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Stephen Fry in America

In Nonfiction on January 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm

 

Stephen Fry in America: Fifty States and the Man Who Set Out to See Them All by Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry in America: Fifty States and the Man Who Set Out to See Them All by Stephen Fry

Title: Stephen Fry in America
Author: Stephen Fry
Genre: Nonfiction/American roadtrip
Rating: **/****

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In 2008, the quintissential Englishman, Stephen Fry, traveled across the entire United States to experience what each individual state had to offer. 
What I liked about this book is that Fry stayed away from popular sites e.g. Times Square, and instead chose to visit more colorful & interesting locales. To a non-American, it would probably seem like the states have their own flavor, but we do have a common ingredient that can be found across the entire nation & Fry usually was confronted with it when he read our state mottos, slogans, & even watched commercials all of which declare the unique attitude & culture of where he was at the moment.  To the next state, it seemed to be repeat itself & Fry took it all in stride, seeming to enjoy it rather than ridicule it for all its worth. (I know I would have done it, given the chance.) 

I’m only giving the book two stars as I thought each state’s section was too short & yes, Fry predicted that Americans would be disatisfied with their own state’s portrayal which I will confirm that for me (as an Okie) that I was a bit disappointed with what he included.  But maybe I’m just being cynical, after all he did show Okies as being charitable & enjoying the pastime of rodeo, which isn’t a bad depiction in the least. Fry could have easily made a book about how there is more bad than good in the US & it would have been easy to do. It was nice to read a book filled with the more positive elements of our society: hardwork, community, indigenous cultures, & the ability to drive a car on the beach (well, two of them).

Bonuses: All of that trivia & history! Also, the beautiful photography & Fry’s British wit & humoUr.

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http://www.stephenfry.com/features/fryinamerica