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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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,5881011,391 (3.74)130
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 Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. Fluent in, oh, at least one language, he retraces his travels as a student twenty years before. Whether braving the homicidal motorists of Paris, being robbed by gypsies in Florence, attempting not to order tripe and eyeballs in a German restaurant or window-shopping in the sex shops of the Reeperbahn, Bryson takes in the sights, dissects the culture and illuminates each place and person with his hilariously caustic observations. He even goes to Liechtenstein.… (more)
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» See also 130 mentions

English (94)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
nonfiction/travel-humor
you have to take everything with a fistful of salt; Bryson is prone to hyperbole (most often at the expense of other people, but he also makes a buffoon out of himself on a regular basis).
I occasionally get tired of his tongue-in-cheek, self-centered, self-righteous perspective, but mostly he is fairly funny most of the time. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Started this book awhile ago but never finished it. Restarted it this past week and was amused to find that the first 3rd of the book covered almost the exact route we took last year to Europe. Made the imagery more vivid being able to visualize the places talked about. Also was interesting to note changes that have happened in Europe since this was written in 1991.
Yugoslavia anyone?? Amusing stories, fun read even when I completely disagreed with his assessment of a city. ( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
As a lover of the diversities of European culture and a bemused observer of American attempts at culture I thoroughly enjoyed Bryson’s honest, though sometimes tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating wander through the other planet which Europe must seem to Americans. In fact I virtually laughed my way through it. ( )
  letocq | Feb 6, 2021 |
I was afraid that some of the shine was coming off of Bryson's travelogues but this one is really charming and, years after its publication, serves as a kind of intriguing historical footnote as he gets into the former Communist states. Also, it's very funny. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
This book was hilarious and I just loved it. It made me laugh out loud, which is a rare occurrence when I'm reading. The essays really worked well as a narrative and he references earlier moments in the book so it felt like a memoir of one trip rather than a series of vignettes patched together. Bryson has a great knack for finding the humor in mundane situations and really bringing his surroundings alive. It also made me want to travel to some countries I'd never contemplated before. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (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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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 Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. Fluent in, oh, at least one language, he retraces his travels as a student twenty years before. Whether braving the homicidal motorists of Paris, being robbed by gypsies in Florence, attempting not to order tripe and eyeballs in a German restaurant or window-shopping in the sex shops of the Reeperbahn, Bryson takes in the sights, dissects the culture and illuminates each place and person with his hilariously caustic observations. He even goes to Liechtenstein.

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