Bill Bryson 這怪才在博客來http://search.books.com.tw/exep/prod_search.php?key=Bill+Bryson&f=author
The Road to Little Dribbling: Bill Bryson is releasing a new book and I can’t wait
This autumn sees the publication of Bryson’s first travel book in 15 years, and it’s about the British. Twenty years after Notes from a Small Island, what will he make of us?
‘There’s nothing better than a spot-on diagnosis of a British national characteristic’ … Bill Bryson. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe
Monday 2 March 2015 14.27 GMT
News from The Bookseller that Bill Bryson is due to deliver his first travel book in 15 years has me itching to dig out my walking boots. It was Bryson’s chronicle of his hike along the Appalachian Trail, A Walk in the Woods, that led to me taking a long walk of my own, and to one of my favourite holidays – even if camping along the Cornish coast path wasn’t quite as exotic and remote as the author’s trip.
It’s been a long time since I read a Bryson book – basically, I stopped when he stopped writing about travel. But, in the 90s, I enjoyed his takes on the English (Notes From a Small Island), on America (Notes From a Big Country and A Walk in the Woods) and on Australia (Down Under).
The forthcoming book, says publisher Transworld, is the result of a new journey around Britain, and is out this autumn. I am intrigued, not least because its title, The Road to Little Dribbling, reminds me of one of my favourite bits from Notes From a Small Island – Bryson’s observations on English directions.
“If you mention in the pub that you intend to drive from, say, Surrey to Cornwall, a distance that most Americans would happily go to get a taco, your companions will puff their cheeks, look knowingly at each other, and blow out air as if to say, ‘Well, now that’s a bit of a tall order,’” writes Bryson. “‘There’s the Great West steam rally at Little Dribbling this weekend,’ somebody from across the room will add, strolling over to join you because it’s always pleasant to bring bad motoring news. ‘There’ll be 375,000 cars all converging on the Little Chef roundabout at Upton Dupton. We once spent 11 days in a tailback there, and that was just to get out of the car park. No, you want to have left when you were still in your mother’s womb, or preferably while you were spermatozoa, and even then you won’t find a parking space beyond Bodmin.’”
Lovely. Perhaps it’s because I live abroad these days, but there’s nothing better than a spot-on diagnosis of a British national characteristic, and Bryson is so warm-hearted about it all. Lately I’ve been getting mine from Very British Problems on Twitter – “Not hearing someone for the third time, so just laughing and hoping for the best”; “‘Thanks very much’ - Translation: This haircut is making me very sad”. I am keen to see what Bryson makes of us, 20 years on.