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Stephen Fry in America: Fifty States and the Man Who Set Out to See Them All

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Overview

Britain's best-loved comic genius, Stephen Fry, turns his celebrated wit and insight to unearthing the real America as he travels across the continent in his chariot of Englishness, a black London cab.

Stephen Fry has always loved America. In fact, he came very close to being born here. His fascination for the country and its people sees him embarking on an epic journey across America, visiting each of its fifty states to discover how such a huge diversity of people, cultures,...

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Stephen Fry in America: Fifty States and the Man Who Set Out to See Them All

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Overview

Britain's best-loved comic genius, Stephen Fry, turns his celebrated wit and insight to unearthing the real America as he travels across the continent in his chariot of Englishness, a black London cab.

Stephen Fry has always loved America. In fact, he came very close to being born here. His fascination for the country and its people sees him embarking on an epic journey across America, visiting each of its fifty states to discover how such a huge diversity of people, cultures, languages, and beliefs creates such a remarkable nation. Stephen starts his journey on the East Coast and zigzags across America, stopping in every state from Maine to Hawaii, talking to each state's hospitable citizens, listening to music, visiting landmarks, viewing small-town life and America's breathtaking landscapes, following wherever his curiosity leads him.

En route he discovers the South Side of Chicago with blues legend Buddy Guy, catches up with Morgan Freeman in Mississippi, strides around with Ted Turner on his Montana ranch, marches with Zulus in Mardi Gras in New Orleans, drums with the Sioux Nation in South Dakota, joins a Georgia family for Thanksgiving, "picks" with bluegrass hillbillies, and finds himself in a Tennessee garden full of dead bodies.

Whether in a club for failed gangsters in Brooklyn, New York (yes, those are real bullet holes), or celebrating Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts (is there anywhere better?), Stephen is welcomed by the people of America—mayors, sheriffs, newspaper editors, park rangers, teachers, and hoboes, bringing to life the oddities and splendors of each locale. A celebration of the magnificent and the eccentric, the beautiful and the strange, Stephen Fry in America is the author's homage to this extraordinary country.

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Editorial Reviews

Sunday Tribune (South Africa)
“Informative, charming and witty. A delight from Maine to Hawaii.”
Herald Sun (Australia)
“An insightful and fascinating look into what makes this country of contradictions tick. ”
Financial Mail (South Africa)
“Covering 50 states in eight months in a black London cab, Fry offers up a delectable slice-of-life of America.”
The Independent (UK)
“Most entertaining. His writing style proves to be as pleasurable as his presenting.”
The Independent(UK)
"Most entertaining. His writing style proves to be as pleasurable as his presenting."
(South Africa) - Sunday Tribune
"Informative, charming and witty. A delight from Maine to Hawaii."
The Independent (UK)
“Most entertaining. His writing style proves to be as pleasurable as his presenting.”
Sunday Tribune (South Africa)
“Informative, charming and witty. A delight from Maine to Hawaii.”
Herald Sun (Australia)
“An insightful and fascinating look into what makes this country of contradictions tick. ”
Financial Mail (South Africa)
“Covering 50 states in eight months in a black London cab, Fry offers up a delectable slice-of-life of America.”
Library Journal

In this companion to a television series already aired on the BBC in the UK and likely to be aired stateside soon, actor and writer Fry (Revenge: A Novel) chronicles his adventures visiting all 50 states-a feat even most Americans will never accomplish. He travels mostly in a London taxicab, a motorized manifestation of his "quintessential Englishness," and offers an outsider's refreshing perspective on the vastness and variety of America. In Vermont, Fry creates his own ice cream as a "Guest Flavorist" at Ben and Jerry's. In South Carolina, he attends a Gullah community choir performance. He interviews Native Americans on a reservation in South Dakota and swims with sharks in Hawaii. As Frey predicts of his readers, this reviewer turned first to her home state of New Jersey, which he admits is an easy target for criticism. Fry's is witty enough to relieve any chagrin one might feel about the tackiness of Atlantic City as he describes his gig as a blackjack dealer. As this book is written primarily for a British audience, American readers might miss an allusion or two, but they will find much that is delightfully funny and informative.
—Megan Hahn Fraser

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061456381
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/3/2009
  • Pages: 314
  • Sales rank: 1,352,946
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry was born in London in 1957 and educated at Stout's Hill, Uppingham, and Queens' College, Cambridge. At Cambridge he joined the Footlights, where he first met Hugh Laurie. He has numerous television appearances to his credit, most notably, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster, Blackadder, QI, and House. Major film roles include Peter in Peter's Friends (1990) and Oscar Wilde in Wilde (1997); in the realm of television, his critically acclaimed The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive won an Emmy. He is the author of the best selling novels The Liar, The Hippopotamus, Making History, and Revenge: A Novel, as well as the highly acclaimed autobiography Moab Is My Washpot and, in 2005, a well-received guide to writing poetry, The Ode Less Travelled.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

New England and the East Coast 10

South East and Florida 82

The Deep South and the Great Lakes 138

The Rockies, the Great Plains and Texas 188

The Southwest, Pacific Northwest, California, Alaska and Hawaii 248

American English Quiz 310

State Capital Cities 311

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Stephen Fry's usual delightful wit.

    An interesting look at the U.S. from a non-native. Of course a longer look at each state would have made the book better but would have made his trip much, much longer, so a short snippet of each state will have to suffice. Stephen Fry is, as always, witty and warm; occasionally I laughed out loud. I'm looking forward to seeing the TV version of this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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