Made in America

  • by Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by William Roberts
  • 18 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.


What the Critics Say

"Bryson offers a playfully anecdotal account of the etymology of distinctive words and phrases that help to create a distinctly American English." (Publishers Weekly)
"A treat....Filled with surprises....A literate exploration of why we use, or mangle, our native tongue." (USA Today)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bryson Not Reading Makes For a Rare Fail

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Bill Bryson is both a great writer and reader. His books have been a high point in my time here at Audible, but the William Roberts doesn't get Bryson's pacing or timing and as a result much of the humor is lost. If Audible could get a rerecord, I would recommend this, but I would suggest not downloading it and reading it on paper or digital over this performance.

Read full review

- John

Where oh where is Bill?

Would you try another book from Bill Bryson and/or William Roberts?

I love (almost) everything Bill Bryson writes, especially A Brief History of Nearly Everything. More recently, Shakespeare was good but not great. I am now only through the FIRST chapter (of six) in this book, Made in America, and it is horrible. At least half of this chapter is a repeat of Bryson's etymology lessons in Shakespeare, and the rest is like someone literally reading from a dictionary.

What could Bill Bryson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This book is (so far) devoid of the meandering but amusing "yarns" of which Bryson typically makes good use. This book is bland, repetitive, shallow and lacks any coherent overarching story upon which to hang what feels like a Google look-up of a list of words.

Would you be willing to try another one of William Roberts’s performances?

Mr. Roberts tone was flat and uninteresting. It is neither pleasant, nor does it convey any emotion as to better inform the reader when something of excitement is going on. Admittedly in this book there seems to have been no such excitement, but I expected more. I miss Bill Bryson's voice narrating, and Mr. Roberts was notably bland.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I would be thrilled to learn my purchase bought Mr. Bryson a drink or fine meal. Given how poor this book has been, he owes me one.

Any additional comments?

Come back to us Bill Bryson. We miss you.

Read full review

- Book fan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-16-2006
  • Publisher: Audible Studios