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I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away

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I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The master humorist and bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods now guides us on an affectionate, hysterically funny tour of America's most outrageous absurdities.

After living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and four children (he had read somewhere that nearly three million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens — as he later put it, "it was clear my people needed me"). They were greeted by a new-and-improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, twenty-four-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item.

Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I'm a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. From motels ("one of those things — airline food is another — that I get excited about and should know better") to careless barbers ("in the mirror I am confronted with an image that brings to mind a lemon meringue pie with ears"), I'm a Stranger Here Myself chronicles the quirkiest aspects of life in America, right down to our hardware-store lingo, tax-return instructions, and vulnerability to home injury ("statistically in New Hampshire I am far more likely to be hurt by my ceiling or underpants than by a stranger").

Along the way Bill Bryson also reveals his rules for life (#1: It is not permitted to be both slow and stupid. You must choose one or the other); delivers the commencement address to a local high school ("I've learned that if you touch a surface to see if it's hot, it will be"); and manages to make friends with a skunk. The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man's attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but it is also an extended, if at times bemused, love letter to the homeland he has returned to after twenty years away.

Review:

"Painfully funny and genuinely insightful...Bryson has never been wittier or more endearing." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Wonderfully droll...Bryson is unparalleled in his ability to cut a culture off at the knees in a way that is so humorous and so affectionate that those being ridiculed are laughing too hard to take offense." The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"Bill Bryson makes writing look too easy." USA Today

Review:

"A cross between de Tocqueville and Dave Barry, Bryson writes about today's America in a way that's both trenchantly observant and pound-on-the-floor, snort-root-beer-out-of-your-nose funny." San Francisco Examiner

Review:

"Bill Bryson could write an essay about dryer lint or fever reducers and still make us laugh out loud." Chicago Sun-Times

Synopsis:

Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I'm a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man's attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but it is also an extended if at times bemused love letter to the homeland he has returned to after twenty years away.

About the Author

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa. For twenty years he lived in England, where he worked for the Times and the Independent, and wrote for most major British and American publications. His books include travel memoirs (Neither Here Nor There; The Lost Continent; Notes from a Small Island) and books on language (The Mother Tongue; Made in America). His account of his attempts to walk the Appalachian Trail, A Walk in the Woods, was a huge New York Times bestseller. He lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, with his wife and his four children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Katherine Stevens, August 28, 2010 (view all comments by Katherine Stevens)
A '90s flashback in humor column compilation format. Bryson reminisces about all the great things of his childhood in '50s (creepy motels, kitschy roadside attractions, drive-in movie theaters, etc.) that have disappeared or are nearly gone and complains about American excess, yet his "whingeing" is almost universally funny and often self-deprecating and makes for a great, if now outdated read. Unless there is a pretzel stand where there are 100-plus options, in which case, someone please point me in the right direction.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780767903820
Author:
Bryson, Bill
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Anecdotes
Subject:
Travelers
Subject:
Bryson, Bill - Anecdotes
Subject:
United States Description and travel.
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
General Travel
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Subject:
travel;humor;non-fiction;essays;memoir;america;usa;travel writing;culture;autobiography;biography;bryson;bill bryson;american;funny;england;travelogue;social commentary;comedy;essay;history;americana;us;fiction;american culture;new hampshire;short stories
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1st trade paperback ed.
Series Volume:
SP-185
Publication Date:
20000631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x .6 in .5 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Featured Titles » General
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Featured Titles
Travel » Travel Writing » General

I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767903820 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Painfully funny and genuinely insightful...Bryson has never been wittier or more endearing."
"Review" by , "Wonderfully droll...Bryson is unparalleled in his ability to cut a culture off at the knees in a way that is so humorous and so affectionate that those being ridiculed are laughing too hard to take offense."
"Review" by , "Bill Bryson makes writing look too easy."
"Review" by , "A cross between de Tocqueville and Dave Barry, Bryson writes about today's America in a way that's both trenchantly observant and pound-on-the-floor, snort-root-beer-out-of-your-nose funny."
"Review" by , "Bill Bryson could write an essay about dryer lint or fever reducers and still make us laugh out loud."
"Synopsis" by , Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I'm a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man's attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but it is also an extended if at times bemused love letter to the homeland he has returned to after twenty years away.
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