The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain by Bill Bryson
Rating: Very Good
Description: Over twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his home. The hilarious book he wrote about that journey, Notes from a Small Island, became one of the most loved books of recent decades, and was voted in a BBC poll as the book that best represents Britain. Now, for his first travel book in fifteen years, Bryson sets out again, on a long-awaited, brand-new journey around the UK. (from Goodreads)
Genre: Nonfiction - Travel
Why I Picked This Book: I've enjoyed Bryson's other books of this type and enjoyed Notes from a Small Island very much. I was curious to see what had changed in 20 years.
My Impression: If you've read any of Bryson's books before you pretty much know what to expect here. If you haven't - it's basically Bryson meandering around the English countryside and discussing everything that interests him. Obscure and not so obscure landmarks, some interesting and not so well known historical tidbits, the way some areas are so carefully preserved and celebrated and others no less important and beautiful completely ignored. He discusses traffic, the British love of systems that are far less systematic than they appear, and everything else that comes into his head in an ordered stream of conscious fashion. I mean all of this in the best possible way. Bryson is mildly grumpy with a low tolerance for idiots but his sense of humor and curiosity really carries the book. There were plenty of times throughout the book when I found myself laughing and just had to read the passage out loud to my husband. Bryson also validated my fear of cows and earned my eternal gratitude. I knew they weren't to be trusted and were always ready to trample someone to death.
This was a book I read a little bit at a time and I always enjoyed it. Bryson's voice is gentle even when he's contemplating if violence is appropriate when someone allows their dog to poop on a public walk and then covers it up with leaves. The book is divided into chapters that discuss different regions - Cornwall, London, etc - and for each chapter he explores that region. He has the unique perspective of someone who has lived there for decades and is familiar with the country and able to see how things have changed but he is still just slightly a foreigner.
This is a perfect book to read a chapter at a time. It's light and entertaining but still full of fascinating tidbits of information about a huge range of subjects.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: I definitely will. I really enjoyed this one!
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes definitely! If you're a fan of Bryson's work this is a must read and if you're new to him this would be a great book to start with.