Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bill Bryson: Made in America and The Lost Continent

Oops, I had started a blog post on Made in America. Silly me. On March 30th as a matter of fact - well, I have no trouble repeating myself, so here goes again. (My husband has pointed out that most of my blog is me complaining about how I never get to blog, how crap I am at blogging, how I never have time for it and so on in aeternum. He isn't wrong. But I got defensive. You had to be there.) I remember now that I had planned to write about these two together since they're both about America. A thematic blog entry, like. Possibly I even had very smart things figured out. I distinctly remember thinking as I read the one that aha! he write about that in the other too! but I'm drawing a blank now and didn't keep notes.

Anyway, so you all should read both. The Lost Continent is about Bryson driving across America to rediscover the country he has left and the road trips of his childhood. It's also I think a form of grieving process since his father's death; this is never the main point, but now and then Bryson's memories are very touching and poignant. Since the book is by now a little older (first published in 1989) it's also by way of being an historical document, almost. Made In America is about linguistics, about how that special kind of English called American evolved. It's tremendously interesting for those of us who like that sort of thing. I especially enjoyed the bits about the oldest records, Pilgrims and all.

Very much recommended, always.

No comments: