PDF or EBOOK (The Lost Continent Travels in Small Town America)

  • Paperback
  • 299
  • The Lost Continent Travels in Small Town America
  • Bill Bryson
  • English
  • 02 January 2020
  • 9780060920081

Bill Bryson Î 2 Read & download

Bill Bryson Î 2 Read & download Download Ü The Lost Continent Travels in Small Town America Ì PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free 'I come from Des Moines Somebody had to'And as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough he left Des Moines couldn't hold him but it did lure him back After ten years in England he returned to the land of his youth and drove almost 14000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam the kind of trim and sunny place where the films of his y. I come from Des Moines Somebody had to When you come from Des Moines you either accept the fact without uestion and settle down with a local girl named Bobbi and get a job at the Firestone factory and live there forever and ever or you spend your adolescence moaning at length about what a dump it is and how you can t wait to get out and then you settle down with a local girl named Bobbi and get a job at the Firestone factory and live there forever and ever Bill Bryson The Lost Continent Give me chance to explain I know that Bill Bryson is a hugely successful internationally bestselling author I know his books are on the shelves of millions Heck even I own one the entertaining easily digestible One SummerBut The Lost Continent is not good It is in fact an absolute bummer I would not recommend it at any time but especially not in these particular days of division discord and fear Part of my reaction I see now was shock Shock that this super popular writer could have produced something like this I stumbled across The Lost Continent uite by accident It was on my wife s personal bookshelf which is to say it was in a cardboard box under our bed and I found it while looking for a shoeThe premise a thirty eight state tour of America purportedly focusing on small towns seemed charming and sweet a marvelous opportunity to hit the backroads and find beauty in simplicity Sure there d probably be some light ribbing at the expense of rural folk yet I was certain we d ultimately end at a place of warmth and conciliation Well turns out my assumptions were wrong This book is garbage I hated it with every fiber of my being From the first page to the last This is awful It is spiteful mean heartless uninspired offensive insulting unfunny uninterested and dreary At its best it is punching down At its worst it is close to hateful The Lost Continent is a book to take your mood whatever it is and drive it down like a nail pounded into soft mud by a sledgehammer In other words not the best thing to be reading in 2020 while America falls apart In all honesty this might have played a part in my reaction As noted above Bryson has an incredibly lofty reputation This was also his first book so he was probably still working on his voice But these pages many of them filled with my furious annotations feel like the work of an anti intellectual knuckle dragging mouth breatherThe execution of The Lost Continent is cold repetitive and soul wearying Bryson goes to a place spends five minutes there declares it boring and leaves in a cloud of gutter level playground insults He uses that descriptor boring so many times I stopped counting Over and over again It is the absolute height of obnoxiousness My three year old says it s boring a lot Bryson was thirty six when he wrote this I would never slap my kids Bryson on the other handnever mind The only joke that works in The Lost Continent is a meta one To wit Bryson despite all his sneering at the non people he meets comes off as the dumbest asshole in the realm He adds nothing to any conversation He does not make a single acute observation He is a lackluster faux adventurer who finds only one thing in each new place a reason to despise it Mostly his reasons contradict themselves The waitresses are either too friendly or not friendly enough The hotels are either too small or too large The small towns are either too dumpy or too perfect In the midst of this mess of ill considered thoughts Bryson somehow avoids putting two ideas together even by accident There is not a single insight about America worth repeating I love road trips Like really really love them When I first got married my wife and I blazed a path thousands of miles long through Missouri Tennessee Mississippi Louisiana Texas New Mexico Arizona Kansas and Oklahoma sniffing out historic sites and accumulating rest stop maps and collecting gas station sunglasses and having the best time of our lives Every day we just woke up and drove finding someplace new Sometimes when our four kids are simultaneously complaining about everything in a Bryson like manner we think back to those days when every road was an opportunity You almost can t go wrong with a road trip With Bryson as your seatmate though I d prefer Third Class tickets on the Titanic His gimmick is aging frat boy a tired m lange of casual misogyny occasional f bombs and an inability for self reflection the constant fat shaming of women for instance is odd since based on his cover photo he s not exactly Brad Pitt from Thelma and Louise One has to uestion how with the road before him a map beside him and all the time that he needed Bryon went into this project with the mindset of a person on a death marchI had fair warning within the first few pages Things start off badly and get worse Bryson begins by claiming his birthright as a Midwesterner Specifically he is from Des Moines Iowa This opening gambit is a transparent pose For some reason people believe that claiming membership of a group gives them an open season license to fire at will Here Bryson thinks he can be as outrageous as he wants since he s ostensibly just another small towner no different from the people he s slagging But that s not true Bryson was born in Iowa but he s lived the majority of his life in London and he wastes no time establishing his superiority and Anglophilia You see that in the way he talks about Des Moines a description that is just at odds with reality Yes Des Moines is in Iowa No despite Bryson s allegations it is not comprised solely of overweight women at the Merle Hay Mall Rather it is the state capital of Iowa with a cool capitol building a college town Drake University founded in 1881 and host to a uniue internationally known event the Drake Relays It is a modern city But to hear Bryson describe it everyone is still going potty in an outhouse while looking upwards in abject horror whenever a flying machine passes overhead Bryson is clearly a brainy guy Yet oddly The Lost Continent presents very little by way of factoids or trivia in contrast to One Summer which was constructed entirely of factoids Here though Bryson is absolutely un curious and unuestioning Take the Merle Hay Mall It s not just a gathering place for the overweight It s named for Merle Hay reputed to be the first American soldier killed in World War I Why do I know that Because I used to drive through Des