Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

70%

7 Critic Reviews

The spelling is American, the writing is English (fat folk are seen to "Hoover up" their comestibles), and the wit is genuine. A diverting travel journal, for Anglophiles especially.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Before New York Times bestselling author Bill Bryson wrote The Road to Little Dribbling, he took this delightfully irreverent jaunt around the unparalleled floating nation of Great Britain, which has produced zebra crossings, Shakespeare, Twiggie Winkie’s Farm, and places with names like Farleigh Wallop and Titsey.

 

About Bill Bryson

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Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 8, 1951. In 1973, Bryson went backpacking in England, where he eventually decided to settle. He wrote for the English newspapers The Times and The Independent, as well as supplementing his income by writing travel articles. Bryson moved back to the States in 1995. His first travel book, The Lost Continent, chronicles a trip in his mother's Chevy around small town America. Since then, he has written several more about the U. K. and the U. S., including bestsellers, A Walk in the Woods, I'm A Stranger Here Myself, and In a Sunburned Country. His other books include Bill Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe, Made in America, The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson's African Diary, A Short History of Nearly Everything and At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Walk About, and Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, athe Genius of the Royal Society, and At Home: A Short History of Private Life.
 
Published June 2, 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks. 338 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Travel, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 03 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Notes from a Small Island
All: 7 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Good
on May 20 2010

The spelling is American, the writing is English (fat folk are seen to "Hoover up" their comestibles), and the wit is genuine. A diverting travel journal, for Anglophiles especially.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on May 06 2016

...Bryson shares what he loves best about the idiosyncrasies of everyday English life in this immensely entertaining travel memoir.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on May 06 2016

Not all the columns hit their mark, and they are best read in small groupings, but this collection should sell well enough, although not likely to the heights of A Walk in the Woods.

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Entertainment Weekly

Above average
on Jun 07 1996

Ultimately, Bryson and his Notes From a Small Island: An Affectionate Portrait of Britain seem quite a lot like England itself: polite, unobtrusive, often charming, and quite easy to overlook.

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The Bookbag

Above average
Reviewed by Magda Healey on Aug 01 1996

For those who are Bryson virgins, it's a good place to start your acquaintance with the author if you ever have such a desire. Overall, OK as light entertainment but don't expect particularly beautiful prose nor deep insights.

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We Love This Book

Good
Reviewed by Stacey Bartlett on Apr 20 2012

First published in 1995, Notes from a Small Island is Bryson’s first foray into literature. He worked at The Times and The Independent before trying his hand at writing travel books, and thank goodness he did – otherwise World Book Night would be one excellent book down.

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Nights and Weekends

Above average
Reviewed by Deborah Leiter on May 06 2016

Reading this book will make you affectionate about it too—I promise. Just remember not to take it all seriously as a complete picture of either the British or American character. It's humor, after all, and in typical Bryson style, can be a trifle biting at times.

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Reader Rating for Notes from a Small Island
75%

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