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Notes from a Small Island

A book released May 16, 1996 by Bill Bryson

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I've never laughed so hard at things I didn't understand before

  • Feb 27, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
Okay, I confess. I'm not one hundred percent finished reading this book yet. I can't help it; I'm savoring this thing. Bill Bryson doesn't disappoint in this recounting of his travels around England before he makes his return back to his home country of the United States. As someone who is impressed and intrigued by someone who can move to another country and live there successfully and happily, I eagerly read this book not just for the amusement factor (of which there was quite a bit) but also to learn more about this strange phenomenon.
















He jumps in and out of telling stories about his current travels with memories of when he first landed in England, but it's not confusing, rather endearing. Even though he often makes fun of certain elements to the country, you sense it's out of love for it, not mean spirited.

Even though I've never been there, and even though there were plenty of things in the book I had no knowledge of (like foods, customs lots of weird words) you don't mind one bit. Bryson usually explains it well enough, and he doesn't, you're laughing so hard you don't care. His brilliant descriptions of the landscape really transport you to this place as well.





















I also recommend viewing a few pictures of Bryson before you ever read his work, there's just something about seeing his actual image in your mind as you read about him bumbling through the countryside that really makes it hilarious.

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March 01, 2009
I love anything that indulges my affection for the British, those strange, whimsical creatures. Thanks for the pic of Bryson. For some reason I thought he was lot more trim, but he looks very reassuringly American to me!
 
February 27, 2009
I'm so surprised to hear you haven't had positive impressions with his work before! I can't promise you'll like this one then, because it's very much in the same style of his other work. Have you read "A Walk in the Woods"? I mean, this guy is one of my favorite writers of all time!
 
February 27, 2009
I've read a handful of Bryson's books so far and haven't really finished with a positive impression. However, I do love travel writing, and since I'm acquainted with his writing style, I just may pick up a copy of this one. Thanks for your review, and yes, seeing what Bryson looks like really does add to his writing, somehow!
 
1
More Notes from a Small Island reviews
review by . April 16, 2010
After a lengthy residence in England, journalist Bill Bryson and his family had reached the decision to move back to their native USA. Before leaving, Bryson pulled out all the stops and embarked on a freewheeling 7 week whirlwind tour of England, Wales and Scotland. Shank's pony, bus, train, and the occasional rented car were his only modes of transportation. Of course, as one would expect, the journal from that trip formed the core of a book about the English people, their habits and customs, …
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
I really wanted to like this book more, because the subject matter (the UK) is right up my alley. But I mostly found it to be dull.
About the reviewer
Adrienne Breaux ()
Ranked #796
Originally from Louisiana, after college my boyfriend and I decided to sell all of our possessions and travel thecountry in a van writing. Austin, Texas was our first stop---and we never left! True story.I … more
About this book

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Details

ISBN-10: 0688147259
ISBN-13: 978-0688147259
Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: William Morrow
Date Published: May 16, 1996
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