I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to'. And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England, he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of trim and sunny place where the films of ...
I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to'. And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England, he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of trim and sunny place where the films of his youth were set. Instead, his search led him to Anywhere, USA; a lookalike strip of gas stations, motels and hamburger outlets populated by lookalike people with a penchant for synthetic fibres. Travelling around thirty-eight of the lower states - united only in their mind-numbingly dreary uniformity - he discovered a continent that was doubly lost; lost to itself because blighted by greed, pollution, mobile homes and television; lost to him because he had become a stranger in his own land. The Lost Continent is a classic of travel literature - hilariously, stomach-achingly funny, yet tinged with heartache - and the book that first staked Bill Bryson's claim as the most beloved writer of his generation.
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I've been steadily working my way through the Bryson output and have yet to be disappointed. This man could make Antarctica sound like a "must go" place to visit.
His descriptions of the places, faces and attitudes of his birth-country are fascinating - and with a 'laugh out loud' style of writing that is irresistible.
Oct 25, 2012
Good travel book
I felt like I was a passenger in the back seat of Mr. Bryson's car...a very good travel book....and I've actually been to many of the same places. He has some wonderful insights into the back highways and byways of America. If you happen to get a copy of the book with the coffee stain on the cover, don't panic (as I did), because that's actually the cover!!!
Aug 23, 2008
Enjoyable from cover to cover
Like all of Bill Bryson's books Lost Continent is filled with funny and apt commentary. How I wish I could be along for the ride on his forways across the country! I envy his unique descriptive storytelling.
Publishers Weekly, 1990-08-17 Journalist Bryson decided to relive the dreary vacation car trips of his American childhood. Starting out at his mother's house in Des Moines, Iowa, he motors through 38 states over the course of two months, looking for the quintessential American small town. ``Some of Bryson's comments are hilarious--if you enjoy the nonstop whining wisecracks of a 36-year-old kid,'' determined PW. (Sept.)
Publishers Weekly, 1989-07-07 Bryson, a freelance journalist, succumbed to nostalgia upon returning home to Iowa after living for 20 years in England: he decided to relive the dreary vacation car trips of his American childhood. Starting out at his mother's house in Des Moines, he motors through 38 states over the course of two months, looking for the quintessential American small town--something he never encountered as a boy, and certainly doesn't discover now, as he tours superhighways, motels, shopping malls, fast-food joints and tourist traps. And, like a bored, bemused minor tagging along after adults, he trashes almost everything he sees, including the Smithsonian Museum and the trees in Sequoia National Park. Some of Bryson's comments are hilarious--if you enjoy the nonstop whining wisecracks of a 36-year-old kid. First serial to Cond e Nast Traveler; BOMC alternate. (Sept.)
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