Neither Here, Nor There: Travels in Europe
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...more
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After Shorthistoryof nearly ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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
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 ...more
Bill Bryson is as funny as ever; you can't avoid guffawing at some of his observations: but this is a book-long exercise in sarcasm. It's as though the author is saying: "Look, compared to these brain-dead Europeans, see how clever I am!" Being a sarcastic SOB myself, I can understand the attitude - but find it difficult to sustain 200+ pages of it.
And really, for a travelogue, it does not give the reader what he/ she wants - information on the country ...more
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 ...more
I hate to bash authors...that's not what I'm trying to do here. I am simply trying to ...more
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
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 ...more
I have never read any of his travel stuff where he actually meets an interesting person ...more
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
"And from this I learned one very important lesson: The French do not like us. On ...more
Sweden....... beautiful people and the women try to catch what sun there is while sunbathing topless.
Paris...loves the city, hates the people who "needed the Americans to help them win the war".
Both of these books are the strongest and the funniest of Bryson’s earliest work and undoubtedly established his reputation (at that time) as a travel writer and commentator of repute, producing engaging and very entertaining travelogues.
Now very much the Anglo-American (having lived at times in the UK and now holding dual ...more
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 ...more
Here’s one example of his visit to Istanbul, “The one truly unbearable thing in ...more
It is an OK, middle of the ...more
With only one exception I have visited the same cities, and find it very hard to recognize them through the pen/eyes of Mr. Bryson.
If he wasnt trying sooo hard to be ironically funny in every second paragraph I just might have enjoyed the trip more.
Clashing cliché upon cliché about European cities and citizens doesnt make a travel writer, at best it makes a moderately entertaining stand-up comedian. ...more
I can't help but ...more
In Neither Here, Nor There, Bryson loosely retraces his journey across Europe from years earlier, beginning up in Norway and finishing down in Istanbul. Ever since watching the film adaptation ...more
In The Lost Continent, ...more