Notes from a Small Island – by Bill Bryson

22 07 2014

From the outset this book had me cracking up audibly.

Bryson is an American writer and journalist, but lived over here for several years. This is written just before he and his wife take his family back to America so that his children can experience life there too, and so he takes one final lap of the UK using public transport. He visits both places he’s been to before and loved, and places he’s heard of and wanted to see before he leaves.

He started in the south, so I loved reading about places I know, and then gradually works northwards. He often goes off on tangents, either old anecdotes, or just thinks he loves, or finds peculiar (or both) about the British. These were probably the bits that made me laugh the most!

I really enjoyed the book, although the last few chapters did get a bit repetitive. He’d arrive in a new city by train, book into a hotel/guesthouse, try and find somewhere for dinner, and comment that all British high streets have the same shops, and some are ruining the original buildings with modern exteriors. But for the most of the book there was so much interest and humour I really did like it!

the complete notes

I’m going to take a break and read something else before reading the Big Country half of the book – but I’ll come back with that soon enough!

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