After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move back to the States for a while, to let his kids experience life in another country, to give his wife the chance to shop until 10 p.m. seven nights a week, and, most of all, because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another, and it was thus clear to him that his people needed him. But before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of the nation's public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that produced Marmite, a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy, place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells, people who said 'Mustn't grumble', and Gardeners' Question Time.
The funniest living American takes us with him on his valedictory tour of the UK by rail, which he made before returning to the US after living in England for 20 years. Bryson's dry, tongue-in-cheek humour and deadpan asides always make us laugh out loud, even when his observations are not exactly original (some of his targets, such as English weather, bad modern architecture or unspeakable food, have perhaps been noticed before). Still, the book is spot-on funny as usual, and even a little bit sad. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: October 1996
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 12.8 x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.3