The Lost Continent

By Bill Bryson,

Book cover of The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America

Book description

'I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to'

And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England, he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Lost Continent as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Any recommendation about travel writing must surely include Bill Bryson. I love his writing, and I reckon this, his first book, is still the best.

I love the idea–brought up in small-town America he revisits the tours by car his family took as holidays. I love his descriptions and especially his ability to spot absurdities in a way that can have the me laughing aloud. It is a book that had me moving on to read everything he wrote thereafter.

From Patrick's list on feeding your lust for travel.

When influencers talk about travel, it makes it sound so sexy and effortless. But in between those romanticized moments, travel can be quite frustrating as you try to figure out which way to go on a street or discover that a museum is actually quite boring.

Bryson makes the mundane entertaining, weaving in his humor in a relatable way. Having lived in Britain for much of his adult life, this book on him rediscovering America had me cracking up at every turn.

Bill Bryson is the gold standard of finding humor and poignancy in his travels and I look up to his writing  – he permitted me to embrace the joyful weirdness of America in my own writing.

Bryson sets off on a road trip across America, revisiting the small towns of his youth. Bryson's witty observations and candid reflections offer a satirical yet affectionate commentary on the idiosyncrasies of American life.

With his signature blend of humor and insight, Bryson captures the essence of the American heartland, simultaneously evoking laughter, incredulity, and contemplation.

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