Customer Reviews for

I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Stranger, but no Danger

Every book I read by Bill Bryson is worth every penny I spend on it. This book is no exception. After his 20 year hiatuse from residing in the US, Bill Bryson's adventure to American normalsy makes you think about your own home town and why it's unique. This book is gre...
Every book I read by Bill Bryson is worth every penny I spend on it. This book is no exception. After his 20 year hiatuse from residing in the US, Bill Bryson's adventure to American normalsy makes you think about your own home town and why it's unique. This book is great for anyone who wants to begin reading and get educated and be amused in the process to the experienced reader looking for a comedic break from the other reads out there. As awlays with Bill Bryson's books, ENJOY!

posted by JYakus on February 3, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Collection of Newspaper Columns

Product warning! This is not a non-fiction narrative but rather a collection of Bryson's newspaper columns. They are campy observations produced in standard 5 pages essays. Very disappointing.

posted by fishRF on August 9, 2010

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  • Posted February 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Stranger, but no Danger

    Every book I read by Bill Bryson is worth every penny I spend on it. This book is no exception. After his 20 year hiatuse from residing in the US, Bill Bryson's adventure to American normalsy makes you think about your own home town and why it's unique. This book is great for anyone who wants to begin reading and get educated and be amused in the process to the experienced reader looking for a comedic break from the other reads out there. As awlays with Bill Bryson's books, ENJOY!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2010

    Must Read, Must Laugh

    I have bought this book 13 times! Three for myself (two copies taken unabashedly), 9 as gifts. Bill Bryson is by far the best living author, ever. He is the answer to the question 'If you could have lunch with any living author who would it be?'. He is uncomparable. This book is hysterical! One of the few books on the planet that will make you laugh out loud, alone, while you're reading it. It will make you laugh out loud in public and make other people look at you strangely and in a perplexing manner. His use of the English vocabulary is stunning. I love a book that you must look up the definition to a word because you've never heard it before. That's how brilliant and eloquent he is. I've read them all, and they're all amazing, but this is my favorite. If you like this read them all, from the travel to the science to the linguistics.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2009

    Bill Bryson,s book, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, had me laughing from start to finish.

    Mr. Bryson, a Yankee from the state of Iowa, gives his observations of life in the U.S.A as he sees it after having lived abroad for over two decades. His satire on computers,taxes,exercise habits, and other Americanisms, is written with a good blend of humor and sarcasm. Anyone can appreciate this laugh-aloud book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Hilarious

    Bill Bryson manages to make me laugh on every page with his wry descriptions of everyday life in America. This is told via newspaper columns he has written and really makes me think about things I take for granted as well as making me love it all over again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    love this book

    I ABSOLUTELY, love this book. It is laugh out loud fun.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2010

    Collection of Newspaper Columns

    Product warning! This is not a non-fiction narrative but rather a collection of Bryson's newspaper columns. They are campy observations produced in standard 5 pages essays. Very disappointing.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Very outdated

    Written iin 1997, this book is so outdated. I can't believe people in New Hampshire still leave their houses uunlocked? I usually love all his books but this was not worth the money. While certain articles did give a few laughs, it. sounded more like a diatrab on anti-gun and environmental laws. I guess living back in the states didn't work out for him as he is once again living in England

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    Lullabuy ace atkins robert parker

    Robert parker ace atkins........Lullabyparker

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    Bill Bryson's Humor

    After reading "A Walk In the Woods", I thought that another Bill Bryson book would be equally entertaining. Now that I've finished "I'm A Stranger Here Myself", I must edit my opinion. Unlike "A Walk in the Woods", this book is not a story, but a collection of newpaper columns that the author put together, bound, and called a book. Most of these columns are unrelated to each other. I realize that his columns are supposed to be about random ideas, but when they are put together in a book, as a reader I thought that I would find a common theme. Not so. I would definitely not recommend this book if a reader is looking for another narrative.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2010

    great read

    Bryson is an excellent writer, and this book is no exception. He is very observant, and his take on every day situations is so entertaining. As I read, I can relate to what he's talking about, and I can't help but laugh out loud. I recommend not only this book but also his books about his travels.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Laugh out loud funny

    Bill Bryson never fails to tickle my funny bone. His wry observations about life in the U.S. after living in England for 20 years is hilarious, thought-provoking and just all-out fun to read. I found myself laughing out loud while waiting (by myself) in my doctor's waiting room--to the point that other waiting patients wanted to know what I was reading. That's good writing!

