HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by…
Loading...

Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe (original 1992; edition 1998)

by Bill Bryson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,443691,103 (3.76)79
Member:sefhill
Title:Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe
Authors:Bill Bryson
Info:Black Swan (1998), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:comedy, travel

Work details

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

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 79 mentions

English (66)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
I like this but didn't love it. ( )
  mlake | Apr 28, 2015 |
Bryson's Neither Here nor There takes you on an adventure from the coldly beautiful Hammerfest, Norway to the cafes of Paris, onward to Belgium and Germany, meanders through the crowded, chaotic streets of Italy, the stern cities of Switzerland, and even into the exotic markets of Istanbul.

With his usual dry wit and personal anecdotes regarding the locals, the local food, and the local highway robbery of hotel rates, Bryson spends his time regarding the landscape with either pleasure (Italy, one finds, is impossible to love) or mild disdain (in Austria's case, the mild is removed).

There is a line that struck me as especially poignant, not least because it is a recurring lament in Bryson's works: "We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls" (105). His vitriol against city planners who spend pittance on great works of art that cannot be replaced but bestow lavish amounts of money on commercial districts usually inclines me to sympathy, though I have to admit some discomfort when he did the same to the poverty-stricken area of Sofia. Though he makes a few perfunctory motions to the people who live there and who benefit from such capitalism, he openly bemoans that the beautiful city he once visited has disappeared. Well, yes, I'm sure it has, but that is a small price to pay for people being able to eat things not bought out of unmarked tin cans.

It is pleasing, however, to note where our perceptions are right - and wrong. Let's be honest: we have stereotypes of each country, to some extent, built from scraps of news, film, and stories. France, for instance, is filled with people who are unconscionably rude (Bryson does not deny this, and, indeed, even finds it charming in its own way). Switzerland is peaceful, clean, and scarily efficient in a way that befits a country known - to be frank - for its watches and tiny knives. Even Italy, with its dreamers and romantics live up to the ideal.

Happily, our perceptions may be accurate to some extent, but can never encompass the full spectrum of people - just as not every American chows down on hamburgers while watching reality tv shows, there is a wealth of diversity to be found in abundance throughout the world, and Bryson offers a small glimpse at this happy truth.

There is nothing better than personal experience, but in the meantime, the second best is to read Bryson's adventures. ( )
  kittyjay | Apr 23, 2015 |
I generally don't rate books unless I finish them, but after reading other reviews I do believe I got far enough in to be able to judge this. Here's Bryson wittily whining again - sharing little bits of interesting insights into bits of Europe amongst lots of boring stuff about him and his inability to admit he'd have a lot less to whine about if he planned ahead just a little bit. A line of Americans for the Louvre!? Really?! Who'd've thunk!! ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Based on Brysons' travels around europe, slightly better than The Lost Continent' but still left me wanting more. ( )
  Tony2704 | Mar 23, 2015 |
I thoroughly enjoyed Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, so I decided to read this book, about a trip through Europe. This book is similar to the other in that it features Stephen Katz (though only in flashback), and the same Bryson humor. I felt there was a difference in that the humor in A Walk in the Woods is more self-deprecating, which makes it easier to take. This isn't so with the current book, and I found it much less amusing as a result. ( )
  baobab | Mar 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» 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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
First words
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..."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
70 avail.
100 wanted
3 pay7 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.76)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 8
2 61
2.5 16
3 270
3.5 81
4 417
4.5 41
5 220

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 97,928,748 books! | Top bar: Always visible