“The kind of book Steinbeck might have written if he’d traveled with David Letterman.” —New York magazine
An inspiring and hilarious account of one man’s rediscovery of America and his search for the perfect small town.
Following an urge to rediscover his youth, Bill Bryson left his native Des Moines, Iowa, in a journey that would take him across 38 states. Lucky for us, he brought a notebook. With a razor wit and a kind heart, Bryson serves up a colorful tale of boredom, kitsch, and beauty when you least expect it. From Times Square to the Mississippi River to Williamsburg, Virginia, Bryson's keen and hilarious search for the perfect American small town is a journey straight into the heart and soul of America.
Bryson, a freelance journalist, succumbed to nostalgia upon returning home to Iowa after living for 20 years in England: he decided to relive the dreary vacation car trips of his American childhood. Starting out at his mother's house in Des Moines, he motors through 38 states over the course of two months, looking for the quintessential American small town--something he never encountered as a boy, and certainly doesn't discover now, as he tours superhighways, motels, shopping malls, fast-food joints and tourist traps. And, like a bored, bemused minor tagging along after adults, he trashes almost everything he sees, including the Smithsonian Museum and the trees in Sequoia National Park. Some of Bryson's comments are hilarious--if you enjoy the nonstop whining wisecracks of a 36-year-old kid. First serial to Cond e Nast Traveler; BOMC alternate.