The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain
Author: Bill Bryson
Reviewed by: Ellen Campbell
I have read the new Bill Bryson book from our library and enjoyed it very much.
The name of it is The Road to Little Dribbling and it’s largely a travelog of his tour the length of England with sorties into Wales and Scotland. He walked a significant part of it and described places the average tourist would not see.
It was very interesting and I learned about many wonderful places. Also, I found myself giggling a lot. He finds humor in almost everything he sees.
I just have to mention a small section where he comments on British food, which is often disrespected by people. First he states there are many delightful dishes that originated there, including Yorkshire pudding, hot cross buns, plum pudding, toasted teacakes, mince pies and many others such as wonderful cheeses. Then he states that a lot of British foods don’t sound very attractive, among them toad-in-the-hole, bubble and squeak, bangers and mash, faggots in gravy, gooseberry fool and clotted cream.
A few pages later, when he’s in Scotland on a train to the northern-most tip of Britain, Cape Wrath, he tells of going tothe lounge car for a drink and something to eat. When he looked at the menu, the dinner options featured a plate of haggis and also neeps & tatties, and such snacks as Tunnock’s teacake, haggis-flavored potato chips, and Mrs. Tilly’s Scottish tablet which sounded to him not at all like a food, but more like something you’d put into a tub of warm water to soak sore feet in.
He sums that up by commenting “I couldn’t help wondering if Scottish nationalism hasn’t gone a little too far now. I mean these poor people aredenying themselves simple pleasures like Kit-Kats and Cornish pasties and instead are eating neeps and foot medications on the grounds of patriotism. Seems a bit unnecessary to me.”
The library has other Bill Bryson books as well. If he is a new-to-you author, I highly recommend that you try his books.