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Made in America Audiobook

Made in America

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Publisher's Summary

In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.

©1994 Bill Bryson; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (701 )
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4.2 (569 )
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4.1 (567 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John 07-23-15
    John 07-23-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good, for a book on etymology."

    Bill Bryson has a wonderful sense of humor and an entertaining writing style. I didn't read anything about this title in advance, so I didn't realize it was focused on the etymology of American English. I enjoyed it in small pieces. I found it a bit dry at times, but there are some very interesting facts and anecdotes within. If etymology is your thing, you'll love this read. If not, try Bryson's other titles.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 07-07-15
    Emily 07-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "LOVED it! Kudos to the narrator..."

    I read many negative reviews of this book but because I love Bill Bryson I decided to give it a try anyway. I'm so glad I did. The content is right up my alley, I love entomology so this book was perfect. I also thought the narrator hit it out of the park. I love it when Bill Bryson narrates his own books but I understand why he decided not to tackle this one. I think those people leaving negative reviews are failing to consider that because you aren't reading this book but instead listening, the narrator has to spell out or say what you could otherwise see and read. The differences to a reader would be obvious but unless he spells it out, a listener might not necessarily know the difference in words, spellings and pronunciations. He does an excellent job.

    If you're at all interested in word origin and general history, you'll love this book. Is it a "formula" book. Yes, but isn't that what keeps you coming back for more Bill Bryson??

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle 01-16-15
    Michelle 01-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Good text, narration mistakes sour my experience"

    Narration is good, except some words are oddly mispronounced. If Bill Bryson read this himself, my experience would be optimal.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bec Canberra, Australia 12-04-11
    Bec Canberra, Australia 12-04-11
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    "What an unexpected pleasure!"
    What did you love best about Made in America?

    Having listened to Bill Bryson read his own works before, I was initially disappointed by the reading of William Roberts. However, further into the book, his impressions and characterised quotations brought the book to life and had me laughing out loud to the story! By the end, I wondered what I had ever been upset about and adored Roberts rendition. His accent and liveliness brought much needed drama to this very informally written, yet of a formal nature, text.

    An avid language curiositist, I often ask,


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Bryanston, South Africa 10-29-12
    Donna Bryanston, South Africa 10-29-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Enjoyed the information!"
    What made the experience of listening to Made in America the most enjoyable?

    Such interesting history behind how words come into existence. The book has so much information and research behind it.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Auckland, New Zealand 05-24-11
    Lisa Auckland, New Zealand 05-24-11
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    "Brilliant as always"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Ward 05-08-16
    Scott Ward 05-08-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Only Bill Bryson should read Bill Bryson"
    What did you love best about Made in America?

    It's Typical Bill Bryson, I know this doesn't help if you've never read his books, but he has a style all his own and his style of intelligent humor is very appealing


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Goodale coventry ct 04-08-16
    Joyce Goodale coventry ct 04-08-16

    joycebgood

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    "Bedtime listenng"
    What made the experience of listening to Made in America the most enjoyable?

    I listened to it on my Kindle every night to fall asleep in between trips to the bathroom. 😉. It is fun to listen to, easy to fall asleep to, though reader's emotional voice was a bit over the top for relaxation. But fun and amusing as Mr. Bryson ALWAYS is!


    What other book might you compare Made in America to and why?

    Only his others...but really no comparison. It's filled with fun facts about words and sayings!


    What does William Roberts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A bit of over-the-top emotional investment.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Makes English fun!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-18-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great education especially when on a road trip.
    Th"

    Great education of how our country has always grown strength through the diversity of others and will continue to make it strong.Great for a road trip.My most memorable part was probably learning the definition of a jelly roll and shorting bread.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoeMac 12-15-15
    JoeMac 12-15-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Deserves Recognition"

    I think Bill has done a great job with the research. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Jean the Bean
    Leicester UK
    6/22/16
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    "Language made entertaining."

    The study of language is fascinating and this is Bryson at his fascinating best. Wonderful nuggets if information about American English, English English and the conked relationship between them. Plus a smattering of Bryson opinions about things that matter to us all. Great narration from William Roberts. A boom to listen to again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matt
    London
    5/10/16
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    "Brilliant"

    A beautifully researched and superbly-read book, fascinating throughout and one of my favourite books to dip in and out of. Second only to 'Home'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Col Corkhill
    5/10/16
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    "Great Bryson"

    Another fact filled Bryson classic. Running from before the creation of the USA, this well performed audio book leads you through the origin of thousands of words and Americanism's, using Bryson's witty and satirical humour. A multi-listen book to play again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Uk
    3/1/16
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    "a difficult listen."

    unlike a lot of his other books. this one is similar to a brief history, but less interesting and with constant narration of words. at times it is ok but at others it is almost like listening to domeone read random words from a dictionary. in summary, a history lesson you find yourself falling asleep in. sorry bill but your worst book to date. william roberts though does his ususl great narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • B. Pend
    Didsbury, Madchester
    10/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I generally like Bill Bryson, but ......"
    What disappointed you about Made in America?

    It has some good moments, but there too many lists of variations of words and there various spelling, to make it interesting..


    Has Made in America put you off other books in this genre?

    Yes, I like to be entertained.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration could not improve the endless lists.


    What character would you cut from Made in America?

    No characters in the book to cut.


    Any additional comments?

    The subject matter precludes Bryson's dry wit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Will
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom
    3/1/15
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    "Fantastic book"

    Brilliant book, entertaining, informative and interesting. Bill Bryson writes with humour and wit on what could easily be a dry subject. He is at once proud of the heritage of the American language and makes no excuses or apologies for where it has turned from British English but at the same time isn't afraid to cast a knowing eye or witty aside when called for. I have read and re-read this book over 20 times & listen to the audio almost as much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    2/24/15
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    "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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aramis
    1/28/15
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nigel
    8/17/14
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    "Needs an abridger"
    Any additional comments?

    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)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sandra
    DEAL, United Kingdom
    7/10/14
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    Story
    "other triump"
    If you could sum up Made in America in three words, what would they be?

    What a mix


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Made in America?

    Showing what a insecure bunch the Americans'


    What does William Roberts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Can read a book whilst working in the garden


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Gave me another view of the USA


    Any additional comments?

    Bill Byron can be listened to, over and over again, the man is fantastic

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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