Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Neither Here, Nor There: Travels in Europe” as Want to Read:
Neither Here, Nor There: Travels in Europe
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Neither Here, Nor There: Travels in Europe

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  45,088 Ratings  ·  2,153 Reviews
Bill Bryson's first travel book, The Lost Continent, was unanimously acclaimed as one of the funniest books in years. In Neither here Nor there he brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hamemrfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to istanbul on the cusp of Asia. Fluent in ...more
Audio CD
Published May 17th 2004 by Corgi Audio (first published 1991)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Neither Here, Nor There, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Neither Here, Nor There

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Markus
Sep 14, 2007 Markus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Bryson at his worst. He is the whining American tourist he claims to detest. Meandering through a dozen or so european countries, he manages to complain about virtually every hotel accomodation. And for christ sake Bill, put a freakin map in your book. I'm not totally ignorant when it comes to european geography but if youre gonna write about travelling hundreds of miles every other day, i'd like to glance at the route with out having to bust out my world atlas.
After Shorthistoryof nearly everyt
...more
Brendon Schrodinger
I'm a fan of Bill Bryson.

I'm not a fan of the complaining, whingeing, swilling pleb who wrote this travel book. No, this is too harsh. But I do feel a little ripped off only because I know how interesting a Bill Bryson book can be. There's no history in this book, there's no culture, there is very little interesting stories.


Here is what it felt like:

So I got off the train at Hergenbootensberg and it was raining. Why does it always rain when I travel? The place was a dirty shithole and no one sp
...more
Diane
Sep 05, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book hits the sweet spot: Bill Bryson travels around Europe, entertaining us with his humor and thoughtful observations, and also sharing memories of a similar trip he took in the 1970s with his bumbling friend, Stephen Katz.

Ah, poor Stephen. If you have read Bryson's book A Walk in the Woods, which is about hiking the Appalachian Trail, you will remember Mr. Katz as the comic foil, the ridiculously overweight guy who complained a lot and who threw away critical supplies because they were t
...more
Jeff
Sep 26, 2013 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
Three and a half stars rounded up.

It’s never a good idea to read Bill Bryson on public transportation. Stifling belly laughs can be painful and the resulting noise sounds like something between strangling an aardvark and air rapidly escaping from a balloon.

The benefits: Fellow commuters won’t look you in the eye and go out of their way to avoid you, so I practically have the whole train car to myself.

This is one of Bryson’s earlier books, so it’s long on humor, random observations and anecdotes,
...more
Roy Lotz
I had a rather curious experience while reading this book. Because I'll be in Europe shortly, and I've been on a Bryson binge anyway, I downloaded the audiobook onto my phone and began listening. I took a walk and was merrily following along, until, at about one third of the way through, a thought flashed through my mind—This book sucks!

I was taken by surprise, because up until then I thought I'd been enjoying it. But the further I read, the more my judgment was justified. I'm sorry to say this
...more
Eric_W
Nov 13, 2008 Eric_W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Bryson writes hysterical travel books. In this one he sets out to re-create a backpacking trip of Europe he made during the seventies when he was twenty. His descriptions of people and places will have you falling out of your chair. The beer he is offered in Belgium, for example, defies his palate. He just can’t associate the taste with any previous experience, but finally decides it puts him in mind of a very large urine sample, possibly from a circus animal. (He should have stuck with Coca-Col ...more
Jason Koivu
Huh. Turns out Bryson is a dirty ol' bugger!

This travel-across-Europe journal is fun, educational and entertaining. I love travel and I like learning about far-off places. Europe has been done and overdone, yet I still find it fascinating.

Bryson's recollections are from when he wrote the book in the '90s as well as from a previous trip he and his friend Katz took. Regardless of when the reminisces come from, details ring true from the experiences I've had of the same places, such Paris and part
...more
Lindsay
Aug 15, 2007 Lindsay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
This book was highly entertaining at times, I can't say it wasn't. In fact, it was highly entertaining most of the time. However, I can't say I learned hardly anything about any of the places Bill Bryson visited. He reserves most of his commentary for how far he walked to get to a train station, how fast or slow the train rides were, and how cornflake-sized bugars feel in his nose while on those train rides...

I hate to bash authors...that's not what I'm trying to do here. I am simply trying to s
...more
Jessica
Aug 26, 2007 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
The reason I read this book is because there have been some excellent extracts from it in the course books I teach from. Unfortunately I think those extracts were actually the best bits... I certainly learnt nothing new from reading the entire book.
Bryson is funny, but after a while he comes across as whiny and just a touch xenophobic. I've never quite understood the point of travelling and then asking for 'something that would pass for food in America' to eat.
Furthermore, the chapter structure
...more
Leftbanker
May 02, 2009 Leftbanker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Why bother to actually travel when you can just regurgitate stereotypes that have been passed around since man invented borders? Honest to God, he really complains about haughty Parisian waiters. I didn’t find anything in this book of essays to be even remotely insightful and I don’t ever find Bryson to be funny. Most of what I have read by him is just a collection of his gripes against the rest of humanity.

