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Extended Audio Sample Notes From a Small Island Audiobook, by Bill Bryson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.56 out of 53.56 out of 53.56 out of 53.56 out of 53.56 out of 5 3.56 (34 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bill Bryson Narrator: Bill Bryson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780553750324
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Bill Bryson is an unabashed Anglophile who, through a mistake of history, happened to be born and bred in Iowa. Righting that error, he spent 20 years in England before deciding to repatriate. This was partly to let his wife and children experience life in Bryson's homeland - and partly because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another. It was thus clear to him that his people needed him. But before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain. His aim was to take stock of modern-day Britain, and to analyze what he loved so much about a country that produced Marmite, zebra crossings, and place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey, and Shellow Bowells.


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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessie P | 2/9/2014

    " While I enjoyed the book, I get the feeling I would have enjoyed it much more if my familiarity of Britain extended beyond what's essentially on the front cover. I know he probably wasn't writing for my demographic, but a skosh more context would have been nice at times. I'll definitely be picking up more by Bryson. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Edie | 1/25/2014

    " Must confess that I never did finish this book and probably will not. It was entertaining for a bit but then other books grabbed me and I am not inclined to get back to it. Cute for a while... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 1/16/2014

    " This was the first Bill Bryson book I ever picked up. I enjoyed the observations from his experiences while living in the UK but most of the book was him dashing around different towns in the UK and spending mere hours in a place. I found it tedious and repetitive at times hearing about the weather, countless meals, and disappointing architecture. While I did enjoy some of the writing, I think the premise of the book let it down. I may browse through some of his other books in the future but I won't be rushing to read more from him. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Warnie B. | 1/15/2014

    " So, parts of this I really enjoyed and found pretty humorous, and I felt right at home with most of what he was talking about since I lived in England as a child. But there are times when Bill Bryson comes off as a smug jerk (to put it mildly), and at several points in this book I realized that I don't think I would like this guy very much at all in real life. It's not his finest effort, but was entertaining enough to finish. I don't really think there's anything else I can say about this one though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 dcbcd | 1/8/2014

    " While I normally love Bill Bryson's work, I found the pacing of this to be very slow and hard to read. Even though I have spent some time in the UK, I didn't find myself that invested in the subject matter or the journey he was taking. I would only recommend this to fans of Bryson's work or those with strong emotional ties to the UK. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen Pearson | 1/6/2014

    " Just genius - being English this book is hilarious for pointing out all the subtleties of English life & culture - from the unique viewpoint of Bryson - a open minded American who came to England and falling in love with it, even living over here - and almost becoming English in the process (despite being 'an american' always being his personality trait while in the UK) his other book notes from a big country sees him return to the country he grew up in and loved, but now finds himself as an outsider in his own country! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gosia | 1/5/2014

    " Lough out loud funny! Not a good idea to read on the tube "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Colby | 12/30/2013

    " I can sum up this book with 3 numbers. 317 total number of pages. Page 147 - page at which I got tired of his writing and started to wonder if I should skim the rest of the book. Page 197 - page at which I started to skim the rest of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meredith | 12/29/2013

    " The author takes you through England with his sense of humor...at times I thought people were looking at me as I laughed out loud while reading parts of it at work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 B.B. Scott | 12/28/2013

    " A good laugh. We lived in the UK for a while and this book brought back many fond memories. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kat | 12/12/2013

    " I LOVE England, but I did not like this book. I'm not really sure why, but it didn't hold my interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah Ideiosepius | 11/18/2013

    " I adored this book and read it several times, sadly I lost it in the divorce and I do not have it on hand to do a proper review. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edna | 10/4/2013

    " Hilarious!! Sometimes the author is a bit of a crotchety snob, but great to read about some of the lesser known UK towns. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 7/27/2013

    " Interesting and funny book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shawn Dvorak | 7/17/2013

    " This was my first exposure to Bill Bryson, a fellow Iowa native, and I fell in love with his humorous writing. Bryson can describe the most common-place things in an uproarious manner that makes me wonder at his skewed point of view. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nivette | 7/13/2013

    " Quite of bit of the f-word, but I know that's a British thing, so I glazed over that. Pretty darn hilarious in many sections :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shalane | 12/6/2012

    " Entertaining as always. I read it slowly and enjoyed picking it up for a few minutes here and there over a couple weeks. It definitely made me want to go visit Britain again! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kari | 10/19/2012

    " The only book that ever made me laugh out loud on the London Tube whilst travelling alone and being eyed deviantly by the local skin heads. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claire | 9/20/2012

    " One of those books you daren't read in public because you know you're going to laugh like an nutter every few minutes "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ildiko | 9/12/2012

    " Wasn't one of his best works, a bit boring sadly enough. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shaida Hossein | 8/12/2012

    " Good but not as funny as anticipated! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janitag | 6/15/2012

    " Funny and clever, as always! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 3/23/2012

    " Typical Bryson: eloquent, sarcastic, charming, preachy, interesting, ill-tempered, thoughtful, snobbish, and hilarious. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judith Evans | 3/17/2012

    " wonderful account of travels in Great Britain "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brett James | 2/6/2012

    " All snicker, no laugh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Lemon | 9/29/2011

    " Loved it. Although I'm American I have a real love of England and Bryson's book is my favorite travelogue "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jlseldon7 | 6/30/2011

    " Loved it! Laughed a ton, and its totally my type of humor "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Komodosam | 6/30/2011

    " Bill Bryson books are always enjoyable to read, and this one is pretty cool too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 alissa | 6/12/2011

    " Too funny. Even better than Walk in the Woods. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 6/6/2011

    " Hilarious, especially if you have English relatives who get rather excited over summer: mayonnaise season. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 6/6/2011

    " A thoroughly entertaining read from a throughly entertaining writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 5/23/2011

    " A book that made me want to travel across England along side the author. Very funny and interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kellie | 5/19/2011

    " His observations on everything are just delightful and the way he uses curse words is brilliant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 5/17/2011

    " The perfect read before I went to England... his comments are spot-on! "

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About the Author
Author Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is the New York Times bestselling author of At HomeA Walk in the WoodsThe Lost ContinentMade in AmericaThe Mother Tongue, A Short History of Nearly Everything—winner of the Aventis Prize—and various other works. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he now lives in England, where he has worked for both the Times and Independent and written for most other major British and American publications.