Ben's Reviews > Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe

Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson
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's review
Jul 22, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: non-fiction

I like Bill Bryson and was really looking forward to this one, but found it a bit disappointing. He spends most of the book complaining about all the places he's been and saying how they just aren't the same the second time around. Granted, the author's signature talent is his gift for hyperbole, making everyday minor annoyances seem like the most wretched travesties, and thus making himself a genius in the world of wry, absurdist humor. Still, if his diatribes on the squalor of Naples aren't depressing enough, then his constant references to the darker parts of European history (plague, holocaust, etc) are simply discouraging, and while they do serve as a reminder of things that should not be forgotten, he doesn't really give any new insight into these events. For a better example of Bryson's work, try "I'm a Stranger Here Myself," about his return to America after 20 years in Europe. It's a "There and Back Again" trip that he actually seemed to enjoy.
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