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Stephen Fry in America Hardcover – 1 Oct 2008
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'A fascinating look at one of the world's most complex and confusing countries, this is a story told with the wit and warmth we expect from Fry.' Stoke on Trent Sentinel
‘A very funny take on life across the pond.’
From the Author
- Lobster fishing in Maine.
- Electioneering with Mitt Romney for the New Hampshire primaries.
- Went to a real witchs ball at Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween.
- Sailed an Admiral Cup winning yacht in Rhode Island.
- Went down into a nuclear submarine in Connecticut.
- Mixed my own Ben and Jerrys flavour in Vermont.
- Went deer hunting in upstate New York.
- Hung out with ancient toothless wise guys from the old days in the borough of Queens, New York; drove Sting down Broadway.
- Learned to deal Blackjack in the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City New Jersey
- Zoomed round Washington DC in a Segway.
- Went to the Veterans Day ceremony in Arlington, Virginia with VP Dick Cheney.
- Went down a coal mine in West Virginia.
- Sold a thoroughbred yearling and got insanely ratted in a bourbon distillery in Kentucky.
- Picked with Bluegrass hillbillies and found myself in a garden full of dead bodies in Tennessee. Was appointed an official duckmaster in Memphis, an honour I share with Kevin Bacon and Oprah Winfrey.
- Went ballooning over the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina.
- Enjoyed Thanksgiving in a grand plantation house in Georgia.
- Went to a gay bar in Georgia and watched a drag act ... "Honey, theres more of us than youd believe."
- Watched a college football game in Alabama that was bigger than the FA Cup final. 100,000 in the stadium, two hundred thousand crowded outside it.
- Sat in court in Montgomery as families pleaded for their childrens parole.
- Swam with dolphins and danced with snowbirds in Florida.
- Marched with the Zulus on Mardi Gras in New Orleans, was blessed at a voodoo ceremony (or possibly cursed). Witnessed the horrors of Hurricane Katrina in the Lower Ninth Ward.
- Went oystering down in the gulf of Mexico and farmed with murderers and lifers at the Angola state penitentiary in the rest of Louisiana.
- Canoed along the Mississippi in Arkansas.
- Sat and talked about the blues with Morgan Freeman in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
- Watched the girls of Clarksdale High lose a basketball match.
- Hung out in the ice and snow amongst the homeless in St Louis, Missouri.
- Had my brain examined by a Maharishi psychologist at the Maharishi University in Iowa. Went nuts trying to find alcohol in Vedic City, Iowa, a city founded by followers of the Maharishi.
- Rode with the fire brigade in Elkhart, Indiana. Looked a dick in the uniform. Breathing apparatus got stuck on me.
- Rode a Model T-Ford around Henry Fords Greenfield Village, Michigan.
- Discovered the South Side of Chicago with blues legend Buddy Guy.
- Cast and buffed and dipped and polished a genuine Oscar at the factory where they are made in Chicago.
- Improved with the Second City revue.
- Milked sheep in Wisconsin and was pulled in an Amish sled.
- Went ice-fishing in Minnesota and caught a fish.
- Strode around with Ted Turner on his Montana ranch and inspected his herd of buffalo.
- Helicoptered over the Canadian border with the National Border Patrol.
- Poured water over Idaho to demonstrate the nature of the continental divide.
- Was pulled by huskies in Wyoming.
- Ate German food at a diner in Bismarck, North Dakota.
- Stayed on the Lakota Sioux reservation in South Dakota and drummed with the young braves.
- Went trucking in Nebraska.
- Went down a missile bunker in Kansas.
- To a rodeo in Oklahoma.
- Attended an Indian Pow Pow in Denver and caused an explosion on the slopes at Aspen, Colorado.
- Drove along the Rio Grande with Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas and watched Mexicans trying to smuggle themselves over the border.
- In New Mexico went to Los Alamos where the first Atom bomb was made; ballooned along a canyon and went inside an earth ship.
- Barbecued with the Navajo deep inside Monument Valley and had a Navajo weaving lesson.
- In Nevada played a spy game in Las Vegas and found myself in a legal brothel outside Reno talking to well breasted women.
- Flew in a WW2 B17 bomber from Phoenix to Tucson, Arizona and played a scene in a western in the old Tucson studios. Got shot. Death scene lasted 12 minutes, nearly a Tucson record. Beaten by Deforest Kelley, later Dr McCoy, in a B western.
- Drank wine in Californias Napa Valley, chewed the fat with Jony Ive, designer of the iMac, iPod and iPhone. Shot a .44 magnum in Ukiah, California, guest of the sheriff.
- Raided a marijuana farm in Mendocino County.
- Camped out in a place known to be frequented by Big Foot, the Sasquatch in Grants Pass, Oregon.
- Swam with sea otters and seals in Seattle, Washington. Said goodbye to the taxi.
- Went fishing in and looking for bears in Kodiak, Alaska. Went north to the arctic circle and skidooed with some Eskimos.
- Went to an observatory in the tallest mountain in the world in Hawaii. Canoed like in the title sequence of Hawaii 5 O. Flew over lava field and watched new bits of America, five acres a week, being made as the molten lava hit the sea. Swam with sharks, flew a microlite around the islands.
And more, so so so much more you wouldnt believe.See all Product description
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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.
A book found in large numbers in charity shops - not dull, an easy read and a chatty approach to some mildly quirky people and places, but be prepared for the fact that it will tell you nothing about the United States.
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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