Moines on a bimonthly basis I saw the name thought it was interesting and I went home and looked it up In all the thousands of miles that Bryson traveled I don t think he once wrote something down and said I should look that up In short He Does Not Care The Lost Continent is roughly divided into two parts East and West In both the setup is the same Bryson who has been overseas for twenty years hops in his mom s Chevette and starts driving It s a simple excellent idea and it jumpstarted a long and lucrative career in which he has morphed into a beloved literary figure That s uite a turn because The Lost Continent is mostly about Bryson badmouthing all that he surveys Unsurprisingly Iowa gets slammed Surprisingly Bryson slams it by comparing it to the Sorrentine Coast which is in Italy and is also a place where the land meets the ocean Is it really fair no strike that Is it really coherent to compare a landlocked state to an ocean coast No it s not That doesn t matter to Bryson because he has only three tools in his toolbox Fat Women Jokes Corn Jokes and Euro elitismThat s not entirely accurate He also finds time for some sub Seinfeld riffs on the commercials he watches in his hotel room You haven t been introduced to Not Funny until you ve seen Bryson crack wise about Preparation H Honestly you d be better off sniffing a ton of modeling glue rather than exposing yourself to this The list of places that Bryson goes is long and merges together into one endless complaint He doesn t like Hannibal Missouri or Mark Twain s home He doesn t like the Mississippi River dull or Gettysburg boring or the Smokey Mountains beautiful but too many fat tourists Because he wants to spread his unamusing misanthropy as far as possible he even goes to big cities Las Vegas New York City so he can complaint about them tooNothing can possibly please him The incident that really stands out is when Bryson goes to Yosemite National Park one of the most beautiful places in the entire world Of course he concludes it is nothing but a massive disappointment Why you might ask Because it is busy that is filled with tourists who are you guessed it fat and because he got lost Two uick points The first of course it s busy it s Yosemite National Park one of the most beautiful places in the world It s not some dank chippy in Lambeth where you can just sit all day by yourself in a dark corner sipping Carling and despising everything The second Bryson getting lost is his own stinking fault I went to Yosemite with friends some years ago Since it was packed being one of the most beautiful etc etc we drove directly to the Ranger Station and simply asked the Ranger where we could go to get away from the crowds The Ranger answered our uestion and we hiked for five days With the exception of the day we went up Half Dome we didn t see another soul The point of course is that Yosemite is massive You can get lost in it and not on the roads like Bryson but in the miles and miles and miles of backcountry paths Bryson though goes to this place of incredible wonder and beauty and is just disgusted because there are others around him Then he leaves and goes to a crappy hotel room to drink beer and watch television like he does every night If he had put forth the minutest effort instead of whinging about every damn thing he might have experienced something That s not his way though He prefers to take drive by potshots at the world which he clearly believes is meant for him alone without ever getting out of his Chevette and interacting with his environment It is striking how few people Bryson actually speaks with in the course of 299 interminable pages Unlike Tony Horwitz in Confederates in the Attic which is how you do a travel memoir Bryson can t engage in any meaningful interactions This is not terribly shocking since he comes off as a gaseous prick Nevertheless it is worth mentioning as it is symptomatic of Bryson s extremely dark view of humanity To him the people in these small towns are not people at all They are creatures They are lower lifeforms without thoughts dreams loves interests ambitions The way he writes about them is almost a literary cleansing a condescension so vast and powerful that it denies men and women their basic humanity The funny thing is the joke is on Bryson Published in 1989 we are now in the midst of a full fledged culture war pitting urban Americans against rural Americans The Lost Continent was not the cause of course But it was a harbinger It turns out that a lot of Americans knew exactly what smug elites like Bryson were saying all along It alienated them and that alienation has turned to anger Somewhere along the line Bryson must have changed At the very least his persona must have changed I m making this assumption because I get Bryson recommendations all the time Almost everyone I know has A Walk in the Woods on their shelves This includes people who would not be okay with the way that Bryson talks about poverty and poor people including snide remarks to beggars about having no dignity or the way he refers to Truman Capote as a mincing little f g Aside Bryson s views on poverty are both thoughtless heartless and fact less Indeed there are times this feels like a high school kid s unfortunate Twitter feed the kind you eventually erase hoping no one saw it rather than the work of a middle age man who should know betterI have not looked into the matter but I wonder if Bryson realized that childhood and nostalgia would work better and sell books than this toxic stew I wonder if he did the calculations and changed his style accordingly If he did only he can say if the change was than skin deep To be fair though I shouldn t have to be fair Bryson isn t the final third of The Lost Continent is palatable This covers the time heading west rather than east and he lightens up a bit acknowledges some of his own shortcomings and also manages a glimmer ofwell it s not happiness per se but it s a step above his usual griping The final page is beautifully written and if the book had used that tone rather than being the exact opposite of that tone this might have been a great book rather than one of the worst I ve ever encountered It also would ve helped if there had been of Bryson s dad a figure who appears far too infreuently and seems a much better traveling companion Bryson s dad was excited to go places excited to meet people excited to be on the road The final thing I have to say I promise is that travel is an incredible privilege Aside from being extremely fun it is also among the finest ways that exist in our universe to make connections and create empathy across the lines national cultural racial economic religious that separate us It is an absolute shame that Bryson took this gift this gift of opportunity of time of ability to make his journey a parade of nastiness In all his miles he never found any common ground he found only chasms In all his miles he never shared an awesome sight he felt only bitterness that sights had to be shared In all his miles he never once seemed truly happy As a result The Lost Continent is awfully sad on top of everything else

