Friday, July 08, 2011

Bill Bryson's 'Lost Continent' book: review

I started Bill Bryson's "The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America." I was looking forward to reading it. I enjoyed A Walk in the Woods and Neither Here Nor There. I had high hopes. But I quit reading the book at page 8. Yes, page 8. I checked.


Within the first 8 pages there were so many malignant comments against Republicans, conservatives, God, farmers, small towns, and the entire midwest. I got sick of it, especially the conservative jokes. The derision against farmers was especially unfortunate. These people broil themselves to death in the summer and freeze their toes off in the winter just so we can have food. Apparently Mr Bryson doesn't eat food, or he would be at least a little bit thankful to the people who grow it and not make fun of their tan.

In frustration, because I really wanted to read and not get out of bed to get a different book, I turned to the middle section where he was traveling through Maine. He went up the coast from Portsmouth NH/Eliot ME border to Wiscasset and found nothing good to say. Nada. Zip. Here is the stretch I'm talking about:
It is 100 miles of rockbound coast and Bill Bryson found the entire thing "cold and drear," "messy and bleak." The landscape was "dull". Wiscasset was "just OK" and all of it was "unmemorable." He drove on across the state toward New Hampshire. Good riddance, I say.

Here is my Maine:

Yeah. "Drear."

Well, at least I know myself. I picked up a huge stack of books at the library because at least half of them usually turn out to be bad, profane, or unsuitable. How do so many bad books get published? I don't know, but at least there are good books that are published too. I start Comanche Moon, next!

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