Genre: Arts, History & Current Affairs
Published: 1 August 1998
Publisher: Doubleday

Notes from a Big Country

by Bill Bryson


Bill Bryson has the rare knack of being out of his depth wherever he goes – even (perhaps especially) in the land of his birth. This became all too apparent when, after nearly two decades in England, the world’s best-loved travel writer upped sticks and returned to live in the country he had left as a youth.

NOTES FROM A BIG COUNTRY (published in the USA as I’M A STRANGER HERE MYSELF) is a collection of articles, originally written for the Mail on Sunday, about that strangest of phenomena – the American way of life. Whether discussing the glories of a New England autumn, the dazzling efficiency of the garbage disposal unit, the exoticism of having your groceries bagged for you or the jaw-slackening direness of American TV, Bill Bryson brings his inimitable brand of bemused wit to bear on the world’s richest and craziest country.

"One of his best books" - Scott Bradfield, 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" - Martin Fletcher The Times
"Bill Bryson's answer to Alistair Cooke's Letter From America...not only hilarious but also insightful and informative" - Jeremy Atiyah, Independent on Sunday
"Bryson is great when explaining the idiosyncracies of America to middle England and making it funny... He is both serious and contemtuously funny" - Guardian