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Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by…
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Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe (1992)

by Bill Bryson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bill Bryson's Travels (2)

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English (86)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (91)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
In 1990, Bill Bryson tries to recreate a trip round Europe he did in the early 1970s to see what has changed.

The book had a strong opening with his trip up to Northern Norway to see the Northern Lights and there were good descriptive passages throughout. Unfortunately, Bryson's humour doesn't come across so well in this book. In his other books, covering the US, the UK, and Australia, there is an element of us laughing at ourselves which doesn't come across when he's roaming round continental Europe - it easily degenerates into they talk funny and eat funny in furrin parts. I also found his obsession with topless sunbathers and an Italian actress I'd never heard of tedious. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jun 15, 2018 |
A pleasure - Bryson's apt observations and low-key humour are such fun to read, and it's great to get his perspective on places in Europe that we have been - and others we haven't. ( )
  AmberMcWilliams | May 11, 2018 |
Pro: a snapshot of Europe in the early 90s. Traveling on your own on a budget can have a lot of mundane discomfort, and it’s good to have a reminder that a lot of it won’t be joie de vivre. That Bryson is an Iowan transplanted to Little England probably sharpens the discomfort perceptions. As someone who dreads traveling, much of it rings true.
Con. Next to traveling, I dislike those get-togethers with neighbors, friends, relatives etc. for interminable slide shows of their trip to wherever, with pictures of said neighbors etc., with a commentary about how awful the prices are, other peoples’ body odor and so forth. All the good things are given clichéd raves, and the slides of vistas and other beauties are blocked out by the families posing before them. Even worse if the commentator is a wannabe comedian of snark with the sensibility of Philip Larkin. These unpleasant memories were summoned up again by Bryson’s book. Lately, much of this has migrated to social media, so now you can lie about scrolling through the selfies. Also, could use more detail on the meals, and it’s a major disappointment that he seems to prefer coke (the beverage) to wine at the many bistros he visits.
Alternatives. For European travel, I would recommend Patrick Leigh-Fermor’s A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. This is a walking tour of Europe pre-WW II, beautiful writing. Bryson pads the rather uneventful log of his trip with flashbacks to his youthful journey through Europe with his friend Katz. For travel combined with a memoir of the earlier trip, look into Paul Theroux’s Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, where he retraces the route used as the basis for his classic The Great Railway Bazaar. ( )
  featherbear | Mar 31, 2018 |
Another laugh-out-loud travel book from Bill Bryson.
This one has him travelling through Europe around 1989/90. While I loved his humour, and enjoyed his travel commentary, perhaps the most striking aspect of the book was the changes in how we travel over the last 25 years.
Bryson arrives at train stations in new countries and heads off to the travel bureau to find a hotel. No advance bookings by Internet; no AirBnB, no capacity to research and compare prices and facilities. It truly was a different world.
Read Sept 2017 ( )
  mbmackay | Sep 26, 2017 |
No indication in this whingeing, whiney, sweary mess of tired stereotypes that the author would go on to be a fabulous, amusing and clever travel writer. ( )
  tandah | Aug 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bryson, Billprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cosimini, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holzförster, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McShane, MikeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mehren, HegeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pendola, SoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rinaldi, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rogde, IsakTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schalekamp, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"William James describes a man who got the experience from laughing-gas; whenever he was under its influence, he knew the secret of the universe, but when he came to, he had forgotten it. At last, with immense effort, he wrote down the secret before the vision had faded. When completely recovered, he rushed to see what he had written. It was 'A smell of petroleum prevails throughout.'"
Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy
Dedication
to Cynthia
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In winter Hammerfest is a thirty-hour ride by bus from Oslo, though why anyone would want to go there in winter is a question worth considering.
Quotations
"We used to build civilizations.  Now we build shopping malls."
"I had a hangover you could sell to science..."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380713802, Paperback)

Like many of his generation, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe in the early seventies -- in search of enlightenment, beer, and women. Twenty years later he decided to retrace the journey he undertook in the halcyon days of his youth. The result is Neither Here Nor There, an affectionate and riotously funny pilgrimage from the frozen wastes of Scandinavia to the chaotic tumult of Istanbul, with stops along the way in Europe's most diverting and historic locales. Like many of his generation, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe in the early seventies--in search of enlightenment, beer, and women. Twenty years later he decided to retrace the journey he undertook in the halcyon days of his youth. The result is Neither Here Nor There, an affectionate and riotously funny pilgrimage from the frozen wastes of Scandinavia to the chaotic tumult of Istanbul, with stops along the way in Europe's most diverting and historic locales.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:04 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Bill Bryon backpacks across Europe, retracing the same steps he took 30 years earlier.

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