Saturday, 7 November 2015

Not dribbling - giggling

The Road to Little Dribbling - Bill Bryson.

I can't believe that it is twenty years since the wonderful Notes from a Small Island was published, and by all accounts neither can Bryson as he haphazardly sets off to explore England, Wales and Scotland again.

From page one I was chuckling to this, and I found myself reading out many sentences to my poor travelling companion who kept giving me funny looks as I shook with suppressed laughter on a busy train.

After re-reading some of Bryson's earlier travel books a while back I was a little nervous about this one - there was a nasty strain of racism/xenophobia in a a couple - but this didn't disappoint. It is full of well aimed and well deserved quips about the British all dialled up to 11 for comic effect.

This will become a firm favourite and Mr Norfolkbookworm is now reading it, giggling a lot and reading favourite passages to me, all the sign of a good book. Bryson's mocking of poor grammar and punctuation in print journalism really made me smile. It won't be for everyone, it is firmly southern England-centric and at times less than kind to Norfolk but on the whole a great read.

Not everyone agrees and the Guardian's Digested Read does have more than a whiff of truth about it, but taken as a light, whimsical book it was perfect reading for the weekend that saw the clocks change and everything seeming that bit darker and more miserable.

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