Notes From A Big Country: Journey Into the American Dream

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Notes From A Big Country: Journey Into the American Dream

Notes From A Big Country: Journey Into the American Dream

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Bill Bryson, born in Iowa, lived in England for twenty years before returning to the U.S. with his family. This book is a compilation of humorous articles about America that Bryson wrote for a British publication. The book, published in 2000, is somewhat dated. Even taking this into account many articles have a snarky, annoying tone. This was disappointing as I usually like Bryson's books. urn:lcp:notesfrombigcoun0000bill:epub:8488e4f3-f362-4234-a5b7-bbbea2f0df36 Foldoutcount 0 Identifier notesfrombigcoun0000bill Identifier-ark ark:/13960/s2xtd2brjd4 Invoice 1652 Ocr tesseract 5.2.0-1-gc42a Ocr_detected_lang en Ocr_detected_lang_conf 1.0000 Ocr_detected_script Latin Ocr_detected_script_conf 1.0000 Ocr_module_version 0.0.17 Ocr_parameters -l eng Old_pallet IA-NS-2000688 Openlibrary_edition

If he finds things in general so irksome, and travel itself so trying (he often has shambolic mishaps on the way) one may glibly wonder, as Bryson's wife does near the end of this volume, why he is a travel writer. But for a certain generation (see also Paul Theroux) this misanthropic streak, and proneness to mishap, seems to be part of the job description: it did, after all, give more to write about. The shambling still does, though these days writers, like everyone else, are expected to be somewhat better mannered.

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The book contains articles which Bryson wrote for the Mail between 1996 and 1998. [1] He discusses a multitude of topics in the articles such as the death penalty, the war on drugs, gardening, commercials, book tours, [2] inefficiency, Thanksgiving, and air travel.

Aunque no sea un 5 estrellas, pues en comparación con otros libros que he leído éste se queda corto, lo cierto es que se lee con rapidez y no cansa en absoluto. Muchas cosas de las que cuenta son muy interesantes, y aunque alguna gente diga que no hace sino quejarse y quejarse, lo hace con tanta gracia que al final hubiese deseado que siguiese haciéndolo durante otros 78 artículos más. This is the first Bill Bryson book I have read, which, I am told, was a mistake. I know several people who consider Bryson one of their favorite authors and they all seem to agree that this book is not a good "ambassador" for the rest of his work. Favorite Chapters: What’s Cooking; Well, Doctor … (the one on injuries suffered by Americans); The Numbers Game; Tales of the North Woods; Inefficiency Report (about the FAA and FDA; Why No One Walks; The Best American Holiday; Your Tax Form Explained; At the Drive-In (mostly or only because it spurred me to recall the title and plot of the last movie I saw at a drive-in, many-many decades ago, “Raymie”); The Great Indoors; Your New Computer. Here's a fact for you. According to the latest "Abstract of the UnitedStates", every year more than 400,00 Americans suffer injuries involving beds,mattresses or pillows...That is more people than live in greater Coventry. That is almost 2,000 bed, mattress orpillow injuries a day. In the time it takes you to read this article, four Americans will somehow manage tobe wounded by their bedding.And so it goes for anything up to half an hour. My wife, who is more sophisticated than I, is not fazed by pretentious terminology. Her problem is trying to keep straight the more bewildering of options. She will listen carefully, then say: "I'm sorry, is it the squib that's pan-seared and presented on a bed of organic spoletto?"

Well, that's really reassuring to hear. Now maybe I am hypertouchy because I use the airport from time to time and have a particular interest in its ability to bring planes down in an approximately normal fashion, so I would rather like to know that the tower hasn't been bought by, say, the New England Roller Towel Company or Crash Services (Panama) Ltd., very least, that the Federal Aviation Ad ministration would have some idea of whom they were selling the tower to. Call me particular, but it seems to me that that's the sort of thing you ought to have on file somewhere. Is this one of those times when you would recommend listening to the audiobook instead of reading the print? This book is a collection of weekly columns penned by Bryson between 1996-98. Dated, right? Or is it? Let's see:First half of "Your Tax Form Explained". Brilliantly hilarious—oh and also not as outdated as you might suspect) : Whilst it’s often quite funny, I prefer a book, whether fact or fiction, to have some sort of sequence. This would be better as source material for standup routines of observational comedy (or in its original form). Why are you reading so many Bill Bryson books? You're getting a bit obsessive. We're concerned and we're thinking of an intervention. This book is a collection of newspaper articles that document his move from England to the United States. Most of them explain his bewilderment toward American culture and customs and often longs for the "simplicity" of the British lifestyle. I was originally under the impression that Bryson was British himself, until I discovered that he was born in Des Moines and moved to England at 24. He has spent the same amount of time in both countries, but it seems like he prefers to consider himself British. That's weird.

Bill Bryson is an Anglo-American author of books on travel, science, language and other non-fiction topics. I'm guessing most people still have to drive everywhere as most places don't make any allowances for pedestrians? Fans of Bill Bryson will know by now that this isthe kind of completely useless information that gets him excited. In fact, you are unlikely to read anyone else who derivesquite so much pleasure from meaningless statistics. If those statistics are about the USA (Bryson's homeland) or his adoptedEngland--or even better, comparing one to the other--then he is in heaven. And it is not only the uselessness of theinformation that interests him, but also the fact that Americans spend millions of dollars and hours each yearcollecting such data together. He gave a stiff nod. “Certainly, sir. We can offer you a 16-ounce suprème de boeuf, incised by our own butcher from the fore flank of a corn-fed Holstein raised on our own Montana ranch, then slow-grilled over palmetto and buffalo chips at a temperature of . . .” In the world of contemporary travel writing, Bill Bryson, the bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods, often emerges as a major contender for King of Crankiness. Granted, he complains well and humorously, but between every line of his travel books you can almost hear the tinny echo: "I wanna go home, I miss my wife."


Even though some of the columns showed their age a bit (such as referencing pre-Internet computers and habits) or they included statistics from the 1990s when Bryson was trying to make a point, the pieces were still largely relevant and got at the heart of what it was like to live in America.

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