Hardly anyone ever leaves Des Moines, Iowa. But Bill Bryson did, and after 10 years in England he decided to go home, to a foreign country.
In an ageing Chevrolet Chevette, he drove nearly 14,000 miles through 38 states to compile this hilarious and perceptive state-of-the-nation report on small-town America.
From the Deep South to the Wild West, from Elvis' birthplace through to Custer's Last Stand, Bryson visits places he re-named Dullard, Coma, and Doldrum (so the residents don't sue or come after him with baseball bats). But his hopes of finding the American dream end in a nightmare of greed, ignorance, and pollution. This is a wickedly witty and savagely funny assessment of a country lost to itself, and to him.
Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of Bill Bryson books. I love all of them. Except this one. There are some funny parts and a lot of interesting facts like all of his other books. But the narrator makes him sound arrogant and pretentious. And the sound quality is terrible. So do yourself a favor and read or listen to some of his other books. Like A walk in the woods or The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Both GREAT books!
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
A BIG disappointment
Great book, excruciating narrator
My initial 3 star review is below. I tried but couldn’t make it out of part 1, I couldn’t take the narrator. I started because I looked at it as losing $25 but then realized I would gladly pay $25 to stop hearing the narrator make a hash of it.
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The choice of narrator is unfortunate. Tones and inflection bear no connection to the words and situations. Anyone having enjoyed the author reading another of his books will know what is so sadly lacking here.
If Bill Bryson ever has the time to record this himself (abridged even)he would be doing his fans a favor. Or just find a narrator that can use a dry tone like the author.