Bill Bryson, Broadway Books, 1999
Bryson is a very funny guy — a sort of erudite everyman, who relishes pointing out absurdity in the world and in his own behavior.
This book was written, as the title suggests, after returning to the States after living abroad. He returns, however, not to the America most of us Americans experience, but a picaresque small community in the north-east. The amusing observations, however, are more universal than this might suggest.
Bryson does not shy away form delving into political commentary, and saying essentially “what in the world has happened in the last twenty years?” Were it not for these more serious detours, the book would be “merely” an amusing collections of annecdotes, a presentation of a slice of life by a slightly cantankerous but overall benevolent spectator.