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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine milshake of a book: smooth, creamy and satisfying
Facing the Introduction to this book is a picture of a satisfied "Steve" (Fry's American alter-ego) enjoying a strawberry milkshake in a typical American diner. This sets the tone for what follows.

Fry's Great American Journey is both idiosyncratic and insightful. He present's the country as he finds it: take it or leave it. You be the judge. No doubt some...
Published on 28 Oct 2008 by William D. Freeman

versus
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars America- lite
A very heavy book full of not very much information. It matches the TV series because that felt like it was a quick skip through the USA as well.

It's a very frustrating book to read. There is just enough information to make you to read more, but it just isn't there. Some of the States are given woefully small page space, much as they were given short shrift...
Published on 5 Aug 2009 by M. J. Saxton


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine milshake of a book: smooth, creamy and satisfying, 28 Oct 2008
By 
William D. Freeman "wdavidfreeman" (Southern California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stephen Fry in America (Hardcover)
Facing the Introduction to this book is a picture of a satisfied "Steve" (Fry's American alter-ego) enjoying a strawberry milkshake in a typical American diner. This sets the tone for what follows.

Fry's Great American Journey is both idiosyncratic and insightful. He present's the country as he finds it: take it or leave it. You be the judge. No doubt some will be disappointed by what is not included, but that is part of the nature of the USA that Fry tries to convey: it is too large and eclectic for anyone (even natives like myself) to get to know all it.

The United States is a giant grab-bag of a nation. Everytime you dip into it you pull out something different: strange, new, old, delightful, appaling or simply intriguing. You cannot stereotype a nation of 300 million people descended from the scrambled cultures of the world and spread over thousands of miles of varying terrain. To his great credit "Stephen" Fry does not attempt to do so. Here is one celebrity travelogue worth reading.
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74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen goes Stateside, 1 Oct 2008
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This review is from: Stephen Fry in America (Hardcover)
"Oh no, not ANOTHER travel book, written by some jumped-up celebrity hoofing it around some unheard of corner of the world, almost gloating at me, saying 'Look where I am, you're not here, ha ha'...oh, hang on! Stephen Fry, is it? I quite like him. And he's in America? Hmmm...I'm intrigued."
And that's how this book made it into my hands. I don't usually go for books like these, but because it's Stephen Fry, I took the plunge. Am I ever glad I did.
Stephen Fry travels across USA's 50 states on a mission: to discover the real America. As a country everyone seems to have an opinion on, this comes as being very timely. Is the stereotype of the 'Fat Dumb Yankee' fact or fiction?
In the hands of any other author, such a journey would be dull and cliched, always ending with the inevitable 'my perception's completely changed' wrap-up. But such is Stephen Fry's voice, intelligence and wit, that his writing leaps out at you, and you can almost hear his voice booming in your ear as he guides you from Maine to Hawaii in a black cab. His observations and opinions are wonderful; insightful yet humourous, thoughtful yet sharp. What's best is that it allows you to draw your own conclusions. All the evidence is laid out before the reader: it's up to you to make your own assumptions.

This is a book that could be recommended to practically anyone and everyone: it's big, full of lavish pictures and crammed with facts, and can be either dipped into or read cover to cover. It's a perfect companion piece to the upcoming TV series. Brilliant.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars America- lite, 5 Aug 2009
By 
M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stephen Fry in America (Hardcover)
A very heavy book full of not very much information. It matches the TV series because that felt like it was a quick skip through the USA as well.

It's a very frustrating book to read. There is just enough information to make you to read more, but it just isn't there. Some of the States are given woefully small page space, much as they were given short shrift in the series.

The lack of meaty text makes it difficult to wade through. You read it hoping for more, wanting detailed description and less bloody "wit". No matter how much Stephen Fry tells you he's in love with the country that doesn't come across from what he's writing.

