Friday, 27 March 2015

Review : The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson

If you are planning to visit or move to USA in the near future,then you are better off without reading this book.Bill Bryson does everything in his power to tarnish the so called “American dream” and he does it with impeccable style and suave.There are very few writers who can be sarcastic and hilarious at the same time.Bryson is one of them.
                    The Lost Continent is the story of a road trip across USA covering almost 22500 kms(Yes.Kilometers,not miles.Metric system rules).The author visits his hometown after spending 10 years in England and as soon as he is back,the travel buff sets out on a quest to find the perfect town which he likes to call Amalgam.This is just not a travelogue-It is a book about childhood nostalgia and unfulfilled dreams.I do not feel this is the ideal travel guide to the American continent.Bryson does not even mention the famous attractions of the country.He just drives his Chevy through the most boring suburbs of the most monotonous towns across USA.Sometimes even those tedious towns surprises him with their fresh scenic beauty or an interesting historical monument and other times he just drives for days on the concrete metal road interspersed with similar looking gas stations,motels and fast food chains.
                                 Bill Bryson is not a very likeable person.He is highly opinionated,snob and even a bit racist.As a person ,I hate him.As an author ,I absolutely adore him.The phrase “politically correct” does not even exist in Bryson’s dictionary.He is brutally honest-a characteristic that is rarely seen in modern day authors.He unapologetically goes on to bash everything that in his opinion is wrong with the American culture-blind consumerism,falling standards of education,obesity(The list is quite long).
                 Every book,even as awesome as this one,has its highs and lows.The first part of the book where the author covers the midwestern and east cost of USA, is superbly written-crisp and witty accounts of his visit to Philadelphia, New York and many other places.The second part,covering western America,becomes very dragging at times.Also,the author takes it for granted that the reader is familiar with American history.There are pages where I felt completely lost and had to look up few historical references,which was kind of annoying.
        All in all,if you are a serious nationalistic,this book is definitely not for you.Whereas if you are one of those few people on the face of this earth who are able to laugh at themselves,then you are in for a treat.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I nominated you for the Liebster Award! Please check out my blog post to see what it's all about! :)