The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America

'I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to'

And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England, he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of trim and sunny place where the films of his youth were set. Instead, his search led him to Anywhere, USA; a lookalike strip of gas stations, motels and hamburger outlets populated by lookalike people with a penchant for synthetic fibres. Travelling around thirty-eight of the lower states - united only in their mind-numbingly dreary uniformity - he discovered a continent that was doubly lost; lost to itself because blighted by greed, pollution, mobile homes and television; lost to him because he had become a stranger in his own land.

The Lost Continent is a classic of travel literature - hilariously, stomach-achingly funny, yet tinged with heartache - and the book that first staked Bill Bryson's claim as the most beloved writer of his generation.

Title:The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
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  • The Lost Continental: A Look at Bill BrysonI must preface this essay by saying that if everyone didn’t like this Bill Bryson book as much as I didn’t (at least the person he is in this book), he w...

  • It's funny how so many Americans begin their reviews of 'The Lost Continent' with statements such as "I loved Bryson's other books but this one is terrible!", all because he treats America the same wa...

  • Well, ain't it somethin for dat rascally Mr. Bryson wit all o dat funny Northern talk to make his way down here to Dixie and spend some time wid us! We sure do 'ppreciate you takin us into your rich a...

  • This is the worst book ever. Bryson is a fat, cynical white guy traveling around the country, proclaiming in the subtitle: "Travels in Small Town America." But like most fat white guys, Bryson is scar...

  • Bryson does two things very well in this book, besides his trademark humour which is happily a constant in this and every other book he's ever written. He captures the spirit of the land at a very spe...

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  • When reading this book, American readers may very well feel like they are eavesdropping on a conversation not intended for their ears. This is because Bill Bryson obviously intended this book to be re...

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  • I was really excited to read this book, as I love observational memoir-style writing - especially when it deals with travel and cultural habits people keep with food. And at first I thought his observ...

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