I'm A Stranger Here Myself

I'm A Stranger Here Myself

Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away

Book - 2000
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Random House, Inc.

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 3 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliensas 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 Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. 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.

Baker & Taylor
The author describes his return to America after two decades of living abroad and his disconcerting reunion with his homeland as he discusses motels, tax-return instructions, and hardware stores.

& Taylor

A compassionate, hilarious tour of the United States explores the quirky side of life in America, from airline food to tax returns, from the perspective of a world traveler who has lived abroad for two decades. By the author of A Walk in the Woods. Reprint.

Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, 2000
Edition: 1st trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780767903820
Branch Call Number: 973.92 BRY
Characteristics: xiii, 288 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: I am a stranger here myself


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AL_LESLEY Jan 31, 2017

Bryson compiled a collection of newspaper columns into this hilarious and endearing book. Written in the mid 90s it's interesting to look back and see what has changed and even more so what hasn't changed at all.

Mar 14, 2016

This is a book that I've read ragged - by far and away my favorite Bryson book - and have to pause for laughing so hard each time. Wonderful observances of America (doubly so for me since I've visited England a few prolonged times) that will appeal to many, many readers. A light read and one that should definitely be checked out!

Feb 06, 2016

I found the book to be whiney and tedious. That may be because the book is whiney and tedious or maybe I have just lost my sense of humor.

Nov 17, 2015

Having been born in the States, then lived in England for 20 years and returned back home again Bryson gives us a series of very funny articles. These articles on American life were written for a newspaper are entertaining, often hilarious but now somewhat dated. Bryson is very often observant, and witty with a not so subtle sense of satire. The topics are varied as the vagaries of a computer, fast food, advertising, Christmas, litigation, trips to the seaside, the complexities of the tax system and more.
A sampling of his comments: on discussing dumb comments, he quotes Bob Dole who said " the campaign is about the future because that's where we're going." On basements he says there are "the third great feature of American life...because they are so amazingly, so spaciously, useless." For people who take two spaces in a parking lot, "I would welcome back capital punishment." Thanksgiving is the best holiday because "you don't have to give gift cards or send cards or do anything but eat until you look like a balloon." Of the 200 channels he gets on TV "you gradually realize the idea of TV here is simply to fill up the air with any old sludge". On all the conveniences in America " Americans have become so attached to the idea of convenience that they will put up with almost any inconvenience to achieve it". On Christmas, "why untangle the lights when you know they haven't a chance of working". On setting up his new computer: "If you have not yet acquired a degree in electrical engineering, now is the time to do it". Snowmobiling is " a rocket ship designed by Satan to run on snow."
Overall a very worthwhile easy to read funny book.

Jul 17, 2012

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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Jul 29, 2012

Red_Rabbit_102 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jul 17, 2012

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