Bill Bryson, I adore You

September 29, 2012 at 3:27 am (Reviews, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Title: The Lost Continent

Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher:Harper Perennial

Length: 299 pages

I read A Walk in the Woods a year or two ago and I remember thinking, “What a witty, sarcastic, jack-ass – I love him!” The same holds true for one of Bryson’s earlier works, The Lost Continent.

This book is a great travel memoir of a road trip in America, back when it was still glaringly clear that we were The United States of America, each part of our country a very unique place, in the midst of the late 80’s and early 90’s when the lines were getting blurred and we as a nation fell more and more into a federal ‘group-think’ existence.

Being from the south, there are many times when I feel I should be greatly offended by the things Bryson has to stay about my neck of the woods.  Three things must be said about my not getting offended 1. We southerners don’t offend easily, we just pat your hand and say ‘Bless Your Heart’ for not understanding us and 2. Bryson is funny and intelligent, and despite a lot of generalizations and false conclusions, many parts of his descriptions are familiar and full of truth. But finally, 3. “The South” and “Texas” don’t always mean the same thing, we are a brand all our own, and mighty proud of it.

Bryson’s version of tourism is wonderful.  It has both the comprehension of American ways and not quite being an outsider, as well as the fresh eyes of someone who has been away for so long.  His adventures around national landmarks, travels through run of the mill towns, and his uncanny ability to not be duped in one instance and be completely suckered in another is fantastic.  He finds himself in both the best and the worst of places.  From the smallest hotel room in NY to the cleanest hotel room in New England, Bryson experiences it all, and shares every scurrilous detail.

If you’ve ever stepped foot in any of these places, you can’t help but enjoy his descriptions.  If you haven’t yet been there, you find yourself intrigued.  If you’ve ever read Conspicuous Consumption, you can’t help but notice how Bryson spells out the concepts Veblen’s concepts with severe imagery.  If you’ve never read anything at all, you can at least appreciate his comedic nature and how much his books will make you laugh.

Scentsy pairing: Clean Breeze or Route 66

As usual, I’m enjoying Bryson’s work quite a bit and am so excited to get a chance to discuss this book with other people at the Half Price Books Humble Book Club meeting on October 1st.  There’s still a few days to find a copy, read it, and pipe in at the meeting.

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3 Comments

  1. HPB Humble October Meeting Prep « Anakalian Whims said,

    […] I adore you: anakalianwhims.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/bil… #amreading The Lost Continent for HPB Humble Book Club […]

  2. On the road again - The Adventures of Mona said,

    […] Bill Bryson, I adore You […]

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