Notes From A Small Island

( 29 )

Overview

Grab your umbrella and join best-selling author Bill Bryson for a grand tour through the heartland of the United Kingdom. As he wanders through tiny villages and bustling cities, his irreverent travelogue will keep you laughing out loud and eager to explore what lies just around the next corner. Before he returns to the United States after nearly two decades on British soil, Bryson decides to take a farewell jaunt through his adopted homeland. But his plans to neatly traverse the island by foot, bus, and train ...

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Overview

Grab your umbrella and join best-selling author Bill Bryson for a grand tour through the heartland of the United Kingdom. As he wanders through tiny villages and bustling cities, his irreverent travelogue will keep you laughing out loud and eager to explore what lies just around the next corner. Before he returns to the United States after nearly two decades on British soil, Bryson decides to take a farewell jaunt through his adopted homeland. But his plans to neatly traverse the island by foot, bus, and train are soon thwarted. On weekends, odd train and bus schedules leave him stranded in isolated communities with damp, moldering inns. And as a destination beckons above the rooftops, a maze of city streets leads him further away. Amidst the difficulties, Bryson encounters quirky age-old customs, charming architecture, and salt-of-the-earth inhabitants. His uproarious social commentary and Ron McLarty's warm and witty performance will leave you feeling as if you have actually been travelling across the enchanting island.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781464034008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/2/2012
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson
With a wacky worldview -- and wanderlust -- that garners him comparisons to everyone from Chaucer to Dave Barry, Bill Bryson entertains readers around the world with his travelogues and riffs on the intricacies of language.

Biography

A backpacking expedition in 1973 brought Des Moines native Bill Bryson to England, where he met his wife and decided to settle. He wrote travel articles for the English newspapers The Times and The Independent for many years before stumbling into bestsellerdom with 1989's The Lost Continent, a sidesplitting account of his rollicking road trip across small-town America. In 1995, he moved his family back to the States so his children could experience "being American." However, his deep-rooted Anglophilia won out and, in 2003, the Brysons returned to England.

One of those people who finds nearly everything interesting, Bryson has managed to turn his twin loves -- travel and language -- into a successful literary career. In a string of hilarious bestsellers, he has chronicled his misadventures across England, Europe, Australia, and the U.S., delighting readers with his wry observations and descriptions. Similarly, his books on the history of the English language, infused with the perfect combination of wit and erudition, have sold well. He has received several accolades and honors, including the coveted Aventis Prize for best general science book awarded for his blockbuster A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Beloved on both sides of the pond, Bryson makes few claims to write great literature. But he is a writer it is nearly impossible to dislike. We defy anyone to not smile at pithy, epigrammatic opening lines like these: "I come from Des Moines. Someone had to."

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    1. Hometown:
      Hanover, New Hampshire
    1. Date of Birth:
      1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Des Moines, Iowa
    1. Education:
      B.A., Drake University, 1977

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    A wonderful read

    This book brought back memories of visiting southern England. Having read several of Bill Bryson's books, I knew I would not be disappointed. I will be sharing this with a few friends who are his fans, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Wonderful Journey through Great Britain

    This book is like a pleasant hike through the English countryside, filled with humor and insights into why we refer to this tiny island as "Great" Britain. It's full of hilarious anecdotes and random information that will certainly give you something to share at your next dinner party or even around the water-cooler at work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    Crude

    I purchased this book to read while on vacation in England. The author's comments are occasionally interesting and funny. However there was much unecessary crudity mixed into his experiences. I ended up throwing the book away.

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  • Posted March 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must-Read for any Anglophile

    I had already read Bryson's A Walk in the Woods when I picked up this one for my trip over to England for a few weeks. I always like to read when I travel. Soon, I found out that I had selected the perfect book for a trip to England. Bryson has this amazing way with words that can actually make a reader laugh out loud-- it's not every day I can find myself on a plane or the Tube with ipod buds in my ears, a book in my hand, and laughing a bit too loudly for the people seated around me.

    For one, being in the same country Bryson is writing about only adds to the hilarity of his stories. I could chuckle right along with him, feeling as though he's giving me a knowing nudge, when he writes about the enormity of the English breakfast (beans? for breakfast? really?). Or, even better, when in London, he says, watch the ground for a gentle reminder that, in England, you must "Look Right" when you step off the curb. (For those of us from the States, we should look left in our home country.)

    I'm glad this was a book I picked to read during my trip. I don't think I could have found a better selection. This Bryson travel memoir is, by far, my favorite. And I love all of his books.

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  • Posted February 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    amusing romp...

