One Summer: America, 1927; Bill Bryson

08book "One Summer" by Bill Bryson.

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One Response to “One Summer: America, 1927; Bill Bryson”

  1. Courtney Z. Says:

    Summary: In the beginning of the book Bill Bryson introduces Charles Lindbergh; he was a pilot and flew planes as a living after quitting college sophomore year and failing all his classes. Bryson briefly mentions that Europe had its first air-line in 1919 and that in the mid-1920’s it was possible to fly anywhere in Europe. Next he spoke of the Great Mississippi flood in 1927 and how it destroyed lots of families, homes, crops, cattle, and killed thousands of people; most of the people who died were black, so they didn’t bother to keep track on how many died. Then he went on talking about Babe Ruth, the baseball player, and how great he was. Also back in 1927 spitballs, Vaseline, lotion and dirt were illegal in the game of baseball because it was considered cheating. He even mentions how in 1920 Babe Ruth had an amazing year and had a total of 54 home runs in a row. Then Bryson goes into the Yankees for a little while. Then he brings in Mr. Henry Ford and the Ford Company and how he made the model T but later improved it to the model A. The other half of the book had lots of interesting facts and events as well. I couldn’t follow this story that well, but it was about a famous boxer in the 1920’s named Johnny Dempsey. In a few chapters of the novel there were several pictures with paragraphs underneath them explaining what they were and what they were about. One of the pictures was Al Capone. The paragraph talked about how Al Capone was known as a Chicago gangster and was one of the most successful men in America. His gang flourished and grossed more than $100 million. Another picture was about how 1917 was a great year for movies in America and brought in the woman, Clara Bow, an actress nicknamed the “it girl”. The famous movie she starred was a movie about World War I. Another famous movie that was out in 1927 was “Taking Picture” starring a jazz singer named Al Jolson. That basically sums up the whole book and what it talks about.

    Evaluation: I thought that, all together, if you are an intellectual person and can handle a big read, then this is a very good book and the history in it is fascinating, but if you are a person that doesn’t do well with big chapter books or has difficulty reading big words every five minutes, then this book isn’t very good. One Summer, America in 1927 is a book that is very complex and has a lot of depth to it, and you need to be able to read between the lines and understand the vocabulary and complex sentences. This book by itself is an amazing book talking about the biggest major events in America of 1927, all these events which took place in one summer. This book, myself, I did not like very much, in fact, I hated it! This was due to the fact that I did not understand any of the context or vocabulary that Bill Bryson was using throughout the entire book. I didn’t enjoy it at all. I think people who like Bill Bryson’s work will enjoy it, or people that like a big read will enjoy it, but I on the other hand did not. I did, however, look up on line what exactly he was talking about so I could get a better understanding of the book and that made the book easier for me and more fun. The events that Bill Bryson mentions and talks about in his book are very interesting, but this really wasn’t the book for me, and I really wished I had chosen a different one: a book that was more around my level.

    Rating: 3 stars

    Recommendations: The Frog Princess series, The Grapes of Wrath, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet.

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