Found on the Adult Non-Fiction shelves at ANF 914.104 BRY
This is the much-anticipated (by me anyway) ‘sequel’ to Notes from a Small Island which was published in the mid 1990s. According to the summary in our catalogue, “Notes from a Small Island, became one of the most loved books of recent decades, and was voted in a BBC poll as the book that best represents Britain“.
I adore Bill Bryson, I think he’s got a great eye for the absurd and eccentric. Chapter 7 in Down Under/A Sunburnt Country, a chapter on cricket, is the funniest piece of writing EVER.
I finished The Road to Little Dribbling one sunny Saturday morning. I stayed in bed all morning I was enjoying myself so much. Laughed out loud. Lots! This is absolutely classic Bryson (although perhaps with a touch more grumpy old man than previously?).
I would give this book 5/5 except for two things:
a) he disses another favourite travel writer of mine, HV Morton (p.167) who was doing much the same as Bryson does only in the 1920s and 1930s
and b) he is dismissive in his treatment of Scotland. Bryson start Little Dribbling by marking out a line that goes south to north from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath as the line of the greatest length north-south in Britain – he modestly calls it the Bryson Line and states he will roughly follow the line on his travels in this latest book. Now, by my calculations with a ruler and the map at the front of the book, the Bryson Line spends about 44% of its length in Scotland yet Scotland takes up only 10 not-very-complimentary pages of this book (thats only 2.6%). So I’ve given it 4/5
There are lots of Bill Bryson books in the catalogue both in print and as talking books. If you haven’t read any yet, I urge you to give him a go. See if you can do so without laughing out loud – WARNING do not read on public transport!
Reviewed by : Alba