• Made in America

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 18 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 16-01-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (656 ratings)


Featuring a special introduction written for the audiobook edition and read by the author
In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.
Click here to see all the titles in our Bill Bryson collection.
©1994 Bill Bryson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"Bryson offers a playfully anecdotal account of the etymology of distinctive words and phrases that help to create a distinctly American English." ( Publishers Weekly)
"A treat....Filled with surprises....A literate exploration of why we use, or mangle, our native tongue." ( USA Today)
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Regular price: £20.99

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tom on 12-05-10

A history of America through its language

As a native Brit I wondered how interesting a book about American English would be to me. I was also rather concerned about the scope of this book - how on Earth could Bill Bryson fill such a long time with what seemed like such a limited topic?

My concerns on both counts were unfounded. It turns out that most of the Americanisms that Bill Bryson covers in his book are so embedded in British English now that we don't even think of them as Americanisms any more. Interestingly it also works in reverse - many things we think of as Americanisms actually started out in Britain!

On the second count, Bill Bryson does far more than just list words that are Americanisms and research their origins. He puts them in their cultural context, and indeed in some ways this book is more of a history of America told through the development of its language. Indeed, at some points the link between the topic being covered and the development of American English is distant to say the least.

Despite its considerable length, this book kept my interest throughout. The only issue I can really highlight is that it does get a bit confusing sometimes when words are being spelt out, but this happens only occasionally and is not a serious issue. Apart from this, the narration is brilliant and adds to what is already an excellent book.

All in all, a highly recommended book.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Lindsay Kay Caddy on 18-07-11

One of the poorer Bryson books

I enjoyed this book but it was very annoying in places with constant lists of words but even more tedious was listening to lists of individual words being spelt out. The facts in the book were vaguely interesting but not so interesting that you would bother relaying the fact to anyone else or bringing it up in conversation. Overall a bland book, wellr esearched but not a page turner.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By John on 28-02-14

Bryson Not Reading Makes For a Rare Fail

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Bill Bryson is both a great writer and reader. His books have been a high point in my time here at Audible, but the William Roberts doesn't get Bryson's pacing or timing and as a result much of the humor is lost. If Audible could get a rerecord, I would recommend this, but I would suggest not downloading it and reading it on paper or digital over this performance.

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40 of 42 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Thomas S Kovacs on 09-01-14

Bryson OK Roberts not so much

Would you listen to Made in America again? Why?

I just started to listen but one thing is very clear to me,Bill Bryson needs to read his own books. The narrator doesn't make me want to keep listening but I will.

Would you be willing to try another one of William Roberts’s performances?


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22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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