Bill Bryson Notes from a Big Country

ISBN 13: 9780385410199

Notes from a Big Country

3.9 avg rating
( 51,786 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780385410199: Notes from a Big Country
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

After nearly two decades in England, Bill Bryson returned to the country of his birth. Gathered here are 18 months' worth of his "Mail on Sunday" columns about that strange phenomena, the American way of life, in which he brings his bemused wit to bear on one of the world's craziest countries.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

"Here's a fact for you. According to the latest "Abstract of the United States", every year more than 400,00 Americans suffer injuries involving beds, mattresses or pillows...That is more people than live in greater Coventry. That is almost 2,000 bed, mattress or pillow injuries a day. In the time it takes you to read this article, four Americans will somehow manage to be wounded by their bedding."
Fans of Bill Bryson will know by now that this is the kind of completely useless information that gets him excited. In fact, you are unlikely to read anyone else who derives quite so much pleasure from meaningless statistics. If those statistics are about the USA (Bryson's homeland) or his adopted England--or even better, comparing one to the other--then he is in heaven. And it is not only the uselessness of the information that interests him, but also the fact that Americans spend millions of dollars and hours each year collecting such data together.

Though not a match for his earlier success of Notes from a Small Island, Notes from a Big Country takes a good second place. It collects together more than 18 months worth of Mail on Sunday columns which Bryson wrote between October 1996 and May 1998 after he and his English wife and children returned to the US and settled in New England. The only thing that outshines his amazement--and sometimes, outright dismay--at the way American society has changed while he's been away, is his English-born family's instant embracing of transatlantic culture.

A word of warning: reading Bill Bryson is not a spectator sport...you are invited-- in fact, compelled--to marvel at how the nation that "has the largest economy, the most comfortably off people, the best research facilities, many of the finest universities and think-tanks, and more Nobel Prize winners than the rest of the world put together" could be the same nation where "13 per cent of women...cannot say whether they wear their tights under their knickers or over them. That's something like 12 million women walking around in a state of chronic foundation garment uncertainty." This is Bryson at his best, and though not every column inch hits the heady heights of underwear distribution, there are enough laugh-out-loud moments to keep you satisfied.

Detractors of Bryson's work complain all his books are the same, yet dedicated followers cite that very uniformity of style and subject as the reason they return, book after book. Anyone disappointed by A Walk in the Woods (Bryson's account of hiking the Appalachian Trail and not his best book) will have their faith restored by Notes from a Big Country-- here Bryson returns to his favourite subject and the simple, journalistic prose that makes his wacky facts and observations instantly accessible.

Bryson does not pretend to deliver an intellectual treatise on the state of mankind; instead he offers one man's take on how humanity lurches from one day to another--ironically through the kinds of details he mocks others for collecting. --Lucie Naylor

Review:

'One of his best books.' (The Independent)

'Delightful bite-size essays that exude affection while debunking the ridiculous with wonderful succinctness ... This is not a book to be read in a single sitting. It is one to be savoured.' (The Times)

'Bryson is great when explaining the idiosyncracies of America to middle England and making it funny... He is both serious and contemptuously funny.' (The Guardian)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781784161842: Notes From A Big Country: Journey into the American Dream (Bryson)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1784161845 ISBN 13:  9781784161842
Publisher: Black Swan, 2016
Softcover

9780552997867: Notes From A Big Country: Journey Into the American Dream (Bryson)

Black ..., 1999
Softcover

9781856137041: Bill Bryson Box Set, A Walk in the Woods, Notes from a Big Country, Notes from a Small Island

Doubleday, 1999
Hardcover

9780754022473: Notes from a Big Country (Paragon Softcover Large Print Books)

Chiver..., 2000
Hardcover

9783150091340: Notes from a Big Country

Reclam..., 2005
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Bryson, Bill
Published by Doubleday (1998)
ISBN 10: 0385410190 ISBN 13: 9780385410199
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0385410190

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
42.98
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.36
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Bill Bryson
Published by Doubleday (1998)
ISBN 10: 0385410190 ISBN 13: 9780385410199
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0385410190

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
52.50
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.57
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Bryson, Bill
Published by Doubleday
ISBN 10: 0385410190 ISBN 13: 9780385410199
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0385410190 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0124727

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
64.81
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.93
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Bryson, Bill
Published by Doubleday (1998)
ISBN 10: 0385410190 ISBN 13: 9780385410199
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0385410190

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
80.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.14
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds