Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson

All through the book, the one question that kept pestering me was, ‘What kept me from reading Bill Bryson for so long?’ Seriously, I cannot figure it out. But then, I’ve done it before as well. I kept away from Harry Potter. No idea why. Just stayed away from it. And then when I did read one, finished four books in four straight nights. Sigh! But better late than never, right?

I picked up this book on a lark, as this was the only interesting book I could find in my apartment complex’s library.

After living in England for twenty years, Bill Bryson moves back to America, his home country. He finds himself a stranger in his own country. The book is a compilation of articles that he wrote for a newspaper about his experiences in America.

I found it extremely funny and loved his sense of humour. A lot of his sentiments, I could identify with because when you move back into your home country after some years abroad, so many things seem different. The things you enjoyed and cherished might not even be part of your new experiences. The reverse culture shock that is part and parcel of moving back to a place after spending time away from it. Having gotten used to the British way of life and terminology, he struggles to remember/find out the American equivalent of things. His British wife and children, though, seem to love America while he seems to be the one having the most difficult time. Rediscovering America with it’s joys and it’s trials, all the while poking fun at himself and others around him, it was a fun read. I chuckled through the book.

Some of the chapters, though did seem dated, after all , this book was written in 1999. Some chapters about computers for instance remind you that this book is of another time. But for most part, it is Bryson’s style of poking fun at the things he observes that stands out. The sentiments and the humour, I have to say, are timeless. Reading the reviews of the book, I realize that this might be one of his not-so-great books. If that is indeed true, I can’t wait to read his other books.

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16 thoughts on “Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson

  1. Sandhya recommended Bill Bryson to me and I am wondering how the hell didnt I read him for so many years…I read ‘from a sun burned country’ – about Australia and then ‘African diaries’ and now am reading notes from a small island – about England..its lovely..you will enjoy this one a lot since you have been there :)

    He is an amazing writer

  2. I stay away from certain authors too, for no reason. Then I love their books and wonder what kept me from reading them for so long. :)

    Same pinch :)

    I haven’t read any Bill Bryson yet. I have picked up his books a couple of times at places, but always put them down, thinking I would not be interested in them. These days, all the bloggers I trust on for book reviews are reading BIll Bryson and raving about his books. Maybe it is time I read him too! :)

    Do you think I will enjoy his books?
    I think you might :) Give it a shot!

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