Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“Starts out amusing but gets increasingly repetitive and sarcastically judgemental. The whole book can be summarized thusly: small towns are filled with dumpy and stupid people. Tourist attractions are always over-priced (though Bryson always seems to pay, hmmm) and always filled with stupid dupes...”see full review » see other reviews »
Bill Bryson, after having moved from the U.S. to England and living there for a number of years, came back to the States and took a road trip through several “small towns”.
I liked it. I am adding in an extra ¼ star for the amazing narrator of the BBC Audio, Kerry Shale. He spoke very quickly, but that seemed to fit the pace of the book itself. In fact, the audio was so short, I had to double check whether or not what I was listening to was abridged (but Overdrive says it was not)! The narrator was also very good at voices and accents. It's not non-stop laughter (but it never it for me, with Bill Bryson), but there were enough funny parts to keep me happy. I do have to giggle a little bit at what he considers a “small” town, though, having grown up in one (in Canada) myself - one that is pretty small itself, but there are plenty of even smaller ones around. I guess that's relative. ”
“What a disappointing book to read especially on Patriot Day. I haven't read such venom about America since I read Charles Dickens' account of his tour here. Wow! How sad Bill Bryson. Perhaps you thought you were being witty and amusing, but, this book was mean spirited and bigotted. You were definetly playing up to another country by putting the one you were born in down. Very harsh and unkind. ”ShirleyCantrell-Jones wrote this review Wednesday, September 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bryson's travels across the USA during 1989 make for interesting, if somewhat out of date, reading. He is by turns very grumpy and delighted by what he finds in late 80s America.”Gail S wrote this review Thursday, May 23, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Read this one out loud to my wife, but not as funny as "A Walk in the Woods."”MF McGarry wrote this review Wednesday, April 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really enjoy Bryson, but this one was just a hint too cynical, even for me. He also really focused on every negative stereotype of the south without identifying much of the good (yes, I'm a southerner, and yes, I know just how messed up the south is, but it is not without at least a few redeeming qualities.) The most frustrating part of the book for me, though, was when he was in a super-small town, he'd complain about how empty it was, and when he was in a touristy area, he'd complain about how crowded it was. All that said, Bryson really is a wonderful writer, and even if I don't always agree with his observations, I always enjoy his wit, his adventures and his approach to experiencing life. I would recommend this book, but A Walk in the Woods and In a Sunburned Country would easily trump this one if you are new to Bryson.”kadair wrote this review Thursday, April 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Contrary to some other opinions, I did not find this book to be a bashing of small-town America, as there were plenty of towns/scenes he found to be "delightful", "charming", or "incredibly beautiful". Bryson is honest (and hilarious) in his observations and experiences, and I'm happy to tag along wherever he goes. Loved the book! ”Sherry A wrote this review Monday, March 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“As an adult, a man sets off to revisit a lot of sites he visited as a kid with his family. Fun to picture. True story and very interesting as he travels through 38 states and revisits childhood memories.
I will say that my only criticism is that he's barely a fan of any place he goes. He wants to find the perfect place that he's envisioned and keeps coming up empty.
I guess this is why he moved to another country, though you do see his fondness rebuild and imagine that he does move back some day.
In some ways he reminds me of Jim Gaffigan's humor and I definitely say that as a compliment.
“Bill Bryson's work resonates with every new soul to the land known as the USA.”Rocky wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Subjected to more bouts of severe tear inducing laughter with this work. Very wodehousian in it's rendering. Very, very funny with extreme laughter induced in almost every page.”danoomistmatiste wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No