I have never read any of his travel stuff where he actually meets an interesting person
...more
David
Nov 09, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of Bill Bryson's. Like so many of his other books, this book did not disappoint me. Occasionally his humor is a bit over-the-top, but I love it anyway!

When Bill Bryson was in college he toured Europe with his friend Stephen Katz. In this book, Bryson is much older, married with kids, and follows in basically the same footsteps, in a sense trying to recreate his earlier tour. He is alone this time, going from Scandinavia to Turkey, mostly by train and bus.

Bryson makes the trip in order
...more
Adrienne
I'm not sure I'm going to finish this book because I'm only on page 41 and I can barely focus on the words because I'm overwhelmed by the desire to to punch him very, very hard. I was trying to let some other ignorant comments go but then the chapter on Paris began. He goes on about how lights in French hotels are on a timer causing people to grope around in the dark if they do not find their room quickly enough:

"And from this I learned one very important lesson: The French do not like us. On m
...more
Jan-Maat
I find Bryson a very skilful author, easy to read, enjoyable while it lasts and then completely forgettable. It is the the snack you can read between books and not spoil your appetite. All I can definitely remember from this one is the 'pick-up' line his sidekick used in pubs and clubs (view spoiler).

It is an OK, middle of the roa
...more
Hayes
Amusing enough, along the lines of The Innocents Abroad: or, The New Pilgrims' Progress, but of course Mark Twain's version is far more amusing. Some funny observations about various places and people throughout Europe, many of which, nay, most of which he did not like or enjoy. Tries too hard for the laugh. Stick with the original:
The Innocents Abroad or, The New Pilgrims' Progress (Modern Library Classics) by Mark Twain
فهد الفهد
Neither here Nor there: Travels in Europe

من هامرفاست على حدود القارة المتجمدة الشمالية وحتى إسطنبول، يأخذنا بيل برايسون في كتاب رحلات ممتع، فبعدما عاش على حافة القارة - في الجزر البريطانية - ولسنوات طويلة، قرر برايسون أن يتخلى عن بروده وأن يحمل حقيبته على ظهره وينزل ليتجول في أوروبا، كان قد تجول فيها في منتصف السبعينات مع صديق ثقيل الظل، وها هو الآن يقوم بذلك متوحداً، يقفز من مدينة إلى أخرى، محباً للدنماركيين وكارهاً للسويديين والنرويجيين، معجباً بالطليان وطريقتهم الغريبة في الحياة، ساخراً أبدا
...more
Jessica
Feb 14, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Overall I enjoyed reading this travel memoir. Mr Bryson is witty and at times I was laughing so hard I had a hard time breathing. BUT, I found his repeated racial slurs annoying, then tiresome, then as they continued I was offended and somewhat disgusted. He goes a bit too far about Germans joking that he could recognize them by their jackboots. He loves to paint an entire country's population with the same brush. He says a couple of times that he thinks the Italians shouldn't have been told abo ...more
Cynthia Peña
"Hugely funny (not snigger-snigger funny, but great-big-belly-laugh-till-you-cry-funny" - Daily Telegraph.

Hmmm... I think that review is a trifle misleading falsehood. Sure, some parts were funny, but it wasn't the sort to make your belly hurt and make you cry.

I can sum up the book with this: Mr. Bryson goes from one country to another and:

1. Finds himself a hotel. Always expensive. So he ends up complaining.
2. Finds a restaurant/bar. Finds it expensive and/or food is terrible. So he ends up c
...more
Negin
Bill Bryson is, without a doubt, one of my favorites. His writing simply flows off the page. The Daily Telegraph summed this book up perfectly: ‘Hugely funny (not snigger-snigger funny but great-big-belly-laugh-till-you-cry funny)’. Yes, this is what I experienced also. There were a few parts where I honestly could not stop laughing for the life of me and felt pain in my stomach and had tears rolling down my cheeks.
Here’s one example of his visit to Istanbul, “The one truly unbearable thing in
...more
Xandra
I was aimlessly wandering through Europe - which is probably the ideal situation to be in in order to maximize your enjoyment of this book - and, reading at the same snail's pace as my traveling, I shamelessly burst out laughing in trains, parks, coffee shops and even large museums. Bryson is hilarious (no question about it), he travels the best way possible (solo) and he's always cheerful as a summer morning (yes, even when he complains about stuff, it's all in good humor).

