Customer Reviews for

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America

Average Rating 3.5
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(6)

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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  • Posted October 3, 2009

    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 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.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2007

    A reviewer

    Lost Continent: Well a couple years ago I read Bill Bryson's book Neither Here nor There and it was a hilarious guide through Europe. So when I saw Lost Continent on the shelves I instantly wanted to read about Bill's road trip through the U.S. Within the first five pages I was chuckling to myself and out loud. (Luckily Jon was the only one sitting next to me on the plane as I read) By the time the hour and a half flight touched back down on the ground I had polished off quite a few pages. As the book went on I began to feel less enamored with the book than I initially had. The tone shifted from funny to cranky as the trip/book wore on. Now I wonder if it is the fact that the trip began to take its toll on Bryson or if he felt that crotchety was a good tone for him to switch to-we may never know. Overall if you were to sample some of Bryson's work I would absolutley recommend Neither Here nor There over Lost Continent . Neither Here nor There gives you a hilarious and personal guide through Europe whereas Lost Continent really helps you remember what it was like to take loooong car rides with your parents-the good and the bad.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2002

    Not the Author's Best Work

    Unlike the many other Bryson books I have loved and laughed and nodded sagely at, I found this book a bit mean spirited, as though an elitist snit was looking down his nose at any and all who didn't measure up to his personal idea of what the world he neglected for 20 years (by choice) of living in England should choose to evolve. Obviously, it hadn't evolved (or DEvolved) as Bryson preferred. A man who writes things like: 'Why is it, I wondered, that old people are always so self-centered and excitable? But I just smiled benignly and stood back, comforted by the thought that soon they would be dead.', ought NOT, repeat NOT, announce his political affiliations with equal parts pride of it, and disdain for the other major party, early on in such a book as this. I really didn't enjoy this read very much. Luckily, it's one of his earlier works. The latter stuff is much, much better.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2001

    What is so special?

    I recently drove from Wyoming to New York and I could have written a better book. Does this guy like anyone? I throughly enjoyed my trip across the country and everyone I met had a story...he could have developed his story more. I felt no imagery and it made America sound dull and boring. Who would ever want to drive across the United States after reading this book?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    If you are looking for a non-fiction book, this is one for you t

    If you are looking for a non-fiction book, this is one for you to certainly skip. I haven't been everywhere that he writes about in the book, of course, but I am from Philadelphia originally and know that many of the things he presents as facts are blatantly wrong. It makes me wonder if anything in the book that he says about other parts of the country are correct! Also, even though his sarcasm is meant to be funny a lot of the time it just comes across as hateful. Overall I think the best thing about the book is that it's not too long.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2003

    Loved two of his other books; disappointed with this one

    After loving "In a Sunburned Country" and "A Walk in the Woods" I was very shocked at the excessive negativity and the constant, shrill obesity jokes. It's too bad, really, as small pieces of the book are hilarious and right on the mark. I couldn't really let myself enjoy it because as soon as I did, a really nasty and cruel comment would come out of nowhere. Too bad!

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