After living in Britain for 2 decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and 4 children (he had read somewhere that nearly 3 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens - as he later put it, "it was clear my people needed me"). They were greeted by a new-and-improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, 24-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. From garbage disposals ("everything a labor-saving device should be...and so dazzlingly good at what it does you cannot imagine how you ever managed without one") to careless barbers ("in the mirror I am confronted with an image that brings to mind a lemon meringue pie with ears"), I'm a Stranger Here Myself chronicles the quirkiest aspects of life in America, right down to our hardware-store lingo, tax-return instructions, and the cupholder revolution ("cupholders are taking over the world").
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AKA "Notes from a Big Country"