Monday, March 22, 2010
Big Book Read #9
Stephen Fry in America by Stephen Fry
After finishing his memoir Moab is My Washpot, I guess I was in the mood for a little more Fry. So, I quickly plowed through his book Stephen Fry in America, the companion book to his BBC Special (also airing on PBS apparently). From September 2007 to May 2008 Fry traveled to every state in the Union. Yep, all 50. I only know two people that have done that, my grandparents. I myself have only been to about eleven, and ten of those are on the east coast. I was interested in this book not only because I’m curious about the states but also because Fry is British (some say the quintessential Briton) and it would be interesting to read about my own country through the eyes of a foreigner.
I of course was very interested to read about his visit to my state of New Hampshire. I was very disappointed. Not because he wrote negatively about it but because he unfortunately went there during the lead up to the Primary and spent all his time following someone from the Mitt Romney campaign around. Although he did manage a trip to the top of Mt. Washington on a gorgeously clear day, which is something I have not even done.
Overall his trip through the states was highly entertaining and quite informative. It certainly made me more interested in visiting some of the states in which I had no previous interest (I’m looking at you Utah). The best thing about this book is that I bought it from a book merchant in the UK, so it has British English spellings and is geared towards the British reader so there were many explanations on proper pronunciation and size comparisons (Alaska can hold thirteen Englands!).
There were just a few things that needled me about the book. Being from New England I was not pleased with Mr. Fry when he stated that there are seven states in New England. I found myself rather disturbed by this mistake and said out loud to my husband, “He better not be including NEW YORK in the count! Ugh!” I then made a plan to write a very stern, yet polite tweet to the man informing him that New England has only six states and that even Connecticut is only included out of courtesy.
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes travel writing. It’s funny, informative and is full of beautiful pictures of this beautiful country. It has certainly increased my feelings of Wanderlust (something which I did not think was possible) and I am determined to embark on my very own American road trip soon…well, someday.