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  • Posted March 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Laugh out loud

    This is one of my favorite books. Bryson is an ex-pat who came back to the USA to live after several years living in England. His take on things American is hilarious. He sees things a bit as a foreigner yet life is still somewhat similiar to his youth in Iowa. Don't pass this up!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2008

    Laugh out loud

    I know I'm years behind reading this hilarious book but reading it has lifted my downed spirits amazingly. I'm only half through & have laughed out loud dozens of times already. I just love this guy! Thanks Bill for all the laughter!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2002

    A Bit of Humor, Well Taken

    Bryson has been described by better critics than myself as a sort of combination deTocqueville/Dave Barry, and it's not an unfair analogy. As usual, I will ignore some of Mr. Bill's political persuasions, which are not intensely objectionable, though somewhat divergent of my own, and emphasize instead the marvelous way he takes the essence of day to day life and finds the grain of humor, sometimes hysterical, sometimes wry, sometimes even ironic with a tinge of 'sad but so', and finds the link that we all can recognize and relate. No, this is not a book for the grim, deep thinkers among us. Life, the book suggests, revolves around themes and patterns more mundane than the profound thinkers, bound up in their own profundity, would ever dare admit. Bryson reminds us of those commonplace things and what is sad, funny and reflective about them. Thus, he is a far better agent for change than all the preachermen of whatever political stripe who regale us. It's the sort of book that provides at least one major GUFFAW per article and that is my only, singular, slight objection to this 'book'. For it is not a book at all, but rather a collection of columns our Mr. Bill has written since returning to America in 1995, after 20 years of British living. That aside, it is a wonderful perspective on our 'Vie Americain'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2001

    Hilarious, a must-read!

    This book was so hilarious I cried with laughter and had to read it again. I promise it won't be a disapointment!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2001

    Could have been better

    After reading 'The Mother Tongue' and 'Down Under' I expected better writing from Mr. Bryson. There were several chapters that I did enjoy, but overall it was disappointing. Perhaps he should stick to travel writing and leave the social commentary to others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2001

    Engaging

    Bryson has a lot going for him. He's less fussy than Andy Rooney, less depressing than Garrison Keillor, less wacked out than Dave Barry. He writes simply and it's rare to see him 'reaching' for a linguistic effect. I found his take on America after many years abroad to be interesting, and quite conducive to his small-scale humor. He loves the conveniences like sugar packets and all-night 800 numbers for dental floss but doesn't understand why he can't get a plain cup of coffee from an expresso cart. Don't expect earth-shattering topics, but you'll probably come away with a smile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2000

    a mood-elevating respite

    I enjoyed this book. It was a collection of what must have been columns written for a newspaper. Each chapter was short which made it easy to read @ the end of a long day. It was humorous, very current, and well-written. While this seems like a contrite review, the book was actually very funny & thoughtful. Like a Dave Barry read but not so wacky.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2000

    Insightful analysis of North American culture.

    This book is the US edition of the book published elsewhere as 'Notes from a Big Country'. Although the US edition has lost some of the strengths of the original, it also retains most of its enjoyable content. Bryson makes insightful and witty observations about American culture. Based on his weekly newspaper columns for an English newspaper, Bryson describes life in America. Readers are guaranteed to laugh out loud, but at the same time the humour delivers much food for thought about North American culture. For North Americans who are perhaps guilty at times of arrogance, such self-examination and a critical close look at ourselves is of great benefit. This is an entertaining as well as thought provoking read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2000

    World's Best Travel Writer

    Bill Bryson has again shown himself to be the world's greatest travel writer. In every book, he has made me laugh out loud at his hilarious looks at the world. In 'I'm a Stranger', he causes us to see the U.S. as an outsider would and loving laugh at the culture we call American. Truly enjoyable, even if you're not a traveler.

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