And it is such a heavy book, weighs a ton, thick paper, all giving the impression of a weighty tome and yet with so little in it. A real shame.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Cover to Shining Cover, 2 Nov 2008
By 
L. J. Wright "Hello, I'm Liam Cash" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stephen Fry in America (Hardcover)
Having read the three and four star reviews, I had second-thoughts about purchasing 'Stephen Fry in America'. But after purchasing the book on the back of watchin three episodes of the TV programme I was compelled to write a review and it is one of 5 stars, as I'm sure you may be aware of! I can tell you my friends, that this well put together travelogue of a quintessentially Englishman's journey through and into the heart of America is almost definitely a book everyone who 'views' this item on amazon should purchase.
I don't want to slate the former reviews (apart from the 5 star one, great outlook ol' chum) because they're entitled to create their own opinions but they are wrong! To quote Mike D of the Beastie Boys, "I don't speak what I hear, I just say what I know" and this will form the basis of my own review, which I hope will prove informative and may tip the balance in favour of you buying this book. And I am an independent source, I'm not on Stephen Fry's payroll (NB* If he has one, can somebody please get in touch with me).
Firstly, the price of this book, as of 2/10/08 (or to be topical 10/02/08), on Amazon is 9, which is 1 cheaper than the low price of ASDA and Waterstones, is very reasonable especially seeing as it is in hardback and vibrant in colour, and perhaps more central, priceless with in the qualitative and quantitative information it is crammed with.
Fry starts off in Maine, following an interesting and humorous introduction. From the off, one can simply tell that this tale is going to be an insightful and intriguing journey through all 50 states. Fry does not fail to miss out the `little man' which he seems to stress as being so important in the fabric of the American global blanket.
I won't list every single tale from every single encounter in every single tale for I feel it is a story you need to embark upon yourself. But I can tell you he meets one very special Hollywood A-lister, and this isn't even the highlight of the saga!
This very factual and delightfully subjective account avoids falling into that massive cavity of the all-too common `America-bashing', something the man makes clear he is not a fan of. This book is not a fact-by-fact, number-by-number tale but rather an engrossing book which will see you turning the page faster and faster, your fingers will be moving faster than a New York Minute, or faster than a mid-western diner waitress swiftly topping up the `bottomless coffee' of her thirsty patrons.
Stephen Fry, the stand up for America guy! A warming and enlightening tale that is sure to warm up your autumn. Purchase in confidence of owning a great book that I'm sure you will be able to go back to again and again, until Fry embarks upon another such journey, perhaps of England!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Intrepid Mr. Fry, 10 July 2009
By 
Elizabeth Frier (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Stephen Fry in America (Hardcover)
Stephen Fry in AmericaWhat to say? We've come to expect excellence and best effort from Mr. Fry in all his endevours, and with this book (and DVD), one isn't disappointed. As his disclaimer stipulates, this is merely an overview of one man's journey through the 50 states in the US. He writes with humour and wit (but then?), but also with a growing appreciation of the subject at hand. I understand this journey was done in 8 months time,which is amazing, as this is a massive project. If you're interested in an introduction of American people and the country they live in - and Stephen makes it personal - then I would heartily recommend giving this a read (view the DVD as well!).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 6 Dec 2008
This review is from: Stephen Fry in America (Hardcover)
Stephen Fry is a legend, everything he does is intelligent and smart. I prefer this book to the accompanying TV series. Fry has the most wonderful writing style and where the TV series seems rushed and at times exhausting to watch and observe as the lovely Fry tries to developed each story it's obvious that the clock is against him. I like to be able to browse and enjoy his work at leisure. I really love this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 12 July 2013
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Given Fry's obvious talents in other fields, this is a disappointing effort and compares, rather unfavourably, with, for example, similar books by Bill Bryson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 11 Nov 2009
By 
This review is from: Stephen Fry in America (Hardcover)
It seems there is a common misunderstanding with books published inspired by programmes broadcast on the BBC. Most readers are also viewers of the programme broadcast on TV and they would like and expect to find the same content and feel the same emotions as when they watched and - possibly - enjoyed the programme, which is totally unfair.

If one enjoyed the TV programme, then buy the DVD. A book is a different product from a TV programme.

Fry is quite clear about his intentions with the book: 'I do hope... that it will communicate the scale of the nation, the diversity, depth of identity and wealth of pride that prevails in every one of its fifty distinct states.' (p. 4)

As a consequence of that objective, and necessarily limited by the 314 pages available to write and display photographs on, this book is certainly not an encyclopaedia, and a wise reader would be better taking this book as a travel diary in the early 21st-century rather than as anything else.

Every single state is given uneven attention, from a couple of pages (for Delaware) to several pages. For every single state, there is a map of the region of the state and main local cities, and a 'Key Facts' frame with essential information: the abbreviation of the state name, its nickname, capital, flower, tree, bird, motto, and well-known residents and natives.

The text is a pleasant read and there are some nice illustrations, although many pictures make one think: here was SF in the Prairie, here was SF in the city, here was SF tasting ice cream...

But then, it's a personal and partial take on an immense reality; it's the law of the genre.

Some might wish this is given a sequel...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great guy, 22 May 2009
This review is from: Stephen Fry in America (Hardcover)
Excuse me but I had never heard of Stephen Fry - well I do live abroad - but he is wonderful.The book is quite extraordinary since this man gets to the parts that other pople cannot quite reach and asks all the questions that you would love to ask and what is more he gets the answers - when is he going to do Europe or any where else this man is magic keep going man we love you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An opinion from Cyprus of "Stephen Fry in America", 20 Feb 2009
By 
Mrs. B. Webb (Republic of Cyprus) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stephen Fry in America (Hardcover)
Just finished reading STEPHEN FRY IN AMERICA which is the companion book to the BBC Television series which I thoroughly enjoyed. Mr. Fry is not only a gifted presenter but author as well. He decided he wanted to visit America after discovering at the age of 10 he could have been an American had his father accepted a job at Princeton University because he would have been born there; and in adult life thought a programme about traversing through the 52 states would make a good television series and decided to use a traditional black cab for his travels.

He had picked up the cab in the US and started filming the series in Maine finishing in Hawaii. Along the way he met the sort of Americans possibly you would not meet as a holidaymaker or have seen through the various television holiday programmes available on mainstream television.

He is an intelligent, articulate and thoughtful man and this runs like a seam through the book, his language is slightly colourful at times but he nevers loses the ability to enthral and captivate you or to inspire you to read the book to the end. The book is not a complete replica of the television programmes though because it contains additional material that is not in these - either because of lack of broadcast time or because it ended up on the cutting room floor.

I would recommend STEPHEN FRY IN AMERICA to all those who perhaps enjoyed the television programmes, maybe has holidayed there or just, like me, loves America.
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Stephen Fry in America
Stephen Fry in America by Stephen Fry (Hardcover - 1 Oct 2008)
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