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The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America
by Bill Bryson
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A story about this — 3 years ago

The humour is on the sharp side, as other reviewers already mentioned. Bryson writes out the mean remarks you would occasionally find yourself thinking about other people, but wouldn’t say out loud. I didn’t really notice any fat obsession, but some of his racist remarks put me off (something about Hitler and Garmisch-Partenkirchen went to far for my taste, even if that was only a joke)

I did like his style of travel very much, going through small towns and seeing the (sometimes corny) tourist spots, it is pretty much how I’d ideally like to travel through America someday too. Since it was written over 20 years ago, I wonder how much of it has changed since. It would be very interesting if someone made this same trip and published their findings – preferably Bryson himself.

A story about this — 4 years ago

Now maybe it’s just the circumstances under which I read it, but Notes from a Small Island was the first and best Bryson book I’ve read and ever since then I’ve been reading his other books in a futile attempt to find one that’s as good. The Lost Continent had occasional brilliant spots and longer passages that were as featureless as the terrain through which he describes travelling, and there’s really no excuse for the fatphobia (especially since Bryson describes himself as “overweight” in the book — but only fat women really deserve scorn for their size, I guess) and the racism. He captures the despair of realizing that America all looks pretty much the same (good), but then ends on an update “well, isn’t it such a nice country?” note (wtf?)

Unless you’re a true fan, read Blue Highways instead.


A story about this — 6 years ago

This was mildly funny, but Bryson’s bizarre obsession with fat people really irritated me.

i won't finish this — 8 years ago


sorry… i couldn’t stomach how sharp his humor is in this book.

The Lost Continent — 8 years ago


Bought this secondhand to read again. Love how Bryson writes – he is very witty and doesn’t hold back in his criticisms of tasteless excess and bad architecture. Hooray!

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