REVIEWS

Amazon and Goodreads Reviews 

As of 24th May 2021, there are 56 verified reviews on the various Amazon country sites and Goodreads. 44 of these are five-star reviews and most of the others are four-star reviews. 

Below are the reviews copied in full. You can also click on the review title to see the review on the relevant Amazon site.

Reader in the US

"Julian Bishop...... has come blasting out of the gates as a professional writer with a mostly-hilarious and too-often-painful evaluation of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA as it unveils itself to him and his family as they travel cross country. Just the title itself: "High, Wide & Handsome" is infuriating--am I not American? Why have I not heard this expression before? Julian's million-dollar title is an indication of the gems inside: only he would discover that none of us knows a buffalo from a bison, can prove that the Declaration of Independence went through a spell-check, or that ambulance service in this country is designed to add financial insult to injury . . . even if you die. The depth of Julian's research makes it impossible to say his book allowed me to rediscover my country. It didn't. It allowed me to discover it."

Reader in the UK

The United Kingdom's answer to Bill Bryson

"As well as being an extremely funny travel writer, the author beautifully describes the scale and extremes of the United States as well as some of the nation's intriguing culture and dramatic history. Whether you're an American interested in a Brit's view of your country or you're about to visit the U.S. and want something on top of your one-dimensional travel guide, you'll love this book!"

Review from Goodreads

It was amazing 

I'm recommending this book (and the 5 stars I've given it) because it's like having a warm bucket of positivity poured over you. So many people in this age are negative about the USA, but it's just so refreshing to read something that doesn't take the easy route at finger-pointing at politicians, recent events, etc. Instead the author takes us along on a road-trip with his (long-suffering?) wife across the beautiful USA - showing us the magnificent parts of the continent that we, in Europe, don't hear about as much as we should.
If you want a good, happy read, about a place that you should think about again, read this book. 

Review from Goodreads

It was amazing

"This is one of the most interesting and entertaining books I’ve read in a long time. If you don’t include the pages of postscripts there are 225 pages... with at least 225 facts that were a) very interesting unknown or long forgotten items about my country (yes, I’m American) b) things that I love being shared or explored with others outside my country, or c) just general facts that I read out loud to my husband. Approximately every 4th comment made him say “Is that true??”. Of course he checked. They were. 
So, 5 ⭐️ and a bonus ⭐️ for encouraging us in our plan to explore a bit more of our own country this summer"

Reader in the UK
If Palin, Portillo and Macintyre wrote a book...............

"Super fun read and a clever and witty romp across the US and through 400 years of US history. As my review title suggests if the three Michaels Palin (Monty Python travel journalist) Portillo (UK Defence Secretary, travel journalist) and Macintyre (Comedian) had written a book together this would be it.
I have spent much time on business and at leisure in the US from coast to coast and always felt each time I visited I understood more and more about how different the US and UK are as you scratch beneath the surface ( in a good way mostly I must say). This book is a must for all who want to learn more about the US, its places, culture and history through the eyes of a UK expat and his family as they begin the journey to becoming American.
On top of all this, I now know why US house numbers are so long and that there are 73,000 mountains taller than Ben Nevis in the US alongside more than 4 million lakes."

Review from Goodreads

I loved this book

"I followed their trip on my 1980 Greyhound Map; they visited places that were still under development back then. It's incredible how much ground they covered, especially in Covid times and I loved the insights into the places they stayed - some so bonkers it made me think of Clark Griswold and the House of Mud. What makes this book stand out for me is the wealth of fascinating, slightly wacky history, and I appreciated the explanations of the American way of life and general psyche. 
Julian obviously has a wry sense of humour. In addition, his comments regarding Lorna his wife and his daughters were highly amusing and full of admiration - a great foil for the serious bits.
I hope to read more of his work, whether USA related or otherwise - I can see a road trip TV show too. Great read - I was sorry to finish it......"

Reader in the US

Amazing read! Where and why with a good dose of humor!

"Not often you read something that entertains you, makes you laugh and gets you to learn about US history, geography and culture. This book is easy to read and quite entertaining. I have learned so many things and have now a true desire to go explore the country a bit more. It explores so many different topics while guiding you through different places of the US - from linguistics, traditions, history and so much more. Highly recommend it!"

Reader in the US

A clever and entertaining guidebook to understanding the why of the USA

"An easy and enjoyable trip both figuratively and literally through the landscape of modern America. The many historical, cultural and geographical perspectives are peppered through an entertaining road journey from east wo west across a nation still coming to terms with the Covid19 pandemic. A must read for anyone visiting or planning to relocate to the US from any European or Commonwealth nation!"

