Bill Bryson complains in interesting ways. People even pay him to complain, through buying his books. As far as 350 pages of rantings go, "The Lost Continent" is a fine example.

Upon having lived in Great Britain for a long while, Bryson moved back to his home country, the US. There he decided to travel around several dozen states, visiting "small-town America", to recapture the US of his childhood. On the way he meets countless interesting individuals and, of course, finds plenty of reason to observe that, really, everything has gone down the drain. Few authors could get away with this, but Bryson can. I read the whole thing in one fell swoop and found myself with tears of laughter on my cheeks at dozens of occasions. Of course, every single citizen of the world has the right to make jokes at the expensive of the silliest country in the world, but Bryson does it with style. In between the witticisms and nail-on-the-head observations, Bryson injects the narrative with dozens of really interesting facts. It makes the book, I almost hesitate to add, a semi-educational read.

You should never give this book to someone with stitches in his abdomen, unless you don't like them.

Released 1989, ISBN 0-552-99808-7



Written September 1999


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