Thursday, 21 January 2016

Review: The Road to little Dribbling by Billy Bryson


Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed.

Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognize any more. Yet, despite Britain’s occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas.

Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.


Review: I was so excited when I heard that this book was coming out. If you've read my blog before then you'll know Billy Bryson is one of my favourite writers and I've been lucky enough to meet him too which makes me love him even more! One of my favourites of his was notes from a small island, I remember having to share with people the bits that I found in the book that I could totally relate to: I.e. All of it and this book fits right into that same category. 

I actually listened to this one on audiobook and was a little diaspointed to find that it wasn't narrated by Bill Bryson as some of his other audiobooks have been, but I did think that the narrator sounded uncannily like him so it wasn't as bad as it seemed! I is tended to this audiobook with my partner so we could stop it at points and discuss what we had heard. This book would be a great book to read at the same time as someone else so you can laugh at the humour together. 

This book does come with a warning though, Bill Bryson's sense of humour is very dry and he is brutally honest. If he thinks there is nothing to like about a lace, he will make that very clear using plenty of analogy and hyperbole! I found it interesting that he revisited some places and went to some new places meaning that this will work if it is your first Bill Bryson or if, like me, you are a bit of a mega fan, he refers at points to Notes from A Small Island but only when he has visited somewhere before so it's not like there are any spoilers or anything! 

If you're looking for a hugely funny book that really unpicks the nuances of the UK and our society then this is the book for you!



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