The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain by Bill Bryson


Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Road to Little DribblingMy second trip with Mr. Bryson as he walked (mostly) along the roads, walkways, and streets of England. His writing can sometimes become a bit tiresome or boring as it basically has no dialogue. It is strictly his comments and descriptions of the places and scenery that he passes. However all of it is also laced with humor and smart-alec asides (usually that he keeps inside and doesn’t express outward to whomever he is jostling.

A quick example, “..about the Internet. It is just an accumulation of digital information, with no brains, and no feelings…just like an IT person, in fact”.

All the while he is exploring and walking he is chiding the people of England as well as the people of the United States. Bryson does have dual citizenship as he was born in Iowa and after meeting his wife while on an excursion in England years ago he decided they would live in England eventually.

As a starter he claims the British do strange things in their handling of roads and zones. He says it is not to confuse foreigners at all. They do it to confuse themselves. He does quite a dissertation on some examples.

Also he tells about a secret U.S. training mission in Slapton Sands in 1944 but somehow the Nazis had U-Boats in the area and killed close to 1000 American soldiers on landing crafts that were practicing and not actually in combat! It was one of the most lopsided routs of the war as far as America was concerned.

The entire book is filled with bits and pieces of very interesting information about the idiosyncrasies, occurrences, and people of the British Isles. Not that it is derogatory in any fashion but basically a great telling of tales that have occurred over the many years that England has been a mighty nation in this world.

Bryson has written many books and mostly they are about his musings as he travels in places all over the world. Not too long ago a very good movie was made about another of his walks……it was called A Walk in the Woods and it was a good look at Bryson and his lifestyle I guess you would say.

It won’t be long until I dig into another of his writings because he is very informative, funny and, though not too easy sometimes to read, very entertaining. Try this one and you will see!!!