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Publisher's Summary

Des Moines, Iowa-born writer Bryson's first success was the travel book The Lost Continent. After living in England for several years, he wanted to go back to the USA to find the perfect little US town of his past, he lovingly called Amalgam. More travel books followed, in the form of Neither Here Nor There (where he travels through Europe), Notes From A Small Island (where he travels around the United Kingdom, before returning back to the USA to live there for good) and A Walk In The Woods (where he walks the Appalachian trail). After moving back to the States, Bryson started to write a column for The Mail on Sunday Night and Day magazine. This is a collection of these column entries. Bryson writes about everything from everyday chores, to suing people, the beach, TV, movies, air conditioners, college, Americana, injury dangers, wasting resources, and holiday seasons.
©1998 Bill Bryson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This is Bryson at his best." ( Amazon.co.uk)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

as good as expected

Like always, Bill Bryson knocks it out of the park woth his ability to turn every day events into outstanding stories.
what a legend

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

Pithy observations and a great insight on the American view of the world in the late 90s.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • J-H2O
  • 03-10-2006

Bitter or Sweet ? I'm not sure !

I really enjoy Bill Bryson and his sense of observational humour really appeals however, although this was funny at times, because it was a collection of smaller clips I found that I could not get my teeth into it as much. It is worth having in a collection because it is enjoyable but I would not put it high on my list of Bill Bryson must haves. I was expecting it to be like Notes From A Small Island but in this respect I was a little dissappointed.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Derek
  • 08-07-2015

The usual

Brilliant written as usual.
Excellently read as usual.
A joy to listen to as usual.
Do yourself a favour and get this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Zara
  • 19-03-2015

Great book, well written.

Overall a fantastic buy but for me William Roberts does not have a voice I appreciate listening to hours of.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • maria rocke
  • 31-12-2014

:) loved it

Loved the book and I enjoyed the narrator's reading.... If you like Bill Bryson's witty view of life you will love this one

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Claire
  • 31-05-2010

Great book, terrible narration

As an avid fan of Bill Bryson, I couldn't wait to download and play this, possibly my favourite book of his. Unfortunately the narrator's voice is so grating and misinterpretive of the content, I cannot listen for more than 10 minutes at a time. It's such a shame. I gave 3 stars for the content, I really love this book, but had to take away for the narration.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 25-03-2008

Very Entertaining

As always, Mr Bryson is very entertaining, and he provides a very interesting account of the trials and tribultations of returning to your mother country after years of being an Alien in another land.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • "sefran"
  • 19-06-2018

Great fun and light hearted

You'll find yourself agreeing with so many observations of American (and British) life, even though the book is 20 years old. The presentation is a little jolting at times, but is enjoyable as long as you remember it is less of a narrative than Brysons other, similar books. more light hearted and cheeky, and fun relaxed listen. Well recommended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Graham
  • 31-05-2018

Bryson at his best

This is, by far, the most amusing, funny, delightful book in Bill Bryson’s repertoire. I wonder if he and I are related?

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Viñet
  • 09-09-2017

A firm favourite, entertainingly narrated

I've loved this book for almost the entire two decades since its publication. I recently bought the Kindle version with WhisperSync audio so I could read and listen whilst commuting by bicycle and public transport, and the narration is almost perfectly suited to the text. My overall rating loses a star for the somewhat arbitrary way the book has been split into chapters and the lack of a pause between many of the separate columns, but that is a small quibble with an otherwise very entertaining audiobook.

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  • Jonathan
  • 22-03-2017

Nearly 20 years old and still strangely applicable

The combination of Bill Bryson's and William Roberts is always an absolute winner. and a true example of why authors generally (should 99% of the time) give their books over to actors to read. The Goldmine is obviously Bill Bryson's wit, charm and elegantly judged frustration but the absolute joy of it is crystallized by the performance. suffice it to say this is very very funny and the smallest 'snippets' structure make it an ideal book for dipping in and out of during a stressful day. considering it talks about a lot of stuff that has moved on quite considerably technology wise the issues and irritations it raises are still very much contemporary and applicable and definitely still worth your time, attention and money. Let's put it this way Bill my mother has heard a couple of minutes of this and now I have to buy the book for her for Christmas - you are just that good!