I’m A Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away is a collection of columns on America and New Hampshire in the 1990s, for a British newspaper. The pieces are generally interesting especially when he contrasts British and American lifestyles/culture. They fall flat when Bryson tries for Dave Barry-style humor. There are some soapbox speeches that seem out of place. I find I’m growing weary of Bryson.
Excerpts From The Book
Well, to make a long story short, the next thing I knew I was on the edge of the New Hampshire woods, wearing a snug, heavy helmet that robbed me of all my senses except terror, sitting nervously astride a sleek, beast-like conveyance, its engine throbbing in anticipation of all the trees against which it might soon dash me.
However, the record for most wretched inhabited place ever must surely go to Langdon, North Dakota, which in the winter of 1935-1936 recorded 176 consecutive days of below freezing temperatures, including 67 consecutive days in which the temperature fell below 0°F (i.e., into the shrieking brass monkey zone) for at least part of the day and 41 consecutive days when the temperature did not rise above 0°F. Just to put that in perspective, 176 days is the span of time that lies between Christmas and midsummer. Personally, I would find it very hard to spend 176 consecutive days in North Dakota at any time, but I guess that is another matter.
27. All reviews of the author’s work will, with immediate effect, be submitted to the author for correction and helpful revision before publication. [here you go Bill…]