Reader in Ireland

America for Beginners

"Part travelogue, part handbook; wholly enjoyable. This book takes the reader through the author's trip across America undertaken during a brief window of opportunity between Covid restrictions. Simultaneously, it is a journey through the history, mindset, development, and current state of this vast land. It is highly informative, in places very funny, and a pacy read throughout. It will whet the appetite of those who long to take a similar journey, it will educate those who like to know more about the places they visit, and it will fulfill the armchair traveller."

Review from Goodreads

"An eclectic, entertaining read, this debut is in fact several books in one. Principally, it’s the British-born author's expeditious travel guide to a big, US road trip with his "modern-day Sacagawea" (of whom you learn more in the book); undertaken between lockdowns last year, it gives first-hand descriptions of the natural wonders and (often eccentric) cultural sites along the way.
It also includes a raft of encyclopaedic facts - all you ever needed to know about the USA and more - covering subjects as wide-ranging as the dissimilarity of US spelling; the perfect way to cook bear meat; why a bison is a buffalo and how the 12th president's vegetarian diet was the death of him. I also learned the complicated ways of US dating, how the (bizarre) sorority/fraternity system works, and, most intriguingly, why most Americans like a good Mattress.
Finally, the book tackles the contentious topics of slavery, gun ownership, healthcare and US politics, which will no doubt provoke strong reactions among international readers.
All of this is delivered with the zeal of a convert's manifesto for the US way of life, as well as keen observation skills and plenty of wry humour.
At a time when most of us are having to travel vicariously, I recommend you pack it in your luggage and enjoy the ride.
"

Reader in the US

More than just a travel book

"High, Wide, & Handsome is more than a travel book. Julian Bishop has effectively weaved American history and how America works throughout the chapters giving the reader perspective of how the United States came to be where we are today. As a "born in the USA" baby boomer, I appreciated his sense of humor when poking fun at truly American idiosyncrasies. Highly recommend to readers."

Review from Goodreads

Really enjoyed this book
"Good read. I liked all the light history lessons. Gave me some places to travel to in the near future."

Reader in the UK

Witty, surprisingly informative and entertaining

"A travel journal with a witty twist. A road trip through the US' history and National Parks as seen through the eyes of a British expat with revealing facts and anecdotes along the way. A thoroughly good read for anyone in search of the true spirit of the U"

 

Reader in the UK

It was amazing

"What a journey and so many facts!! I loved the rambling nature of some of the fact packed sections that sat against the journey from coast to coast. I feel I understand the American government system better as to a Brit so many things look to be unusual - now underarms the rationale behind the federal vs state system. The geographical aspect is dream making and I hope to travel to some of the spots travelled to. A must for fact lovers and intrepid travelers."

 

Reader in the UK

Witty, surprisingly informative and entertaining

"A travel journal with a witty twist. A road trip through the US' history and National Parks as seen through the eyes of a British expat with revealing facts and anecdotes along the way. A thoroughly good read for anyone in search of the true spirit of the USA."

 

Reader in the UK

 Entertaining, informative page-turner

"As a Brit, I’ve always had a fascination with America. But the US also had the capacity to frustrate and annoy me. Julian Bishop captures this ambivalence perfectly in a perfect travelogue page-turner. There’s so much that I learned about a country I thought I knew quite well; helped me understand some of the things that seemed frustrating; and made me want to be there again as soon as I can."

Reader in the UK

Witty, informative, insightful

"This had me interested and smiling from the first few pages. There's a lot of really interesting information presented in a way that kept my attention. I really enjoyed the intertwining of fact with anecdotes, learned a lot about American history and culture, and had a good laugh at some of the stories. I've seen places I've visited through a different perspective and added some new places to my wish list.
It's been a great antidote to lockdown life. We may not be able to travel at the moment, but through the book I've had a virtual holiday, rekindled many great memories of previous trips to the US, and leaves me looking forward to when I can go again, with a new level of knowledge and appreciation."

Reader in the US

A Fun, Fresh American Adventure!

"In addition to being a great travel guide packed with interesting sights and facts, it is also a funny and heartfelt journey. As a fan of all things British, I loved seeing America through English eyes. Highly recommended!"

Reader in the UK

Prior to reading thought that I already had a good understanding of American culture

"Having travelled to the US regularly for the last twenty five years; having close relatives who have emigrated to the US, and having reported to line managers in the US for over ten years, I thought that I understood the American culture extremely well. That was until I read this highly informative and humorous book!"

Reader in UK

A lockdown must read

"If you've missed travelling for the last 12 months this very readable book will give you your next wanderlust fix. Intelligently written, the curious Mr Bishop explores the US with fresh eyes and an open heart."

Reader in US

Entertaining and informative

"Both my wife and I enjoyed this book. It’s entertaining, informative, and generally a fast read. The book blends a wide range of topics that collectively portray uniqueness of the U.S.A. The author explores linguistics, history, government, and culture among other themes while also sharing his experiences on a family trip across the country. Great balance of personal and informational content. Definitely recommend!

