I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away

Bill Bryson, Author Broadway Books $25 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0381-3
Ex-expatriate Bryson, who chronicled one effort at American reentry in his bestselling A Walk in the Woods, collects another: the whimsical columns on America he wrote weekly, while living in New Hampshire in the mid-to-late 1990s, for a British Sunday newspaper. Although he happily describes himself as dazzled by American ease, friendliness and abundance, Bryson has no trouble finding comic targets, among them fast food, computer efficiency and, ironically, American friendliness and putative convenience. As he edges into Dave Barry-style hyperbole, Bryson sometimes strains for yuks, but he's deft when he compares the two cultures, as in their different treatment of Christmas, pointing out how the British ""pack all their festive excesses"" into that single holiday. Bryson also nudges into domestic territory with regular references to his own British wife, the resolutely sensible Mrs. B. In a few columns, Bryson adopts a sentimental tone, writing about his family and his new hometown of Hanover. In others, he's more sober, criticizing anti-immigration activists, environmental depredation and drug laws (though he draws out the humor in these as well). Not all the columns hit their mark, and they are best read in small groupings, but this collection should sell well enough, although not likely to the heights of A Walk in the Woods. Agent, Jed Mattes. Author tour; BDD audio. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1999
Release date: 05/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 458 pages - 978-0-7862-2003-8
Compact Disc - 5 pages - 978-0-553-45650-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-93334-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-52626-4
Hardcover - 458 pages - 978-0-7862-2002-1
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-7679-0382-0
Open Ebook - 229 pages - 978-0-7679-3118-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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