Tuesday, November 08, 2016

"The Road to Little Dribbling", travel through Britain with Bill Bryson

This book was finished a few days ago, and it would have been more helpful if delayed.  Some humor on election day would have been a nice break.  While Bryson's humorous take on his travels is at times a bit less than subtle or wry, it can also be just a turn of phrase that works perfectly.  The Prologue has some of his least subtle and almost cute humor.  The remainder of the book is much better.

This travelogue is really a paean to Bryson's adopted country of 40 years.  Originally from Iowa, he married and put down roots in this somewhat eccentric country that he adores.  This could be enjoyable and informative reading for almost anyone, but some experience in that land makes it come alive, or one could think that.  While he is not afraid of laughing at or being critical of many things, his overall bias is that this is the most varied and beautiful country in the world.  Varied in terms of history, culture, terrain, and pubs, and full of relatively rational people. He even likes the food, including of course the ubiquitous curry.

He begins the book on vacation in the fine Deauville area of France, looking across the Channel at the English coast.  From there he crosses to the English southern coast and explores many towns, and then heads north through England and Scotland to the northernmost tip of Britain.  It is an entertaining journey.  To say more, it would be difficult to pick and choose what to highlight.  Thus this comment will stop here. This was welcome reading that should have been better timed.

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