Bill Bryson's hilarious tour of his adopted country: the book that was voted the nation's favourite book on modern Britain in a World Book Day BBC poll.
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.
About the Author
Bill Bryson's bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent, Neither Here Nor There and Notes from a Small Island, which in a national poll was voted the book that best represents Britain. His acclaimed book on the history of science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Royal Society's Aventis Prize as well as the Descartes Prize, the European Union's highest literary award. Bryson has written books on language, on Shakespeare, and on his own childhood in the hilarious memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. His last critically lauded bestsellers were on history - At Home: a Short History of Private Life, and One Summer: America 1927.
Another travel book, A Walk in the Woods, has now become a major film starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. Bryson's new book, The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island comes out in Autumn 2015. Bill Bryson was born in the American Mid-West, and is now living back in the UK. A former Chancellor of Durham University, he was President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England for five years, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society.
"Not a book that should be read in public, for fear of emitting loud snorts" * The Times *
"Laugh-out-loud funny" * The Good Book Guide *
"Splendid... What's enjoyable is that there's as much of Bryson in here as there is of Britain" * Sunday Telegraph *
"Bryson is funny because he is not afraid to give completely of himself" * Daily Express *
"Astute and funny...a tribute to [Britain's] enchantments by an unabashed anglophile." * New York Times *