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After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move Mrs Bryson, little Jimmy et al. back to the States for a while. But before leaving his much-loved Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around old Blighty, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had for so long been his home. The resulting book, Notes from a Small Island, is a eulogy to the country that produced Marmite, George Formby, by-elections, milky tea, place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowels, Gardeners' Question Time and people who say, 'Mustn't grumble'. Britain will never seem the same again.
Once ensconced back home in New Hampshire, Bryson couldn't resist the invitation to write a weekly dispatch for the Mail on Sunday's Night & Day magazine. Notes from a Big Country is a collection of eighteen months' worth of his popular columns about that strangest of phenomena - the American way of life. Whether discussing the dazzling efficiency of the garbage disposal unit, the exoticism of having your groceries bagged for you, or the mind-numbing frequency of commercial breaks on American TV, Bill Bryson brings his inimitable brand of bemused wit to bear on the world's richest and craziest country.
The Complete Notes combines two of Bill Bryson's best-loved travel books in one volume, It demonstrates his unique take on life - from either side of the pond.
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