Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe

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Compass Press, 2000 - Humor - 352 pages
1140 Reviews
Anyone who has been to Europe -- or just dreamed of going -- will be engaged by the blend of awe and bewilderment that Bill Bryson brings to this uproariously funny memoir of a trip around the Continent. Deciding to get a jump on a budding midlife crisis, he loads a bag with maps and old clothes and sets off to retrace the journey he took as a young backpacker in the 1970s.

Interweaving his comic misadventures from the first trip with the razor-sharp insights of his older self, Bryson wanders through Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Rome, Geneva, Vienna, and other great cities of Europe. With affection and wit he explains why the French are constitutionally incapable of "queuing", why Yugoslavian beer encourages your legs to "go in for a little involuntary moonwalking", and asks: Why didn't the armistice treaty require the Germans to lay down their accordions along with their arms?

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Some interesting insights and good jokes. - Goodreads
Bill Bryson is a frustrating travel writer. - Goodreads
I really like Bill's humor but I needed more plot. - Goodreads
I'm a little addicted to Bill Bryson's form of writing. - Goodreads
Hilarious and educational. - Goodreads
Travel writing at its most ridiculous. - Goodreads
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I had high expectations of Bill Bryson. I was expecting a witty and intelligent commentary loaded with depth, philosophy, and style. I was disappointed.
Although brief moments stood out in this
book, I don't find him to be an intriguing person. He's a homebody from Iowa that seems to only enjoy himself when he is comfortable, when things are simple, and when there's CNN in every hotel room he goes to.
Most frustratingly, his broad generalizations of places and people in Europe based on a couple bad experiences lack any objectivity that an otherwise intelligent person might have. Everything sucked or everything was awesome.
His flashbacks to his time traveling with Katz were the fun parts, because they seemed the most real to me. But his traveling as a mature adult seemed to cater to a lowest common denominator of broad pop culture intelligence, reinforcing xenophobic stereotypes that the average American has of Europeans, most of which were dead wrong, but probably sell a lot of books.

Review: Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe

User Review  - Darleen Mimnaugh - Goodreads

A somewhat dated and not very funny look at Brysons travels in Europe for the second time. This is not one of his best books. Read full review



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About the author (2000)

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 8, 1951. In 1973, Bryson went backpacking in England, where he eventually decided to settle. He wrote for the English newspapers The Times and The Independent, as well as supplementing his income by writing travel articles. Bryson moved back to the States in 1995. His first travel book, The Lost Continent, chronicles a trip in his mother's Chevy around small town America. Since then, he has written several more about the U. K. and the U. S., including bestsellers, A Walk in the Woods, I'm A Stranger Here Myself, and In a Sunburned Country. His other books include Bill Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe, Made in America, The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson's African Diary, A Short History of Nearly Everything and At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Walk About, and Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, athe Genius of the Royal Society, and At Home: A Short History of Private Life.

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