are snippets of great humour and insight (“a young man with more on his mind than in it”; “carpet with the sort of pattern you get when you rub your eyes...

Lisa rated it ★★★★☆

April 08, 2009

It took me forever to read this because I was constantly picking it up and putting it down, not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because it’s one of those books where it works to read it in this way, and I read so many other books during the times I took breaks from reading this book. Sometimes I...

Darwin8u rated it ★★★★☆

August 10, 2017

"One thing I have learned over the years is that your impressions of a place are necessarily, and often unshakably, colored by the route you take into it." - Bill Bryson, Notes from a Small Island It is really hard not to like Bill Bryson's travel books. Actually, it is hard not to like his dictio...

Paul rated it ★★★★☆

June 10, 2016

I wasn't sure how much I'd get out of reading a book about my home country written by an American... but it turned out to be a joy. I hadn't realised, until I read the book, that Bryson had lived in the UK for many years. It gives him a rather unusual perspective on the place and makes for intere...

Marti rated it ★☆☆☆☆

April 15, 2012

Ambling know-it-all wanders around the UK, complaining about architecture, getting drunk, finding delight in little, and generally having a hard time deciding where to eat (always Indian or Chinese in the end). It paints a pretty depressing picture of the UK, when I think his intention was the op...

·Karen· rated it ★★☆☆☆

January 31, 2013

Mr Bryson has an entertaining line of patter, a nice, wry humour and he works very very hard to endear himself with the reader. Look, I'm a regular guy from Iowa who sometimes gets really narked at owners of undisciplined dogs and thinks hedgerows are A Good Thing and cars aren't. But that doesn'...

Conal rated it ★★★☆☆

January 26, 2008

I happened upon this book by chance and read it because I enjoy Bill Bryson's writing style. His witty observations are not absent from this travelogue from his adopted home of the UK. The funny text and clever wording, however, do little to mask the fact that Bryson does not actually do very muc...

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