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Publisher's Summary

After living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and four children (he had read somewhere that nearly 3 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens - as he later put it, "It was clear my people needed me"). They were greeted by a new and improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, 24-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item.

Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I'm a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man's attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but it is also an extended, if at times bemused, love letter to the homeland he has returned to after 20 years away.

©2012 Bill Bryson (P)2012 Random House Audio

What listeners say about I'm a Stranger Here Myself

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How strange! Not as recently written as described.

Bryson fans and strangers to Bryson alike may be misled as I was by the advertised description of these pieces as recent. Depends on how you define recent! Do not expect pithy observations on this century's catastrophes, elections, current TSA procedures, celebrity culture, and/or texting, tweeting, FBing. For instance, he writes with wonder of such artifacts as microwave pancakes. Brilliant and au courant not. Microwave pancakes are hardly a new invention. Having been to England myself this century I know High Street food shops and the big chains there sell them and have for years. A quibble? No. As it turns out, these pieces were written some time ago - decades ago? However, Bryson still amuses and William Roberts captures the quirky tone of Bill Bryson's ambling style well. Old Bryson is better than no Bryson.

10 people found this helpful

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Hilarious! Laugh out Loud

In the wake of all this fiscal cliff drama and other continual angry political stories, it was refreshing to get a different perspective all be-it-dated; many of the issues are still relevant.
In addition the narrator had the perfect timing, which I can imagine was difficult for this type of book.

5 people found this helpful

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Seems like it was written in the late 1990's.

What did you like best about I'm a Stranger Here Myself? What did you like least?

I like Bill Bryson, but most of this material is too out of date. I gave up listening about half way through.
It would be helpful if Audible included the original date of publication in their descriptions.

8 people found this helpful

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The cold, hard truth!

We loved listening to this. We have always found Bill Bryson to be so entertaining.

2 people found this helpful

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Bill Bryson Exposes America's Good and Bad

Would you listen to I'm a Stranger Here Myself again? Why?

Yes, it is very funny, and he puts in words many of my same thoughts on topics like TV advertising and other strange things of American life.

What did you like best about this story?

His reading, his punch lines, his working in some history and facts that you likely didn't know, but now have at your fingertips because of his original way of describing them.

Which scene was your favorite?

The column on the missing Lear Jet, but a dozen or more touched me in special ways.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it is easy to break apart as it is actually columns that appeared in a British paper, so each chapter stands along. Although they are all so interesting to me, I would have enjoyed listening to them all in one sitting. Others might not.

Any additional comments?

Bryson is a 5-Star author and also is a great reader of his own material. A really rare thing. I have listened to almost all his audio books. When he doesn't read them, the stand in reader sounds almost like him, which is a huge plus. These are books you can listen to over and over -- light enough on content, but there's enough that it leaves impressions on the listener and adds to the listeners feeling that they have "been along as a guest" on Bill's travels He had no peer that I know of in that category.

2 people found this helpful

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Had to make it through...

I normally like Bill Bryson's books but really had to make myself finish this one. If you like listening to an author make fun of the American life, this is the book for you. I've lived abroad and have traveled extensively. Many of the things he talks about are true but most are exaggerated.

1 person found this helpful

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Mostly just Bryson complaining about stuff

Some of the stories were quite interesting, and his observations are always witty. I particularly enjoyed the parts about immigration and the death penalty.

But, it's essentially just a book about his massive list of pet peeves and mild grievances. Probably will get one of his more scholarly books next time.

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Now a bit dated…

Still funny but now, in 2022, most of the subject matter is dated, thus making the story a bit “meh”.

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Fairly Anti-American in tone

I am both a big fan of Bryson and all things British, but I discovered after purchasing that this book was written for a British audience. Every characteristic discussed of American life is laced with a criticism by comparing it to what he perceives as the better British culture. It got old pretty fast.

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Read it at least 3 times

One of my soothing books I will listen to forever. Sleep with it on now