We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
Notes From a Small Island | [Bill Bryson]

Notes From a Small Island

After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson, the acclaimed author of such best sellers as The Mother Tongue and Made in America, decided it was time to move back to the United States for a while. This was partly to let his wife and kids experience life in Bryson's homeland, and partly because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another. It was thus clear to him that his people needed him.
Regular Price:£19.69
  • Membership Details:
    • 1 book of your choice per month
    • £3.99 for the first three months and £7.99/month thereafter
    • Membership continues unless you choose to cancel
    • Exchange books you don't like
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson, the acclaimed author of such best sellers as The Mother Tongue and Made in America, decided it was time to move back to the United States for a while. This was partly to let his wife and kids experience life in Bryson's homeland, and partly because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another. 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 modern-day Britain, and to analyze what he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite, zebra crossings, and place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey, and Shellow Bowells. With wit and irreverence, Bill Bryson presents the ludicrous and the endearing in equal measure. The result is a social commentary that conveys the true glory of Britain.

©1995 Bill Bryson; (P)1996 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (346 )
5 star
 (161)
4 star
 (104)
3 star
 (60)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.3 (106 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (32)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.4 (106 )
5 star
 (59)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jo sheffieldUnited Kingdom 05/11/2008
    Jo sheffieldUnited Kingdom 05/11/2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A Note From A Small Islander"

    I love Bill Bryson's book and this is, by far, my favourite.

    It's a while since I heard this originally broadcast on Radio 4 and I'd forgotten how much better it is as a native Brit to hear it read in an american accent as it makes Bryson's journey and experiences more charming and entertaining.

    I thoroughly recommend this, even for diehard fans of the book - it gives it a whole new perspective!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Mands UK 07/03/2013
    D. Mands UK 07/03/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Funny but sloppy."

    If the town you live in is featured in this book Bryson is not likely to leave you with a feel good factor of your home. Though this book is typically Bryson with the genuinely funny moments you'd expect, as the book goes on it does seem to cross over in to a bit of a moan about anything and everything. Gets to the point where it becomes a little energy sapping. Though it's Bryson's style so I'm still a fan. What was unforgivable and the knocked off a star, were the factually incorrect parts that for such a smart man were enough to rock confidence in his travel accounts and revealed a previously unseen sloppiness in his writing. For instance, asserting Glasgow as the capital of Scotland was just one that stood out.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue St Neots, United Kingdom 13/04/2013
    Sue St Neots, United Kingdom 13/04/2013 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    I love Bill Bryson's books, and I particularly love them read by William Roberts, whose voice and interpretation are perfect. This was no exception. 5 star!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mathew London, Middlesex, United Kingdom 02/04/2011
    Mathew London, Middlesex, United Kingdom 02/04/2011 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Bill's finest hour"

    I was first introduced to this book in the mid 1990's and i was amazed that a travel book could appeal so much to an uncultured youth such as myself. It is hard to know what is so appealing, the flattery that an american could find so much interest in the things we pass everyday or having another view of places we remember visiting but never really got yo know.
    This audiobook was the first one I bought several years ago I hoped to experience the same feelings as when I first bought the book many years earlier, I'm glad to say Bill didn't disappoint. This audiobook is of the highest quality in writng and delivery.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian orpington, kent, United Kingdom 31/03/2009
    Ian orpington, kent, United Kingdom 31/03/2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Very enjoyable"

    Loved every minute,

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsay Kay Caddy Guildford, United Kingdom 11/05/2013
    Lindsay Kay Caddy Guildford, United Kingdom 11/05/2013 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely trip around Britain"

    This book is another good Bryson. A well narrated farewell tour of Britain in Bryson's usual style. It's lovely to hear of his descriptions and experiences of familiar places to me. It's a good book but not his best, rather too much description of his train journey, but I guess that's inevitable given his mode of transport for the trip, and not quite as funny as other books of his that I've listened to. Still worth reading/listening to though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Kingston, United Kingdom 08/04/2013
    Alex Kingston, United Kingdom 08/04/2013 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Loved it, loved it loved it."

    Enjoyed this book immensely, reminded me of days gone by, and the hope that we still clung to all that was good about being British.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Romsey, United Kingdom 15/03/2013
    Michael Romsey, United Kingdom 15/03/2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Marvellous"

    Many years since I read this book, but it is still terrific and the narration was perfect. It may be some time since Bill went round Britain, but it really could have been written last week!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SK United Kingdom 12/01/2013
    SK United Kingdom 12/01/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A great book"

    I do not normally read travel books, but this one is great! It gives a good, honest description of places that the author visited. It is also easy to listen to and very funny.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer CHELMSFORD, United Kingdom 24/12/2012
    Amazon Customer CHELMSFORD, United Kingdom 24/12/2012 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Classic Bryson observation and wit"

    I first read this when it first appeared. It was my first experience of the idiosyncratic author's work and subsequently I have read and/or heard most of his books. This remains a particular favourite and I was delighted to revisit it in Audible form. Bryson's writing captures in its rhythms his distinctive tone of voice and I initially wondered whether I would be disappointed by hearing a different reader: I was not. William Robert's reading is characterful and close in manner to the author's own manner. Very enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 30 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
Sort by:
  • Donna
    Queensland, Australia
    01/08/10
    Overall
    "Great Read, Great Laugh"

    I've been a Bill Bryson fan for years now, and as funny as his books are, listening to this one definitely made it even more enjoyable. It was a bit embarrassing when I kept bursting out laughing in public, but it's a very small price to pay for the great entertainment.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • HBT
    Thyborøn, Denmark
    17/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Feelgood therapy - a must-read!"
    If you could sum up Notes From a Small Island in three words, what would they be?

    Humour, warmth and passion.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Notes From a Small Island?

    The whole book is a pearl necklace of memorable moments!


    What does William Roberts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    William Roberts is the perfect narrator! Mr. Roberts - if you read these reviews - THANK YOU!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Garry
    Cannington, Australia
    05/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bill at his Best"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Notes From a Small Island to be better than the print version?

    Yes, in a book like this is better than printed.


    What other book might you compare Notes From a Small Island to and why?

    Well it has to be Down Under by Bill Bryson too. I am English by birth but now an Australian, I learned more about Australian history from Bill reading Down Under than others as he seems to pick those stories that is well, just darn more interesting. He does the same here about the English.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Bacon and Eggs, early morning rain and cold... I remember it so well. Cold wind Swept port towns dark and closed. Yep remember those well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Cringe maybe, as I have memories like these myself. Cringe in a nice way Bill.


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyable, if you grew up in England through the 70's and 80's a lot of this will hit home. But for anyone else, it is still a fun read/listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.