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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 (848 )
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4.2 (694 )
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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
  •  
    FirishIrish 10-20-17
    FirishIrish 10-20-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Snafu"

    this is such a delightful examination of the history of English language in America. Bill Bryson and his wit as a always are a hilariously cerebral guide. Enjoy ya cunts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph E. Lazauskas Queens, New York United States 09-18-17
    Joseph E. Lazauskas Queens, New York United States 09-18-17 Member Since 2017
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    "My first audio book and I loved it."

    A hysterical and educational walk though of American English and a great history lesson.
    Absolutely loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meg SA 09-03-17
    Meg SA 09-03-17
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    "Another wonderful Bryson book"

    I love Bill Bryson's books, and this one was no exception. So entertaining, and packed with fascinating facts ... his research team must be immense! Well read too. A worthwhile listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    martin hernon 08-22-17 Member Since 2015
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    "as always, Bill Bryson is great!"

    gives a new incite into American history, and a way to catalogue it, through the English language!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Anonymous
    6/3/11
    Overall
    "No more questions left."

    As with all Bill Bryson's books I find myself waiting on tender hooks for the next mind blowing lesson. I'm sure everyone out there in listensville will learn more in a chapter about the way our cousins across the pond live and think than if you watched any ANY TV from the past 50 years. I am i awe of this great author. Especially when Bill still considers 50 cents a good tip.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    3/27/10
    Overall
    "Made in America"

    Very interesting and well read.
    Goes off subject and gets a bit duller towards the end

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Nina
    UK
    11/12/17
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    "Welcome to the Hotel America. Such a lovely place."

    Bill Bryson does not need an introduction, but in case you never heard of him, you should start with “Walk in the woods” or “Notes from the small island” rather than this one...

    Still, “Made in America” is a good book which I found very entertaining. The author takes you on a cultural journey through the centuries from development of the language, food, via industrial development, traditions and on through day to day American life.

    He does not shy from sharing his opinions and strangely British humour (he must have developed that early on) and gives the story its unique Brysonsque character.
    So if you can laugh out loud and you enjoy reading about cultural differences and travels, you wil love it.

    Finally, the icing on this cupcake is in the narration. William Roberts does a splendid job and I think Bill would fully approve.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • B
    10/26/17
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    "Another great book from Bill"

    Another fascinating book from Bill. Almost didn’t purchase as not read by the author himself. The narrator did an admirable job to bring the words to life but I still would have would preferred Mr Bryson reading it himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Honest Dude
    7/5/17
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    "Not your typical Bryson book"
    If you could sum up Made in America in three words, what would they be?

    This work by Bryson is very thorough, encyclopaedic and revealing.


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

    No, it was very detailed and quite heavy going.


    Any additional comments?

    Not your normal Bryson type of book. It wasn't as funny and witty as his other works. However, it was full of anecdotes. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of Americanisms and words of American origin in our everyday British English language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert M. Mee
    7/3/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "Probably better read than listened to"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a really good work, but, with much of the narrative being about words, and spelling, etc., it would be better to see it written down. But I learned an awful lot from this audiobook, and some things now "make sense"


    Have you listened to any of William Roberts’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Second time I've listened to William Roberts, and I will be seeking out his other narrations - he is excellent - a very listenable to style.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Phil Gilchrist
    6/24/17
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    "Interesting and informative"

    Lots of really interesting information. A little out of date now but still well worth a listen. There are parts where in the written text it is clearly a list, and this is not great in am audio book. However for the most part of its an enjoyable history lesson which entertains along the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Vikki Marie Gaynor
    Wirral, UK
    5/26/17
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    Story
    "interesting and funni "

    I really din not expect to enjoy it so much but it is brilliant and really informative

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ian
    United Kingdom
    5/3/17
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    "Bryson rocks"

    My second bryson book and I have enjoyed them both. Recommend this to anyone who loves titbits of knowledge and the history of the roots of language we use today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julian
    4/11/17
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    "could not get past an hour"

    could not finish

    listened to lots of bill bryson

    this is easily the worst and most boring

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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