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Bill Bryson - Funniest author ever?

(47 Posts)
ALMazing Sat 14-Jun-08 13:25:29

I just read "Notes from Big Country" and I have never laughed so much at a book. I cried with laughter at various points.

Went straight out and bought "The life and times of the Thunderbolt Kid" and "I'm a Stranger here myself"

Anyone else reading him?

ByTheSea Sat 14-Jun-08 13:30:45

I have read lots of Bill Bryson except the newest couple you just bought, which I'll have to read at some point. I don't know about funniest ever, but I've really enjoyed his work, especially as an American who is a long-term UK resident.

ScienceTeacher Sat 14-Jun-08 13:33:02

Love his books. I think I have read them all. I have literally laughed out loud. I identify with him because we share a common background - DH American, me British, and we have flitted back and forth across the Atlantic. Also, his wife is from the town that I live in now, he is from the midwest (like DH), and returned to live close to where DH went to school in New England.

There is a chapter in his Australian book - Sunburnt Country or Downunder - that describes him having an evening out getting absolutely rat-arsed. I think I actually wet my knickers (hmm, 5 children) - it was so funny.

JackieNo Sat 14-Jun-08 13:33:27

Definitely one of the funniest. Do not read it on public transportgrin. Along with Terry Pratchett, imogrin.

Can't remember which book it's in, but DH and I always say 'Look, it's Mrs Bryson' to each other when we see someone who's indicator is just constantly on for no reason - he said something about her basically turning the left hand indicator on as she leaves the drive, and leaving it on until she gets back home againgrin.

muggglewump Sat 14-Jun-08 13:33:32

I love travel books and have read a few of his but I find Peter Moore better and funnier.
I do like Bill Bryson though. I buy most of my books from charity shops and have not seen any of his lately so I've maybe missed some

belgo Sat 14-Jun-08 13:33:54

I've read most of his books. it was great reading 'Downunder' when we were actually downunder.

muggglewump Sat 14-Jun-08 13:35:00

"Downunder" made me actually want to visit Australia, after I'd come home from living there and was sick of it!

ScienceTeacher Sat 14-Jun-08 13:37:03

He wrote the Lost Continent a long time ago (20 years ago?), and has since retraced some of his steps in Big Country. He also wrote a book about walking the Appalachian Trail that covers some of the Lost Continent places.

When I was expat in the US, it was great to read his neo-British view, especially with his acquired British self-deprecating humour.

I think he was hard on Ohio, though. It's not that bad!

Blandmum Sat 14-Jun-08 13:38:12

I love his books. I went to hear him reading part of notes from a small island. I also went to a book signing when dd was about 18months old.

When I got to him I commented that I had needed to bribe her with chocolate while we waied and ruefully said that I'd always swonn that I would never bribe my kids. He laughed and said that it has always wored with his. He seems like a nice guy

ScienceTeacher Sat 14-Jun-08 13:39:45

Have you read his Brief History, MB? It's great for A-level!

MegBusset Sat 14-Jun-08 13:40:45

He is funny but PJ O'Rourke is funnier -- try 'Holidays In Hell'.

Blandmum Sat 14-Jun-08 13:41:22

some of the best 'factoids' to grab their attention that I have ever read!

My kids love listening to it in the car. They keep going 'Wow!'. (NB we are Very Sad People smile)

Blandmum Sat 14-Jun-08 13:41:53

Love PJ, but bed to differ, Billy boy is better IMHO

ScienceTeacher Sat 14-Jun-08 13:42:13

Just live Steve Wright in the Afternoon!

ScienceTeacher Sat 14-Jun-08 13:42:49


muggglewump Sat 14-Jun-08 13:43:47

I've never heard of PJ O'Rourke, I'll have to check him out.
Peter Moore's "No shitting in the toilet" is one of my favourite books ever. It rang true with so many things when I was travelling and proper made me cry laughing

PussinJimmyChoos Sat 14-Jun-08 13:47:19

Am huge Bill Bryson fan!! He's soooo funny! smile

Beetroot Sat 14-Jun-08 13:50:38

Shakepeare is a great read

{by BB, not talking about the Bard himself - he is better seen performed}

expatinscotland Sat 14-Jun-08 13:52:59

I think he sucks.

ScienceTeacher Sat 14-Jun-08 13:55:22


expatinscotland Sat 14-Jun-08 13:58:00

i just find him camp and cliche.

my friend left his books here and i gave them a bash when i ran out of stuff to read.

but i just didn't find it funny so i read cookbooks till i could get to the library.

ScienceTeacher Sat 14-Jun-08 14:00:28

I think they are really funny if your register in boring midwest Anything is funny in comparison with living in those places.

francagoestohollywood Sat 14-Jun-08 14:04:09

I enjoyed reading some of his books.
For me, the author who makes me laugh out loud the most is PG Wodehouse.

Bucharest Sat 14-Jun-08 14:04:41

I love him. (I do think his earlier ones are funnier)
Stuart Maconie is very similar (but about the UK)in Pies and Prejudice.

expatinscotland Sat 14-Jun-08 14:04:47

Ah, see, I think that's why his humour escapes me, being a Southerner. My pal finds him hysterical, being from Michigan.

I just felt 'meh'.

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