I was born in England 1943 and found this book so funny. So much in England has not changed. I remember being charged for extra sugar and cream for your coffee.It has always been so expensive to live there and my Dad would always be yelling at us to turn out the lights when we left a room It was good training and I still do it now and I never leave the water running when I clean my teeth. There was no central heating and we would all sit around one coal fire and if someone forgot to close the door...everyone would scream "Close the door". Sitting so close to the fire our legs would get a red mottled look. I remember suffering from Chilblanes think thats how you spell it, I am sure it was due to the damp and often our shoes would have holes in them. If you were lucky enough to have a bathroom there would be ice on the inside window in the winter. I am sure everyone was not as poor as I grew up but it made us tough and the way things are going here we all maybe swiching off lights and being careful about running hot water. They were hard times but great times maybe this is why the Brits have such a good sense of humour.
If you like this book (and Bryson is very funny) try I'm a Stranger Here Myself. It 's about how new residents of the US find us. I could not stop giggling.
I read this book in 2001. I was in an English class that was going on a study tour to England. Someone else did it as a book report. I soon got an entire stack of his books. This book made me want to live in England for a while.
wow! yet to read a Bryson that did not reinforce my belief that he is the best funniest writer alive, notes, sundried, walk, thunderbolt and a couple more, all great!!!!!!
I hate to disagree with deltasky, but I believe Britain is very much changed from the early-mid 90's when I believe Bill Bryson was researching the book. After goodness knows how many years of Conservative government and coming straight out of a recession, the nation was pretty bleak. I'd love Bryson to repeat his trip and describe what has changed - has being richer made us happier? How have the Blair years shaped the nation? - Is the time right for Further Notes from a Small Island?