“The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America” tells of author Bill Bryson’s journey across the rural Midwest in search of that idealistic, American, small-town life. His travels begin in Des Moines, Iowa’s capital and Bryson’s hometown. As he drives from town to town, he reminisces on his childhood spent there, as well as making observations about the locals and their customs that range from poignant to hilarious. Bryson has a knack for bringing out the ridiculous in the mundane, and it was a delight to read his
interpretations of the seemingly normal people he happened upon, mostly because we all know someone like them.
Bill Bryson is a premier author in the genre of creative non-fiction. In fact, his memoir “A Walk in the Woods” was recently turned into a movie and is currently playing in theaters. As with all of his novels, “The Lost Continent” is laced with cutting sarcasm and intelligent, dry humor. Though at times the plot might seem like aimless ramblings (the overall story is rather repetitive), it is well-articulated and clever enough not to get stale.
Being from a small town in Iowa myself, I appreciated this touching and witty memoir commemorating my home state and the Midwest in general. Bryson has taken on a not-so-interesting topic and made it highly entertaining with a refreshing perspective and razor sharp wit, creating yet another literary gem.