Bill Bryson is a travel writer and a very good one, at that! In The Road to Little Dribbling, he revisits many of the places he explored in England and Scotland over 20 years ago and chronicled in his best-selling Notes from a Small Planet. He comments in delicious detail what has changed, what hasn’t changed, what should have changed and what is gone altogether. When Bryson is best pleased by what he finds, no one is more effusive or articulate in dishing out praise. When he is not made glad, he can turn on the object of his displeasure with a spectacularly satisfying barrage of well-chosen words. England, it seems, is full of things to either crow or grouse about, so to speak. And Bryson transforms it all into delightful reading.
His commentary is chatty, witty; and chock full of good information for prospective travelers who tend to enjoy the path less trodden. At strategic points, he shares wonderfully obscure and often amusing stories from history, useful facts about geography, and whenever possible, he exposes nincompoopery at every level of society and government.
Bill Bryson is a man with a powerful love for his adopted country and countrymen. He also cares deeply about the notion of doing what’s best for the welfare of human beings and their enjoyment of the good things life has to offer. He appears to be a fortunate man with a good life, a good career, and from the sound of it, a lovely wife and family. No wonder he has such high expectations for England and everyone in it. And no wonder he is frequently disappointed and cranky.
This book will make you eager to make you pack up and travel. It will also give you interesting and important things to think about. It is fun to read and, at many points, it will make you laugh right out loud. That’s a lot of value for one book. I highly recommend that you read it.