©1995 Bill Bryson; (P)1996 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
"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!
"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.
Loved every minute,
"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.
"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.
"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.
One of the best books I've listened to! Both interesting and hilarious, would definitely recommend!
"The unforgettable Mrs. Smegma"
Notes from a Small Island isn't my favourite Bill Bryson book but it's still scores 5 stars from me because it's an excellent piece of Bryson travel writing. For a British reader, 'Notes From A Small Island' is unique in his travel books because it's the only that's about us; it's the only one that doesn't take us away to strange and unfamiliar places.
Despite that, it's classic Bryson and ticks all the boxes - including narration by the 'real' Bill Bryson, William Roberts. I wonder if there's anyone else who can't help thinking that the narrator of 'The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid' (Bryson himself) is a well-meaning imposter?
NFASI is worth it for a wonderful portrait of our country from an outside perspective and for a cast of slightly unappealing yet horribly familiar characters such as Mrs. Smegma the landlady most of whom wouldn't be out of place in Royston Vasey.
"Great narrative, shame it's not read by the author"
Hugely enjoyable listen but lilt spoiled by Bryson not reading it. His other books benefit from his reading. Otherwise well worth it
"His best book"
All his books are great, but this one is by far my favourite.
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