Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Book 5 1/2

"The Lost Continent" by Bill Bryson

Another rambling, amusing and - at times downright tetchy - book from Mssr Bryson.
In this one, he's looking for the perfect small town in America and during the course of the book he finds crappy tourist traps a-plenty, lots of astonishingly dodgy roadside food. One moment he's found the best little motel in the mid-West (which, BTW, he seems to think is much nicer than the West), the next he's found a crappy baseball cap with a plastic turd on the brim.

If you haven't read any Bryson before, I'm not sure if I would recommend this as a starting point, but I would say that if you're a fan, then go right ahead. I'm not saying it ain't a good book, but it's a very Bryson Bryson, if you get me, and his tone might put the unintiated off. There are moments in the book where his... let's be charitable... his frugal nature comes out. But then there are other times where his sense of nostalgia and anger at the way America is getting so same-y and cheap makes you want to blow up a mega-corp.

I really did enjoy this one, and read it in about six sessions (three of which were baths. How nice is it to lie in a bath and read for ages?). I'll give it four cheap Iowans on a mission out of five.


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