 

Reader in US

Good read. Very interesting.

Good read.

Reader in UK

A great read

"I enjoyed this book so much. It is a combination of travelogue, history, american social commentary and and an intimate family portrait. Definitely recommended."

Reader in the US

Remarkable!

"The young mister Bishop outdid himself on his first outing! I am in literal (Lord, I hope I used the correct spelling… for reference see Chapter 1) awe of this book. If you are even mildly interested in American history and geography, this is a must read. As those who know Julian can attest, he toes a very fine line between sarcastic English humour and dense factual content. In essence, this is an objective analysis of what it means to immigrate to America and embrace it unconditionally, for what it is, the land of opportunity. Julian pays ode to his family and America in this beautifully written book."

 

Reader in the UK

Entertaining and informative
"A well written, interesting and humorous account of a coast-to-coast journey in the USA. The author cleverly weaves in asides on US history, geography, politics, culture and his own insights into the USA of today. An excellent read, highly recommended."

Reader in the UK

Witty, informative, insightful

"This had me interested and smiling from the first few pages. There's a lot of really interesting information presented in a way that kept my attention. I really enjoyed the intertwining of fact with anecdotes, learned a lot about American history and culture, and had a good laugh at some of the stories. I've seen places I've visited through a different perspective and added some new places to my wish list.
It's been a great antidote to lockdown life. We may not be able to travel at the moment, but through the book I've had a virtual holiday, rekindled many great memories of previous trips to the US, and leaves me looking forward to when I can go again, with a new level of knowledge and appreciation."

 

Reader in the UK

A great read

"I enjoyed this book so much. It is a combination of travelogue, history, American social commentary and an intimate family portrait. Definitely recommended."

Reader in the UK

 Amusing and Educational

"Really different from other books I’ve read. Tells the story of why the USA is like it is, via a journey across the country. Found myself looking up facts to build on my knowledge. Makes me want to go back to the States."

Reader in the UK

An eclectic, informative and very, very funny journey around the US.

"Funny, informative and immensely readable. I can’t recommend this book highly enough as a real panacea for the worlds woes. I started to browse and couldn’t put it down."

Reader in Singapore

Much more than a travel book

"When you travelled to a foreign country, have you ever wondered why people do what they do and noticing small differences? Maybe this made you laugh, or maybe this made you think. Well, reading this book is like a journey overseas from your living room, with a thoughtful and funny guide pointing out those observations. If you are American, you may look at the US with a different set of eyes and discover new parts, if you are an immigrant, you will say to yourself you had the exact same questions (Why oh why does America care about ice so much?), and if you wonder about visiting, you will get many ideas of what to do to experience the country differently. Nice read."

Reader in the UK

 The book reveals a beautiful land and how its people became great.

"Written with wit and insight this book is enjoyable on many levels. It brings the size and beauty of that America which is not theme parks. The journey to realising why the author loves America is revealing. Probably, for me, is the way in which the character of Americans has been moulded by history. The information is wide ranging and illuminating; from the only people allowed to drive right-hand vehicles to the immense personal relationship between the Constitution and the individual, who may have a copy of it in his pocket.
The author’s view is not MAGA but it is, and will always be great."

Reader in Australia

A British lens on America

"Make no mistake, this is less a travel book and more a love letter to the US and its people by Bishop, a Brit who moved to the US with his family 10 years ago. This fast paced and engaging read casts a British lens on the quirks, history, language, society, geography, arts and culture – and everything in between – of a country that has been welcoming migrants for a couple of hundred years. Bishop manages to cleverly weave facts and figures alongside his and his family’s experiences in the USA, and several Dad jokes, all while travelling on a coast-to-coast road trip. Ideal reading for ex-pats living in the US or anyone who has lived in, or is contemplating a move to, the US. Those with a familiarity or love of the US will also find this book fascinating."

Reader in the UK

Fascinating Insight into American History, Education and Politics

"Written by an English author who loves living in America, this is an absorbing and interesting book which includes personal anecdotes and nice touches of humour. The book covers different aspects of the USA, together with an enlightening trip from the east to the west coast of America during the pandemic. Each place and national park the author and his wife visited contains detailed historical facts and important events. He is particularly impressed with the opportunities this country has to offer, the friendliness of the people and the various differences in communities and states. This is an excellent, informative and detailed book to read."

Reader in the UK

A Brits love letter to the US

"This is an eyes wide open view of the US of A. Weaving grammar, history, a family's own journey to immigration with a physical journey across the country, the book humorously presents the country he has come to love. It left me occasionally weeping with laughter, and sometimes grinding my teeth in disagreement, but I did enjoy every page. Highly recommended."

Reader in the UK

Witty and informative - quite a double!

