Book review: I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson

brysonI’m a Stranger Here Myself: What it is about

From the publishers: “After living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and four children (he had read somewhere that nearly 3 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliensas he later put it, “it was clear my people needed me”). They were greeted by a new and improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, twenty-four-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item.

Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I’m a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man’s attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but it is also an extended if at times bemused love letter to the homeland he has returned to after twenty years away.”

I’m a Stranger Here Myself: What I thought

I prefer books over short stories and short stories over columns. The longer I can enjoy a good story, the better. However, I very much enjoyed this book of columns. They were exactly the right length.

There were all stories about the differences between England and the US or what it was like to be back in the US after many years in the UK. In fact, this was quite recognisable. The book was written 15 years ago, and meanwhile, the food, level of service (or lack of it) and other quirky issues have made it to Europe. Yes, we are a little behind here, not only with the good things, but also with the bad. 🙂

I chuckled aloud now and then. A good thing I was reading this mainly in bed (although, why can’t we laugh in public over a book? It is like breastfeeding in public? People… object?).

So, while the book is a little dated, it didn’t feel dated for this European. I had great fun reading this book, a story at a time.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (good to very good)

Number of pages: 304

First published: 2000

I got this: bought at a publisher’s book sale

Genre: non-fiction, columns


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

5 Responses to Book review: I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson

  1. Sounds interesting – I have heard much about Bryson but have never tried him. Like you, I prefer the novel to a short story.

  2. Trisha says:

    I laugh in public while reading all the time, but I try very hard not to cry over a book in public – which I’ve done twice. 🙂

  3. Katrien says:

    I’m currently reading Mother Tongue by the same author and I really like his style. I might give this one a try as well! Nice review!

  4. Miranda says:

    I’m a big Bill Bryson fan. I keep reading his books over and over again. If you enjoyed this one you might also like The Lost contintent (about small-town America) or Notes from a small island (about England). A bit outdated too probably, but still enjoyable if you like his style. I can also really recommend listening to the audiobook versions.

  5. Flo says:

    I’ve read this book ten years ago and I had laughed as much as I had been dismayed. You’re right, most of the facts could be applied to Europe now… for the better and for the worst.

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