    Bill Bryson is witty, humorous and entertaining. His farewell tour of Britain is charming. He travels from the south of England all the way up to the tip of Scotland on an amusing romp around Britain before he returns to his native soil (Iowa) with his family. I've only visited Britain once but this book really made me nostalgic for it. This is my first Bill Bryson book but I can guarantee it won't be my last!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    Must read for Anglophiles

    I purchased Notes from a Small Island before we left for a week in Scotland. It was so cleverly written and highly amusing that I was laughing at loud at London Heathrow while my husband fumed about layovers, airlines, and travel in general. As much as I loved Scotland and everything about it, I have to say that the highlight of my days was the hour I would steal away to read Bryson's wonderful book which was particularly appropriate given my surroundings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2004

    If you love England, this is the book for you!

    I had to stop reading, because all the laughing gave me a face ache! If you visit England and love it, this is the book for you. What I can't figure out is why he would leave at all! I especially enjoyed the Glasgow bar incident!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2002

    Hoisted by their own Petard!

    The British sense of humor, so often seen by the rest of the world and in particular by Americans, as being snotty and sarcastic is finally appreciated by someone other than themselves. After 20 odd years in the U.K. Mr.Bryson has developed a wonderful sense of humor. I just hope I can after I've lived in his country for as many years!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2002

    A book for the British people

    I must say I read the book only because my English teacher proposed it and I still have an oral exam next weak on it. It's a good book, very smart writing. On the one hand, I think it's a book for Britons in a way that for a person who doesn't live there, is hard to full apreciatte it. But on the other hand, I ended up getting familiar with cities and areas from Britain I had never heard before. Maybe the fact that he kept talking about places I didn't know bothered me a bit, but still I recomend the book (although not for a didadict kind of reading!!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2002

    A Different Look at Britain

    This book was very funny and entertaining. Bill Bryson is extremely witty and sarcastic about all of his different experiences he lives through while touring Britain. I lived in England and have read Bryson's other works, so I tried this one out. I think you must be British or very familiar with the culture to fully appreciate this book. Bryson visits the big cities, but also many small towns that I have never heard of, and therefore found hard to imagine. My lack of British knowledge did not gravely affect my enjoying this book very much. Bryson retells his traveling experiences that we all can relate to, and others that we can be glad never happened to us. This book delves deep into the British culture; past London and Dover, and into samll towns and seaside resorts. Bryson also includes his take on life, lightheartedly criticizing different groups of people and expressing his admiration or exasperation regarding these people. I found this book thoroughly enjoyable and a light, funny, and educational read. I recommend this book to the traveled person who has an appreciation for the English culture.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2002

    Absolutely Fabulous!

    Bryson does for England what Pete McCarthy did for Ireland; gives us a smashing view of a wondrous people and land but finds the seed of humor on which we all can hang our hats. His humor, if not his political inclinations, leave us with a happily shared universality of laughter which I, as a dedicated anglophile, found particularly hysterical. BUY THIS BOOK!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2002

    i am british yet i love it!

    Having never left Britain for any period of time it may be suprising to you that i adore this book. Being only twenty i too am confused about why my society does these strange things like que for no apparent reason. Bryson is accurate about every aspect of life in Britain, but his views are not new too us Brits, we too have a laugh at ourselves and question why we are like this, i fear in the future Britain will be different, more Americanised, not saying thats a bad thing, but all the little wittisems that make us special will disappear, and will no longer be a source of interest and humour to us and the rest of the world. read Brysons book to read us, then come and have a giggle for yourselves!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2000

    Don't Trust Them, They're Up to Something

    As an Englishman in Houston, I recommend this book to everyone who says 'I keep meaning to go there'. The daily annoyances and minutiae of English life are well dealt with, and I had to fill the stereotype by laughing at myself. Bryson is saddened by the English ability to do away with fine architecture, and fine life, in search of something more modern, but the most surprising thing -- except to an Englishman -- is how little has changed since George Mikes wrote 'How to be an Alien' sixty years ago (not available in the US; try www.whsmith.co.uk).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 1999

    Tea and traffic jams

    I started to read this book before spending a semester abroad in England. I didn't get a lot of the humor in it before I land in foggy Heathrow, but after barely a week, some of Bryson's observations began to stare me in the face. I saw that I was not the only American who thought some of things merited a good long ponder. Espeically the queuing up... I still don't get it, but I sure can get a giggle from this book. I Highly recommend this to anyone who is going, is currently, or has been in England, and even those who have not. Monty Python makes more sense.

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted March 8, 2010

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    Posted December 7, 2009

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    Posted August 2, 2009

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    Posted May 21, 2010

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    Posted March 19, 2009

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