Free read The Lost Continent Travels in Small Town America

The Lost Continent Travels in Small Town America

Bill Bryson Î 2 Read & download Download Ü The Lost Continent Travels in Small Town America Ì PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free T to itself because blighted by greed pollution mobile homes and television; lost to him because he had become a stranger in his own landThe Lost Continent is a classic of travel literature hilariously stomach achingly funny yet tinged with heartache and the book that first staked Bill Bryson's claim as the most beloved writer of his generati. Well ain t it somethin for dat rascally Mr Bryson wit all o dat funny Northern talk to make his way down here to Dixie and spend some time wid us We sure do ppreciate you takin us into your rich and well knowed book Mr Bryson And yer gosh darn right God save all those poor folk who done shopped at K Mart They should ve spent their nickels at Crate Barrel had they knowed what to do wid demselves

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Bill Bryson Î 2 Read & download Download Ü The Lost Continent Travels in Small Town America Ì PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Outh were set Instead his search led him to Anywhere USA; a lookalike strip of gas stations motels and hamburger outlets populated by lookalike people with a penchant for synthetic fibres Travelling around thirty eight of the lower states united only in their mind numbingly dreary uniformity he discovered a continent that was doubly lost; los. In which a bilious Bryson returning to the US after living in England borrows his mom s car with her permission and sets out to find the perfect American small townBryson kind of loses focus of his main task along the way but that doesn t prevent him from slinging his jibes at 38 of the lower US statesThis one s almost as funny as the other Bryson books I ve read but he seems to have a stick up his behind for most of it and the sometimes nasty barbs at middle Americans lose steam fairly uicklyA nice uota of belly laughs are found herein but you ll be shaking your head and saying What the Hell Bill often than not Eleventh Hour A Tale of Compassion Service Power and Politics eight of the lower states united only in their mind numbingly dreary uniformity he discovered a continent that was doubly lost; los. In which a bilious Bryson returning to the US after living in England borrows his mom s car with her permission and sets out to find the perfect American small townBryson kind of loses focus of his main task along the way but that doesn t prevent him from slinging his jibes at 38 of the lower US statesThis one s almost as funny as the other Bryson books I ve read but he seems to have a stick up his behind for most of it and the sometimes nasty barbs at middle Americans lose steam fairly uicklyA nice uota of belly laughs are found herein but you ll be shaking your head and saying What the Hell Bill often than not