Notes From a Small Island Audiobook | Bill Bryson | Audible.com
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Notes From a Small Island | [Bill Bryson]

Notes From a Small Island

Grab your umbrella and join best-selling author Bill Bryson for a grand tour through the heartland of the United Kingdom. As he wanders through tiny villages and bustling cities, his irreverent travelogue will keep you laughing out loud and eager to explore what lies just around the next corner. Before he returns to the United States after nearly two decades on British soil, Bryson decides to take a farewell jaunt through his adopted homeland. But his plans to neatly traverse the island by foot, bus, and train are soon thwarted.
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Publisher's Summary

Grab your umbrella and join best-selling author Bill Bryson for a grand tour through the heartland of the United Kingdom. As he wanders through tiny villages and bustling cities, his irreverent travelogue will keep you laughing out loud and eager to explore what lies just around the next corner. Before he returns to the United States after nearly two decades on British soil, Bryson decides to take a farewell jaunt through his adopted homeland. But his plans to neatly traverse the island by foot, bus, and train are soon thwarted. On weekends, odd train and bus schedules leave him stranded in isolated communities with damp, moldering inns. And as a destination beckons above the rooftops, a maze of city streets leads him further away. Amidst the difficulties, Bryson encounters quirky age-old customs, charming architecture, and salt-of-the-earth inhabitants. His uproarious social commentary and Ron McLarty’s warm and witty performance will leave you feeling as if you have actually been travelling across the enchanting island.

©1995 Bill Bryson (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (49 )
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3.8 (46 )
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Story
3.2 (45 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sharon Irving, TX, United States 03-19-12
    Sharon Irving, TX, United States 03-19-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Appallingly badly read"

    Although I already own the Abridged version of this book, I bought this Unabridged version because I enjoy Bill Bryson's books so much. What a huge disappointment. The book was completely spoilt by a reader who was incapable of pronouncing British place names. Salisbury, Newquay, Weston-super-mare...... I am not sure I am capable of listening all the way to the end. In addition there are parts of the book that have a crackly quality.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Alameda, CA, United States 07-05-13
    Chris Alameda, CA, United States 07-05-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Disastrous, condescending, ignorant and offensive"

    Bill Bryson wrote a lovely book. Then some inbred yank moron was given the task of reading it and decided to unleash every moronic parochial ignorant condescending notion he could muster up on the reading.

    THIS SHOULD BE WITHDRAWN for the travesty that it is.

    The smearing delivery is a disgrace to the book

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee Hetter Asheville 05-27-13
    Renee Hetter Asheville 05-27-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Bad narration, dated stories"

    I enjoy Bill Bryson and have his books in text. But I like to listen to audio books as I knit so I bought this. Not worth it. The essays have become dated, not the fault of Bryson or the narrator but something to be aware of. The narrator was bad enough that I actually looked him up online to see if he was a native American English speaker or trying to fake an American accent. I was amazed to find he was from Rhode Island and a famous character actor. I won't be buying any other books narrated by him.

    As those who read Bryson's books know, he can be peevish at times, Maybe it was my irritation at the narration, but the peevishness came across not as amusing, but more jerk-ish (I was going to use another word for jerk, but I don't know who is reading this review. Use your imagination).

    I cannot recommend this audio book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Creswell Chattanooga, TN 04-23-13
    Peggy Creswell Chattanooga, TN 04-23-13

    Peggy Creswell

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    "Caution: Not Narrated by Bill Bryson"
    Would you try another book from Bill Bryson and/or Ron McLarty?

    The thing I love most about Bill Bryson's audio books is his narration style. Without his narration, it's just another book. His intonation and whit are unmatchable. If I had noticed that this book wasn't narrated by him, I wouldn't have bought it, plain and simple.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Hilo, HI, United States 08-06-12
    Ron Hilo, HI, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2011
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    "dated, but fun"
    If you could sum up Notes From a Small Island in three words, what would they be?

    dated (1995)


    Would you be willing to try another book from Bill Bryson? Why or why not?

    sure -- Bryson is good fun.


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

    It's ok. He gives a sort of dorky, American perspective to it.


    Any additional comments?

    I had actually hoped for a more modern perspective on Britain, so I was somewhat disappointed. But it was good fun, aside from that problem.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-20-12
    William Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-20-12 Member Since 2010

    love history

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    "very bad audio quality"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    there is a bad ticking sound starting in chapter 7 of 15 in part 1. I can't get through the rest of the book. I have tried downloading it a second time and it is still there. I am loving the story.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Again the audio quality.


    Any additional comments?

    I think you need to reimburse me, or fix the problem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin United States 07-02-12
    Kristin United States 07-02-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Unless you are from the UK... then boring!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The book was just completely uninteresting. If you were from England and had some recognition of the places he visited, then I could see it being good.


    What was most disappointing about Bill Bryson’s story?

    It was just boring. I didn't finish it.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ron McLarty?

    The narrator was fine, it was the story itself.


    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
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