I can't help but ima
...more
Rob Warner
Aug 19, 2011 Rob Warner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know the canonical essay question, "If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be?" My answer is Bill Bryson. He's a treasure. I'd love to watch him write. I imagine him tugging scraps of paper from him pockets, pawing through notes, scribbling a few sentences through the haze of pipe smoke, and chuckling a bit before pulling out more notes. He's hilarious. He commands the English language like Pele commands a soccer ball, etching metaphors that resonate and wonder why you didn't thin ...more
Carol Jones
Aug 10, 2007 Carol Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply cannot read this book anywhere in public, because I just collapse with laughing, and people stare. You really have to enjoy Bryson's snarky sense of humor to get him; otherwise I could see how he would strike some people as whiny. When he loves a place, he really loves it, but if there is something to be exasperated about, he will let you know. I enjoy this as much as Mark Twain's The Innocents Abroad, for the same kind of snarky humor.
Anna Savage
Aug 03, 2009 Anna Savage rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is terrible. I listened to it on CD, and the writing was so predictable that I found myself completing each sentence before it was spoken. That was, in fact, the only way I managed to keep my attention on the book rather than contemplating the fascinating landscape of Indiana visible out my window. But the book wasn't just boring, it was also embarrassingly bad. I was a huge Bill Bryson fan in high school. I decided to hike the Appalachian Trial after reading A Walk in the Woods. But I ...more
Christine Zibas
Bryson is one of the funniest travel writers around, and this book is no exception, even if it's a little dated. Revisiting the places he first explored as a young backpacker, Bryson travels the European continent this time with a decidedly more adult approach. Plenty of laugh out loud moments are sprinkled throughout this book. If you are anything like me, Bryson's stories will have you thinking it's about time to drag out that suitcase again for your own European adventure.
Katie
Apr 17, 2007 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: travellers with a sense of humor
Bill Bryson is amazing. He captures the essence of the peculiarities of travel.. of people in general. I read this before going to London (also read Noted from a Small Island- about England which was also excellent).. If you've traveled or want to travel, it's a great little book full of entertaining short stories. I read part of the 'Belgium' chapter to my grandmother (she's from Antwerp) and she nearly went off her rocker. No really, she almost fell off her chair laughing. :o) I recommend.
Barbara
Feb 08, 2015 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

In this book travel writer Bill Bryson wrote about a whirlwind trip through Europe that seemed designed solely to give him something to write about rather than a journey he actually wanted to take. I didn't take notes so Bryson's stops in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Lichtenstein, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Austria, Italy, etc. blended together into a continuous blur of traveling, finding hotels, walking around, looking at things, eating, drinking, and so on. I could hardly distinguish one city from anot
...more
RandomAnthony
Neither Here Nor There,, my second Bryson book (the other one was similar but focused on traveling through the US), reads smoothly and seems like a pretty good place for potential Bryson fans to start. Bryson is kind of like your uncle if your uncle was Chuck Klosterman in 2040 and very concerned about beer and hotels and people cutting in front of him in line.

This book, the story of Bryson retracing the path of one of his college trips through Europe, has its high points. Bryson is at his best
...more
Mary Simses
Sep 17, 2013 Mary Simses rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've never read any of Bill Bryson's travel books, you should. This is the third one I've read, and, like the other two ("Notes from a Small Island" and "I'm a Stranger Here Myself") I found it hysterically funny, entertaining, and enlightening. Although the book was written in 2001, my guess is that what Bryson captured in terms of the feel of each place he visited in Europe is probably still accurate. His descriptions are so vivid - the sights, the sounds, the people, the trains, the hote ...more
Trelawn
Sep 02, 2015 Trelawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having just spent a few a days viewing Europe of the '90s through the eyes of Bill Bryson I have a strange urge to travel by train while simultaneously never wanting to leave home again. He is witty, irreverent and fearless, a somewhat imperfect travel companion but I will happily go wherever he takes me next.
Erica Miles
Mar 16, 2016 Erica Miles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In theology, we call it a 'calling.' A vocation. The perfect match between your greatest love and the work for which you are most well-suited or which God or the Universe has called you to do. Bill Bryson describes his travels in Europe with that sort of passion. But add to that, not only his talent for conveying information, but also his characteristic sense of humor, his ability to describe the things he observes down to the minutest detail, his exquisite writing style, the way he paints so de ...more
astried
I've realized from reading this book how thin the line between hilariously funny and whiny is. And Bryson has crossed the line. Or maybe I drew the line thinner just because he did the unforgiveable act of not liking Cologne (which is still the loveliest city for me). So you've been warned, this review is subjective and biased (oh dear, so much so) and when I said I don't like it doesn't mean you won't, you probably will.

Anyway, midway reading, I suddenly had this thought. Is it possible that Br
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Books to read in Europe 1 3 Mar 24, 2017 10:32PM  
  • Pole to Pole
  • The Pillars of Hercules
  • The Size of the World
  • Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía
  • In Xanadu: A Quest
  • Baghdad without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia
  • Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid
  • Hokkaido Highway Blues. Hitchhiking Japan
  • A Yank Back to England: The Prodigal Tourist Returns
  • Pecked To Death By Ducks
  • Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This" (O'Rourke, P. J.)
  • Off the Tourist Trail: 1,000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives
  • Do Not Pass Go
  • Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman
7
William McGuire "Bill" Bryson, OBE, FRS

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. He settled in England in 1977, and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer. He lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire. He and his family then moved to New Hampshire in America for a few years, but they have now returned to live in the UK.

In The Lost Con
...more
More about Bill Bryson...

Share This Book



“But that's the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don't want to know what people are talking about. I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.” 715 likes
“Is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected cheque in the post, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homy restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city.” 127 likes
More quotes…