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The Road to Little Dribbling
Cover of The Road to Little Dribbling
The Road to Little Dribbling
Adventures of an American in Britain
Borrow Borrow
A loving and hilarious—if occasionally spiky—valentine to Bill Bryson's adopted country, Great Britain. Prepare for total joy and multiple episodes of unseemly laughter.
Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to discover and celebrate that green and pleasant land. The result was Notes from a Small Island, a true classic and one of the bestselling travel books ever written. Now he has traveled about Britain again, by bus and train and rental car and on foot, to see what has changed—and what hasn't.
Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis in the south to Cape Wrath in the north, by way of places few travelers ever get to at all, Bryson rediscovers the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly singular country that he both celebrates and, when called for, twits. With his matchless instinct for the funniest and quirkiest and his unerring eye for the idiotic, the bewildering, the appealing, and the ridiculous, he offers acute and perceptive insights into all that is best and worst about Britain today.
Nothing is more entertaining than Bill Bryson on the road—and on a tear. The Road to Little Dribbling reaffirms his stature as a master of the travel narrative—and a really, really funny guy.
From the Hardcover edition.
A loving and hilarious—if occasionally spiky—valentine to Bill Bryson's adopted country, Great Britain. Prepare for total joy and multiple episodes of unseemly laughter.
Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to discover and celebrate that green and pleasant land. The result was Notes from a Small Island, a true classic and one of the bestselling travel books ever written. Now he has traveled about Britain again, by bus and train and rental car and on foot, to see what has changed—and what hasn't.
Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis in the south to Cape Wrath in the north, by way of places few travelers ever get to at all, Bryson rediscovers the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly singular country that he both celebrates and, when called for, twits. With his matchless instinct for the funniest and quirkiest and his unerring eye for the idiotic, the bewildering, the appealing, and the ridiculous, he offers acute and perceptive insights into all that is best and worst about Britain today.
Nothing is more entertaining than Bill Bryson on the road—and on a tear. The Road to Little Dribbling reaffirms his stature as a master of the travel narrative—and a really, really funny guy.
From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the cover

    BUGGER BOGNOR!

     

    My plan, after Bognor, was to take a bus along the coast to Brighton, and I was quietly excited about this. I had never experienced this stretch of coastline and had great hopes for it. I had printed out a timetable and carefully selected the 12.19 as the best bus for my purposes, but as I ambled to the bus stop now, thinking I had minutes to spare, I watched in mild dismay as my bus departed just ahead of a cloud of black smoke. It took me a minute to work out that my watch was not right, that the battery was evidently dying. With a half-hour to kill till the next bus, I went into a jeweller’s shop, where a cheerless man looked at the watch and told me that a replacement battery would be £30.

    ‘But I barely paid that for the watch,’ I sputtered.

    ‘That may explain why it’s not working,’ he said and handed it back with a look of majestic indifference.

    I waited to see if he had anything more to say, if there existed within him the faintest flicker of interest in helping me to get the right time on my wrist and possibly in the process keep his business going. It appeared not.

    ‘Well, I’ll leave it for now,’ I said. ‘I can see you are very busy.’ If he had any appreciation for my instinct for mirth, he failed
    to show it. He gave a shrug and that was the end of our relationship.

    I was hungry, but now had only twenty minutes before the next bus, so I went into a McDonald’s for the sake of haste. I should have known better. I have a little personal history with McDonald’s, you see. Once a few years ago after a big family day out we stopped at a McDonald’s in response to cries from a back-seatful of grandchildren pleading for an unhealthy meal, and I was put in charge of placing the order. I carefully interviewed everyone in the party – about ten of us, from two cars – collated the order on to the back of an old envelope and approached the counter.

    ‘OK,’ I said decisively to the youthful attendant when my turn came, ‘I would like five Big Macs, four quarter-pound cheese- burgers, two chocolate milkshakes—’

    At this point someone stepped up to tell me that one of the children wanted chicken nuggets instead of a Big Mac.

    ‘Sorry,’ I said and then resumed. ‘Make that four Big Macs, four quarter-pound cheeseburgers, two chocolate milkshakes—’

    At this point, some small person tugging on my sleeve informed me that he wanted a strawberry milkshake, not a chocolate one. ‘Right,’ I said, returning to the young attendant, ‘make that four Big Macs, four quarter-pound cheeseburgers, one chocolate milkshake, one strawberry milkshake, three chicken nuggets . . .’

    And so it went on as I worked my way through and from time to time adjusted the group’s long and complicated order.

    When the food came, the young man produced about eleven trays with thirty or forty bags of food on them.

    ‘What’s this?’ I said.

    ‘Your order,’ he replied and read my order back to me off the till: ‘Thirty-four Big Macs, twenty quarter-pound cheeseburgers, twelve chocolate shakes . . .’ It turned out that instead of adjusting my order each time I restarted, he had just added to it.

    ‘I didn’t ask for twenty quarter-pound cheeseburgers, I asked for four quarter-pound cheeseburgers five times.’

    ‘Same thing,’ he said.

    ‘It’s not the same thing at all. You can’t be this stupid.’

    Two of the people waiting...

About the Author-
  • Bill Bryson's bestselling books include A Walk in the Woods (now a major motion picture starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte), Notes from a Small Island, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, In a Sunburned Country, A Short History of Nearly Everything (which earned him the 2004 Aventis Prize), The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, At Home, and One Summer. He lives in England with his wife.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine If you harbor a secret disappointment that Bill Bryson doesn't read this sequel of sorts to NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND, rest assured--Nathan Osgood does a fine job channeling the slightly grouchy but nevertheless charming author. Osgood is outraged, droll, tolerant, or positively gushing when the text demands it. It isn't the places that Bryson visits around Britain--from bottom to top but otherwise randomly here and there--that stick with the listener, although his rapture at the splendid beauty of the countryside will. It's the people that Bryson meets and his reactions to them that remain etched in one's brain. Particularly hilarious is his wrath at rude English shopkeepers, an elderly woman who refuses to clean up after her dog, and architects with plans to pave over famous greenspaces. A.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Road to Little Dribbling
The Road to Little Dribbling
Adventures of an American in Britain
Bill Bryson
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