Customer Reviews for

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America

Average Rating 3.5
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Maybe some people just don't get it

I thought this book was hilarious and found his criticisms to be right on the money. Small town America ain't what it used to be (and I'm old enough to remember), so Bryson is telling it like it is. I've already bought 5 copies to give to friends and believe that they...
I thought this book was hilarious and found his criticisms to be right on the money. Small town America ain't what it used to be (and I'm old enough to remember), so Bryson is telling it like it is. I've already bought 5 copies to give to friends and believe that they will read it in the spirit in which it was written.

posted by Anonymous on September 1, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Sorry, Bill....

First and foremost, Bill Bryson has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I've read all but two of his books and have enjoyed each one of the immensely. This book is as well written as any other in his catalog, showcasing the Bryson-esque sense of humor and witty...
First and foremost, Bill Bryson has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I've read all but two of his books and have enjoyed each one of the immensely. This book is as well written as any other in his catalog, showcasing the Bryson-esque sense of humor and witty prose I've come to love. BUT, with that being said...I rated this two stars because I had to stop reading after the first 50 pages or so. Not because it isn't well written, but because it seemed entirely too mean spirited. Bryson comes across as a scholarly expatriate returning to the U.S. with the conception that his education and cultural learnings somehow deem him superior to the "regular" folks he meets. The point at which I stopped reading was this quote directly from the book regarding the seemingly backward pronunciation of town names in Kentucky: "I don't know whether the people in these towns pronounce them that way because they are backward, undereducated ****kickers who don't know any better or whether they know better but don't care that everybody thinks they are backward undereducated ****kickers." Sorry, Bill...but this is just a mean book.

posted by Jarnet on October 3, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2002

    Has he ever been to any of these places?

    Not only was this book mean spirited, as has bee noted already, I have issues as to whether Bryson had even been in most of these places. I have lived in Iowa, Illinois, Nevada, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Places such as Mount Pleasant and Keokuk, Iowa, were grossly misrepresented by Bryson. Carbondale, Illinois, is not just a strip of hotels and fast food as he says. He doen't seem to grasp the highway concept. The town does not resat on the highway, those are just facilities for the people who do wish to go into town. It is a college town for God's sake, you think he woul have found that out. Worst of all, the road he travels between Columbus and Tupelo, Mississippi, which he describes as being covered with run down shacks with black people sitting on the porch is false. I have driven that road many times in my life, from the time before he wrote this book to last week, and it just isn't there. Nobody lives on that road or has in my lifetime. It is tree lined and nice and enjoyable. There are many other gross minrepresentations and out and out lies in this book. Bryson is obviously just pandering to what people expect out of these places instead of actually going there and reporting the truth himself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Not recommended

    Not his best writing. Too dated and didn't catch the reader's interest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2004

    Grouch on the Move

    This is my first Bryson book and I was appalled at the perspective, not being able to imagine someone enjoying it. As a take on small-towns or America in general it's completely mean-spirited. Place after place is boring, tourists are fat and ugly, sequoias look silly, tourists are still fat and ugly, etc. I don't know why a book about not enjoying traveling or discovering anything along the way even qualifies as a travel book. It'll be a while before I look at anything else he's written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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