©1994 Bill Bryson; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
"Bryson offers a playfully anecdotal account of the etymology of distinctive words and phrases that help to create a distinctly American English." (Publishers Weekly)
"A treat....Filled with surprises....A literate exploration of why we use, or mangle, our native tongue." (USA Today)
Absorbing, entertaining and funny as Bill always is. No one else can pass on such interesting and detailed research as Bill does, while making you laugh the whole way. Highly recommended.
Started out enjoyable, but then.... A letter written to Lincoln that uses the Lord's name in vain over and over. Then a whole chapter of inappropriate, swearing town names. Couldn't take any more. It's been in my library unread for too long, now I wish I'd listened sooner so I could return it. Do not recommend. There are more uplifting books out there.
Not Bill Bryson any more.
He read very well! I was impressed with his pronunciation of French, Native American, and other non-English words. His pronunciation and accents for different time periods was also well done.
At first, I was interested, then disgusted and offended by the choice of material.
With so much material why do writers feel that they must bring out all the filth?
Although the book has been written in true Bryson style, which supports the reason I downloaded it, the narrator misses the mark. Unfortunately, I had grown used to B.B. presenting his own material and in many ways the voice inflection and context were lost to, well, basic reading aloud. I will be more cautious to research the narrator in the future.
The narrator. William Roberts may be a good narrator for something else, but Bryson's voice and intonation make his books.
It made me want to return the book.
Change your return policy back to being able to return any book.
Listening to Bill Bryson is to take a trip to a side trip to a tangent. It seems like even he doesn't know where he's going, until he gets there, which he eventually does. This performance is better than Bryson himself, so points for that. The material, however, seems recycled in places from previous Bryson books. Not that there's anything wrong with that, because it's all delightful.
I'm a Stranger Here Myself. Bill Bryson can make the most mundane facts interesting. His books are the best way to learn History and Geography painlessly.
The performance was ok, but it lacked Bryson's charm. Maybe it was a regional thing, but a lot of common English words were pronounced strangely. This is one of my pet peeves. If you are not sure how the word is pronounced, look it up.
Quite a few giggles.
Narration is good, except some words are oddly mispronounced. If Bill Bryson read this himself, my experience would be optimal.
"A captivating trip through American history"
Another great book by Bill Bryson. Whilst the linguistic side is very interesting, he provides substantial historical context which prevents it from becoming too specialist or dull. Definitely recommended!
"A Bryson excellence, but not for audio"
Another excellent book by Bryson, but the topic makes it particularly unsuitable for audio. As much of the book is about the evolution of words and their spellings, this is hard to convey by audio with many words having to be spelt out without the benefit of visual appreciation.
"Needs an abridger"
Having read the print version a few times - it's a mine of fascinating facts for a history / culture / linguistics nerd! - I hoped this would translate to audio as well as other "written Bryson / narrated Roberts" books would, but unfortunately there's just too much information for it to really work as an audiobook. With a good editor / abridger, this could be condensed into a much more listenable 6-10 hour book rather than 18 hours of struggle (which, I'm sorry to say, I gave up on)
What a mix
Showing what a insecure bunch the Americans'
Can read a book whilst working in the garden
Gave me another view of the USA
Bill Byron can be listened to, over and over again, the man is fantastic
"M.a.d.e i.n A.m.e.r.i.c.a"
I tend to have several books on the go at once - fiction alongside non-fiction. So this was useful as I could dip into the book and pause between passages.
This is a surprisingly easy listen given the subject matter of 'words' and phrases made in America. Interesting and informative - but obviously not useful as a quick reference - so treat it accordingly.
However - whilst I do not like 'abridged' version of books - there is something to recommend 'adapted' for audio - there are occasional passages where the book and audio consists of seemingly endless lists - which work well on paper but not on audio - especially when they are also spelled out.
"Top Marks to the Narrator"
This was a tricky wee read for the narrator and he coped admirably. We are taken on a linguistic journey from the Mayflower to present day. The origins of American English had several roots, English, Scottish, Irish, Native American, Spanish and German; and far from being a boring language lesson, it was an informative wee listen!
The history of inventions and the lying and cheating that went on to obtain copyrights was fascinating - especially the poor wee guy who was cheated by Singer on his sewing machine. You'll learn all about the later fads like Coke and McDonalds too, I'd recommend this.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content