Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Notes from a Small Island

Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island is a laugh riot. It is his account of travelling across Great Britain mostly by public transport. It is written in his inimitable style, which makes you laugh out loud. Just sample these

While writing about W.J.C Scott Bentinck, the reclusive Duke of Portland who built a massive underground mansion
It isn't everyday afterall that the British Aristocracy produces someone of W.J.C Scott Bentinck's rare and extra ordinary mental loopiness, though in fairness it must be said they give it their best shot

or about Bradford
Bradford's role in life is to make every place else in the world look better in comparison, and it does this really well

or about the parks of Bournemouth

The parks used to be described on maps as the Upper Pleasure Gardens and the Lower Pleasure Gardens, but some councillor or other force of good realized the profound and unhealthy implications of placing Lower and Pleasure in such immediate proximity, so now you have the Upper Pleasure Gardens and the mere Pleasure Gardens

Bryson takes you through the little known towns in the country, giving you small lectures on the history of the place, mostly the impossible to believe kind. He cares deeply for the old buildings and hates the new box structures that spoil the ambience of the town. Through out the book, you can feel his love for the country he has lived in for 20 years. He ends it suitably by berating the English not to think of themselves as a failed state.

A must read book


Anonymous said...

I loved the book and had a good laugh on every page

Vetrimagal said...

One of my favourite authors. After reading his book by chance I dug up many more and enjoyed them.