Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Bill Bryson's The Road to Little Dribbling: Book Review:

In his latest book, Mr Bryson works his way around Britain to see just how these isles have fared since his adventure twenty years ago when he penned Notes from a Small Island.

The upshot of it is that my birth country is still blessed with countless beauty spots, which you'd be hard pressed to find elsewhere. The bad news is that those beauty spots are often littered and that much in Britain is in a state of deterioration; Barrow in Furness and Blackpool are glowing examples of the slippery slope of decline.

Notably Mr Bryson does seem to have worked his way inside many a British public house and curry restaurant so a future sequel dedicated exclusively to these two types of establishments wouldn't be wholly surprising. It would seem that British pubs have got a bit funny about doing food, and a bit tetchy about their lagers, oh and maybe just a little bit grumpier behind the bar....oh how I miss British pubs!

Reading The Road to Little Dribbling has made me snort on many occasions (of the laughing kind as opposed to the inhaling of illegal substances), but luckily I read the book in the sanctity of my home (and for one short weekend within the confines of a holiday home) so I have at no point been prone to eyebrow raising from strangers in public. So it's safe to say that this book is an amusing read.

It's also an informative read - I've learnt lots of thing about the country I called home for more than two decades that was never part of the school curriculum. My favourite is a story that I was able to share with my family around the dinner table in Medemblik when the topic of dodos came up. Which happens a fair bit when nine year old boys are part of the conversation. I have also learned that my long held fear of walking through a field of cows is well and truly justified.

So amusing and informative but also eye opening and culturally insightful would sum up The Road to Little Dribbling. Bryson captivates the reader with all that is glorious about Britain, and all that is eccentric (which is a lot when you stop to think about it). Britain is like an old eccentric aunt that you love to bits despite the fact that she's as batty as can be.

"The British are surely the only people in the world who have made a culinary feature of boiled cartilage and phlegm." Bill Bryson

Whilst reading this book I was reminded just how far we Brits truly are a breed unto ourselves. It certainly explains this Brexit business.........

You can get hold of your own copy here:


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