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Notes from a Small Island

Written by: Bill Bryson
Narrated by: Bill Bryson
Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move back to the States for a while but before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain. His aim was to take stock of the nation's public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite, a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy, place names like Farleigh Wallop and Shellow Bowells, people who said 'Mustn't grumble', and Gardeners' Question Time.

©2004 Bill Bryson (P)2004 Random House Audiobooks

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I liked it

Good fun! The randomly-occurring music toward the end (not the closing music, just... random music) was a bit weird though!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andre
  • 2016-02-15

pleasantville

A languid, amiable account of BB's travels to the UK, which at times had me chortling, but I enjoyed most of his other books more.

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  • Rachel
  • 2015-08-03

Bryson does it again!

Bryson turns one man's travels through England to a masterclass in intelligent commentary, exquisitely crafted story, and humorous tales. Would definitely recommend to all.

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  • udidit
  • 2012-10-07

Disappointing !

I was a fan of Bill Bryson until this book, which I was really looking forward to listening to.
We all have bad days and he, at least, admits to having several whilst journeying through Britain. Unfortunately he comes over as being or trying to be funny and cynical at the same time and does not pull it off 99% of the time, making the listener yawn and hope that the weather and story will improve, but sadly for him at least, neither seem to and the reader/listener is left wishing the agony would stop! Its basically very boring.
I was so glad that he decided later in his life to return to his native country because having personally lived in both countries myself, I truly believe that the "chip" he carried around on his shoulder whilst trying to write this book would have lightened as soon as he was amongst his own again in Iowa and I mean this kindly having also lived in Iowa!
I really enjoyed other books that he has written and will try to lighten up regarding this one but to date have not changed my initial reaction.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful