After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move back to the States for a while but before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain. 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 had produced Marmite, a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy, place names like Farleigh Wallop and Shellow Bowells, people who said 'Mustn't grumble', and Gardeners' Question Time.
©2004 Bill Bryson (P)2004 Random House Audiobooks
"I think I love Bill"
Fab as always, I think I've gone through everything that Bill's narrated and just adore it. Sad that there are lots he hasn't! Please Bill do some more x
"Love The Narration"
I have listen to Bill Bryson books narrated by BIll himself, and by William Roberts (The Lost Continent). Having originally listened to the Roberts narration, I thought I liked it, however, I then moved on to this book narrated by Bill himself. The difference is amazing. Roberts is a more polished audiobook reader, but he also makes the book sound somehow detached from what is going on. Bill, although more gentle in tone, is simply delightful when he comes across a particularly fond memory, and it feels as though you can hear him smile as he reads it back to himself, forgetting he is even being recorded.
This quirk in the reading is so endearing that I now cannot go back and listen to William Roberts who obviously cannot relate to the material in the same way. These books are after all a personal tale of adventure and experiences.
I do not think there is anything wrong with the Roberts narration, but I can only recommend you listen to all the books narrated by him BEFORE listening to one narrated by Bill Bryson himself. Only you have heard the difference, you cannot go back. I only wish Bill had narrated all of his books on Audible.
This book itself is great, and I chuckle to myself in public often at the observations about British life going on around me. Recommended.
The monotonous reading of the author himself kills all the jokes and makes the listening of „Notes from a Small Island“ a rather drab experience. What is probably supposed to be witty, ironic and liveli becomes strenguous throughout. I actually stopped listening after the first quarter. And I can’t imagine myself picking it up again.
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