I'm A Stranger Here Myself

Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away

Bryson, Bill

Book - 1999
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
I'm A Stranger Here Myself
The master humorist and bestselling author ofA Walk in the Woodsnow guides us on an affectionate, hysterically funny tour of America's most outrageous absurdities. 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 three 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, twenty-four-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 Myselfrecounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. From motels ("one of those things--airline food is another--that I get excited about and should know better") to careless barbers ("in the mirror I am confronted with an image that brings to mind a lemon meringue pie with ears"),I'm a Stranger Here Myselfchronicles the quirkiest aspects of life in America, right down to our hardware-store lingo, tax-return instructions, and vulnerability to home injury ("statistically in New Hampshire I am far more likely to be hurt by my ceiling or underpants than by a stranger"). Along the way Bill Bryson also reveals his rules for life (#1: It is not permitted to be both slow and stupid. You must choose one or the other); delivers the commencement address to a local high school ("I've learned that if you touch a surface to see if it's hot, it will be"); and manages to make friends with a skunk. 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 twenty years away.

Publisher: New York :, Broadway Books,, [1999], ©1999
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 0767903811
Branch Call Number: 973.92 Br
Characteristics: xiii, 288 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Jul 29, 2012
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Jul 17, 2012
  • Tatergirl100 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The perfect vacation book. Full of laugh-out-loud stories in bite-size pieces, so it's easy to read at whatever speed you wish to go.


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