"When an author says his own work is witty, alarm bells start ringing. But in this case, it's true. I very much enjoyed the humour. But it's also really informative. I learnt so much about US culture that I didn't know, even though I've been to the US many times. That's quite a double - a witty and informative book. Definitely recommend it."

Reader in the UK

Couldn't be a better moment in American history to read this

"Very well written, with a strong authorial voice. If only I'd had this earlier, to navigate the recent Presidential elections. It restores hope in all sorts of life's checks and balances. Doubles brilliantly as a travel and history guide, with some tour de force asides, eg an explanation of frat boy and sorority 'houses', whilst describing a stunning National Park. Recommended for those who are visiting or staying in the US. Full of optimism in difficult times."

Reader in the UK

Laughter is guaranteed!

A great book that will guaranty you laughter. It’s insightful and witty. I learnt things about the American history that I wasn’t aware about, leaving you wanting to know more! Highly recommend it!

Reader in the US

Informative and entertaining read!

"I really enjoyed this book. It was a well-paced, diverse approach at looking at America from the eyes of a British-born US resident. I particularly liked the way the story jumped between personal experience and a presentation of historical facts. It was this quick-hitting (and witty) narrative that held my attention and drove me to finish the book as quickly as any I've read in the past 10 years. Highly recommended book.

Reader in Australia

So much more than a travelogue
"Wow! What a journey, even more so for the reader than the author. It is so much more than a “what I did on my holiday” travelogue and whilst sating some of my wanderlust in our current COVID-ridden world, it also gave me a thirst for more travel, more adventures and more knowledge.
The book ostensibly follows the author’s journey across America. Whilst at a crossroads in their lives, Julian, the author, and his wife Lorna set out to travel coast to coast across America to decide on their future path – to remain in America or not. This journey is an incredible feat in itself, given that it took place in the middle of 2020, whilst most of the world was in lockdown. The author’s personal journey is interwoven with the journey of the making of modern-day America. Acting as both a travel book and a history book, it is crammed full of facts and figures laid out in an accessible and humorous way, that leaves the reader wanting more.
The book provides the reader with a foreigner’s eye view of what life in the US is like. As a fellow Brit abroad (although in Australia) it is helpful to get this British perspective of a country we try to understand from the news and TV programs. It certainly got me thinking and has led to me asking questions about my own aspirations for the future. It was so refreshing to read a tale of optimism and share the author’s genuine love for his adopted homeland. This book gave me a new respect for America, a country about which I have previously had many reservations and viewed with the usual British scepticism. America is definitely now on my bucket list."

Reader in Canada

Original, fun, and meaningful

"Julian's Journey is remarkable. I really recommend it for all. Original, fun, meaningful, this book open your eyes about America and its stereotypes as well as the real innovative spirit. Buy it now"

Reader in UK

I really enjoyed this book, I think you will too

"This is a really good read. It's funny, informative, and cracks along at a good pace. The author makes the quirks he sees in US life humourous, plus adds in dollops of facts for good measure (but not too many, it doesn't get boring).
Buy it, and you'll soon find yourself wanting to take a road trip in the US - and after reading this I couldn't blame you."

Reader in US

Excellent Read

"It is great to read a book from an outsider's (meaning non US born and raised) perspective. You don't need to be a history major to appreciate this book. I valued the personal and historical perspectives Julian provides. Strongly recommend this book."

Reader in UK

Witty, informative, insightful

"This had me interested and smiling from the first few pages. There's a lot of really interesting information presented in a way that kept my attention. I really enjoyed the intertwining of fact with anecdotes, learned a lot about American history and culture, and had a good laugh at some of the stories. I've seen places I've visited through a different perspective and added some new places to my wish list. It's been a great antidote to lockdown life. We may not be able to travel at the moment, but through the book I've had a virtual holiday, rekindled many great memories of previous trips to the US, and leaves me looking forward to when I can go again, with a new level of knowledge and appreciation."

 

Reader in UK

A beautiful road trip interspersed with snippets of all things American!

"A well written book that takes you on a journey by road alongside a literary journey of American history, its uniqueness and its similarities to the UK. You'll be entertained as you turn the pages with Julian"

Reader in US

A good first book

"It's easy to compare this book to Bill Bryan's books. The difference being that Bill's books seem to flow a bit more smoothly. Both authors love their digressions but these seemed a bit more arbitrary as if the chapter was written to create an excuse for the digression. Humor also seemed a bit forced. Still. I enjoyed the book and look forward to his next book."

 

Reader in UK

 Interesting and Fun Read

"I loved this book! It's really well written and highly amusing. He has combined an offbeat travel journal with some wacky and very interesting history and useful explanations of the American psyche/way of life for us Brits. I feel there's a TV programme somewhere down the line; Great Canal Journeys X The Trip."

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