Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's



on 14 August 2016
I've read most of Bill Bryson's books (some of them more than once) but sadly this is the first of his that I couldn't finish.

On returning to the US after a hiatus of nearly 10 years, Bryson decides to take a road trip of almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical town call Amalgam. Along the way he encounters the small towns of his childhood, often only glimpsed from the back seat of his family's car as they made the long trek from Des Moines, Illinois to their chosen vacation destination (often over 1,000 miles away).

The overwhelming negativity Bryson imbues throughout the book is downright depressing. Nothing is safe, from the small towns and their supposed faceless main streets, to the local residents and their apparent backwater attitudes to visitors, everything is a target for Bryson's pessimistic barbs.

Quite what he was expecting to find on his trip or how he comes to the conclusions he does however, is unclear. Forty years have elapsed since he last undertook this kind of journey, so to expect these places to have remained unchanged is more than a little short-sighted (especially for a travel writer). He also never takes the time to have a proper conversation with a local resident about the town he's in, choosing instead to mock the way they talk, the way they dress or their apparent lack of education.

It's disheartening to think that such an entertaining and humorous writer as Bryson usually is, has been reduced to this. It's definitely not up to his usual standard of writing and if this were the first of his books I'd read, I certainly wouldn't be tempted to read any others. Disappointing and definitely one to avoid if you're a Bryson fan.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 May 2017
Prompt delivery. Excellent condition, wonderful read. Thanks.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 June 2017
excellent
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 March 2017
Bought as a present and absolutely adored by the recipient. I was a little skeptical due to some of the negative reviews but bought it anyway. I was told that it's style was still very Bryson but a good example of a writer finding his feet without it being chaotic or unsure. I was told it was warm and funny and expressed a great love for its subject through its humour even if it lamented what was lost.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 July 2017
Made me laugh anyway - but I am a Bill Bryson fan. Hope theres more to come.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 July 2017
Avery good read ,and very amusing.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 January 2016
OH dear, Bill Bryson has written some terrific books , but this isn't one of them. He describes a succession of awful dead end towns in America, each one more boring and dead-end than the last in ever more negative prose. I imagine he was as glad to come to the end of his voyage as most readers were to come to the end of the book. Even a writer famed for being laugh out loud funny can produce a turkey sometimes it seems.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 March 2014
I'm not sure what to make of this book, which sees Bryson travel round America in search of "prototypical small town America" (the first half sees him travel round the eastern states, while he travels round the western half of the country in the second half of the book).

The book is funny but I'd forgotten I read this book when I reread it over the last few days, and I'm surprised how little of it came back. I recognised the odd description, joke, and turn of phrase, but beyond that there wasn't much that came back to me.

In addition, I'm surprised how reliant on stereotypes that Bryson was. I don't recall getting that sense the first time I read it.

My final grumble would be that this book's old now (it was first published in 1989), and I'm not sure it's dated well. My first instinct when he quotes prices (we're supposed to be shocked at) is to think they don't sound bad.

So, in short, it's an easy read, but I don't think you'll ever say it was memorable.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 20 January 2014
NOTE THIS IS A REVIEW FOR THE ABRIDGED AUDIO version of The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson read By Kerry Shale.

I love all of Bill Bryson's Books and bough this one on cassette back in the day.
So, when presented with a really cheap price for this two CD disc set of the book I decided to invest in another copy.

The first thing I noticed was that this edition is just 2 CDs long.
Would there be absolute drastic cuts from the novel?
I'd had thought 4 CDs would be just right for the abridged version.

I have enjoyed the narrator Kerry Shale's other narrations of numerous audio books- just type in Kerry Shale on Amazon and stand back as the list goes on and on.

Shale is excellent hence his popularity as a narrator so we have a win win situation.
A great book read by a great Narrator but the length?
I need not have worried for Shale reads this book at a heck of a pace.
I was reminded of a Gattling Gun by the sheer speed and number of words he gets out in a minute.
Don't get me wrong you hear and understand every word Kerry says and it makes sense but he does not waste a moment in the telling.

For a review about the books contents then other reviewers have written, at length about this.

All you need to know is that the book is entertaining, humorous and read so darn well by Kerry Shale- a really good buy for this cheap as chips price.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 March 2016
I have read most of Bryson's books.I think he is the best humorous travel writer .... but not here. Firstly he surprised me by his negativity about small town America. Either he never plans to go back to these places he insults or he thinks they are not literate enough to read his book. Either way this is not the America I have experienced which is most friendly, polite and welcoming. Bryson also manages to be very negative about NHS hospitals en route. I am left wondering if he was commissioned to take this trip to write the book and it was a job he did not enjoy.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)