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on 15 May 2017
This was a replacement copy for a tattered edition as I love this novel so much. It's maybe Bill Bryson's funniest, and great fun if you have travelled in the US in the past.
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on 17 September 2017
I've seen some poor reviews of this, but it might be you've bought the wrong book, as this is typically Bryson and a great read. If you like Bill Bryson you should love this.
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on 4 October 2017
One of the very books I have ever read, made even better by the narration of William King. Bill Bryson manages to deliver a warm, humorous and intelligent discourse on every subject he turns to, but his homecoming is truly special. If you're prone to wanderlust, this book will really trigger it!
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on 21 June 2017
As usual he describes what you already know better than you could. Essential reading. The desire to love a failed ideal is palpable
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on 3 September 2017
Interesting and a surprising insight of america
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on 6 December 2015
An enjoyable BB book, full of information relayed in an easy to read manner. Put it down for a week, pick it up again, and it doesn't feel as though you've been away.
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on 23 July 2017
A great funny read!
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on 30 August 2017
Wonderful writing
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 April 2017
After a few bouts of ‘serious fiction’ there’s nothing quite so reassuringly comforting as ‘coming home’ to another Bill Bryson read. This 1989 book was Bryson’s first ‘travel book’, seeing him return to his US home, having lived in the UK for many years, and traversing small-town America from East to West in his customary tongue-in-cheek, but still educational, fashion. The Lost Continent may lack the diversity of his European travels in Neither Here Nor There and the personal interactions of his Appalachian Trail journey, A Walk In The Woods, but, despite the more obscure locations here often becoming (particularly for a British reader) almost indistinguishable, there is still much to enjoy. Highlights include his many tales of his father’s idiosyncrasies – some of which (e.g. penny-pinching!) Bryson himself seems to have inherited – and his lambasting of his home country’s penchant for tat and commercialisation seemingly at any cost, plus there is a topical reference to Bryson’s visit to the gaudy Trump Tower (if only he could have foreseen!). Incidentally, if there is anyone (still) labouring under the impression that this is a ‘serious’ travel guide (difficult to believe there could be, I admit), then I can confirm it is not. Otherwise, as with all Bryson, it comes highly recommended.
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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.
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