Reading other customer reviews I think its possible that Bill Bryson is misinterpreted by some of our reviewers. Yes, some of his book is written by his research, yes some of his stories are exaggerated and some is fantasy. But tell me, which books of his aren't?
Bill Bryson is the master of the jovial, chuckling and mischeiveous sideways glance.
For me this was a great book on a couple of levels.
First, the warmth. America in the 50's is a really god backdrop. The theatres, the baseball, the apple pie, the early days of television and hilarious stories of missed female flesh in the treehouse.
Secondly though, its the really powerful and delicately done stories of America's dark side; the Anti-Communist obsession, racism, failings on the space race, nuclear testing, the exploitation of countries by Corporate America. He never laboured the points or tackled them in an obvious way.
This book could easily be bedtime reading for the Anti-American, Anti-Globalisation and Anti-Everything briggade.
Overall its a sad book. Fond recollections of an era gone by.
I feel the same myself.
Until he writes another book.