The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America

'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 of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of trim and sunny place where the films of his youth were set. Instead, his search led him to Anywhere, USA; a lookalike strip of gas stations, motels and hamburger outlets populated by lookalike people with a penchant for synthetic fibres. Travelling around thirty-eight of the lower states - united only in their mind-numbingly dreary uniformity - he discovered a continent that was doubly lost; lost to itself because blighted by greed, pollution, mobile homes and television; lost to him because he had become a stranger in his own land.

The Lost Continent is a classic of travel literature - hilariously, stomach-achingly funny, yet tinged with heartache - and the book that first staked Bill Bryson's claim as the most beloved writer of his generation.

Title:The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780060920081
Format Type:

About Bill Bryson

William McGuire "Bill" Bryson, OBE, FRS was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. He settled in England in 1977, and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer. He lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire. He and his family then moved to New Hampshire in America for a few years, but they have now returned to live in the UK.


    The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America Reviews

  • Leftbanker

    The Lost Continental: A Look at Bill BrysonI must preface this essay by saying that if everyone didn’t like this Bill Bryson book as much as I didn’t (at least the person he is in this book), he w...

  • Gary

    It's funny how so many Americans begin their reviews of 'The Lost Continent' with statements such as "I loved Bryson's other books but this one is terrible!", all because he treats America the same wa...

  • Jeff

    In which a bilious Bryson, returning to the U.S. after living in England, borrows his mom’s car (with her permission) and sets out to find the perfect American small town.Bryson kind of loses focus ...

  • Tommy

    Well, ain't it somethin for dat rascally Mr. Bryson wit all o dat funny Northern talk to make his way down here to Dixie and spend some time wid us! We sure do 'ppreciate you takin us into your rich a...

  • Ciara

    This is the worst book ever. Bryson is a fat, cynical white guy traveling around the country, proclaiming in the subtitle: "Travels in Small Town America." But like most fat white guys, Bryson is scar...

  • Vanessa

    I do like my arm chair travelling with a hint of cynicism and much like Australians who are expert at taking the Mickey out of ourselves it was refreshing to see an American being able to take the pis...

  • Nandakishore Varma

    I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to. Thus begins Bill Bryson his travelogue, setting the tone for what is going to follow: he is a smart-aleck, and he is going to be at his sarcastic best in taki...

  • ~?~Autumn??

    I have been to many of the places in the west that he traveled to in this book and it was interesting to me to read about his experiences which were so different to what I experienced. We had a great ...

  • Zuberino

    Bryson does two things very well in this book, besides his trademark humour which is happily a constant in this and every other book he's ever written. He captures the spirit of the land at a very spe...

  • Claire

    Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person who's noticed the fact that Bill Bryson is a smug bastard who casts a pall of depressing sarcasm over everything he writes about. I mean, I'm all for sarcasm ...