“就像我常常跟托马斯·伍尔夫说的，人生有叁件你绝对做不到的事：你打不赢电话公司；你绝对无法引起服务生的注意，除非他想到要理你；以及，你绝对没有办法重回老家。”—— Bill Bryson，The Lost Continent
A travelogue by Bill Bryson is as close to a sure thing as funny books get. The Lost Continent is no exception. Following an urge to rediscover his youth (he should know better), the author leaves his native Des Moines, Iowa, in a journey that takes him across 38 states. Lucky for us, he brought a notebook.
With a razor wit and a kind heart, Bryson serves up a colorful tale of boredom, kitsch, and beauty when you least expect it. Gentler elements aside, The Lost Continent is an amusing book. Here's Bryson on the women of his native state: "I will say this, however--and it's a strange, strange thing--the teenaged daughters of these fat women are always utterly delectable ... I don't know what it is that happens to them, but it must be awful to marry one of those nubile cuties knowing that there is a time bomb ticking away in her that will at some unknown date make her bloat out into something huge and grotesque, presumably all of a sudden and without much notice, like a self-inflating raft from which the pin has been yanked."
Yes, Bill, but be honest: what do you really think?
From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Bryson decided to relive the dreary vacation car trips of his American childhood. Starting out at his mother's house in Des Moines, Iowa, he motors through 38 states over the course of two months, looking for the quintessential American small town. "Some of Bryson's comments are hilarious--if you enjoy the nonstop whining wisecracks of a 36-year-old kid," determined PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
1. I didn't think it was possible 2 get a truly bad meal anywhere in the Milwest, but Chuck managed 2 provide it. It was the worst food I had ever had - & remember, i've lived in England. It had all the attributes of chewing gum, except flavor. Even now when i burp i can taste it.
2. She had "Ready 4 Sex" written all over her face, but "Better Bring a Paper Bag" written all over her body.
3. I have 2 stay with my cousin in some remote, dusty hamlet called Dog Water or Dunceville or some such improbable spot - the kind of place where if a dog gets run over by a truck everybody goes out 2 have a look at it. Everyone there regarded me with great interest. Years ago, in the midst of a vivid n impressionable youth, i read a chilling story by Richard Matheson about a remote hamlet whose inhabitants waited every year 4 a lone stranger 2 come 2 town so that they could roast him 4 their annual barbecue. The people here watch me with barbecue eyes. haaaaaa