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Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe Paperback – May 15, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
- Melinda Stivers Leach, Precision Editorial Svces., Wondervu, Col.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Well, to those who fail to catch the humor here: book a flight to Europe, and see for yourselves. Europeans aren't somehow beyond the possibility of being unintentionally funny, and Bryson is not being an 'ugly American' for pointing out their foibles in very funny ways--witness, for example, his devastatingly funny transliteration of Dutch conversation, or his adventures getting travellers' checks replaced after they've been stolen by a Gypsy girl in Italy.
Bryson is also honest. He tells you what he likes, and what he doesn't, and, far from being xenophobic or parochial, he's perfectly willing to change his mind when a place he visits either exceeds or falls short of his expectations. He lavishes praise on the most unlikely of destinations, and avoids the fawning tones of many travel writers who feel somehow obligated to adore every place they visit, especially the most famous ones. All real travellers are familiar with this phenomenon: the most intense joys of travel are most likely to be experienced in the least obvious places, and often at the most inopportune times.
Finally, Bryson is simply funny, and this book is too. I hope he comes to Asia next.
Yes, Bryson at times can be brutally honest with his opinion of foreign countries and their inhabitants and culture, but they are HIS OPINIONS and they are frankly FUNNY and quite observant. I suppose those who take offense to his opinions neglected to understand that Bryson is a brazen self critic and will unabashedly admit to his lack of sophistication due to his stereotypical midwestern American upbringing. Please take no notice to the malevolence of the quazi-sensitive and humourless French and Germans who negatively reviewed this charming and engaging work.
Give the man a break and give this book a READ...Unless you possess absolutely no sense of humour, you will find it quite enjoyable!
He starts in Hammerfest, Norway (as far north as you can get in the world by public means of transport, he says), goes to Paris, Brussels, Belgium, Aachen and Cologne in Germany, then on to Amsterdam, Hamburg in Germany again, Copenhagen in Denmark, then onto Sweden (Gothenburg and Stockholm), then down to Rome, then to southern Italy (Naples, Capri and Sorrento), up to the top (Milan, Como), through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Yugoslavia, Sofia in Bulgaria, and finally Istanbul.
As you can see, by reading this book you'll learn a lot about European countries with their different languages, customs, habits and ways of life. But this isn't one of those boring highbrow books, that you can't read without falling asleep - no! - once you start reading you can't stop. Bryson has a unique brand of humour that I personally like very much. He is able to crack jokes about any situation, no matter how hopelessly and unpleasing they might have been.
Especially as an European citizen you'll have a lot of fun because you recognize all the stereotypes that you know either from telling or personal experience. And be prepared for some nasty jokes about your compatriots!
All in all I can highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to get to know European countries in an amusing and interesting way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written travel experience. He starts out with great enthusiasm, recreating a European trip he took years ago with a buddy. Read morePublished 11 hours ago by Jeep
While I found the book mildly entertaining, it was not as interesting as I had hoped it would be. Basically a travel diary with some funny stories. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Jane
This is the first book I am reading from this author, got it because of the good ratings, very light and funny stile. Good for a reading during vacation.Published 2 days ago by STT
love bill bryson!! just recently discovered his writing and am so pleased that there are so many more of his books out there. can't wait to get to them all.Published 3 days ago by christina laronge
I usually find Bill Bryson good company; he is intelligent, interested in interesting things. But this book is an sour travelogue that in the end is an invitation to stay at home.Published 3 days ago by Catherine
Bryson is undoubtedly one of the best writers of his generation. His word selection and turns of phrases are on par with E. B. White. Read morePublished 3 days ago by CountyClare
The book is cleverly written, and I appreciate Bill Bryson's humor, but I felt like I should have read the book 20 years ago, so I lost interest. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Shelly Gingras
I got this for free or really cheap on my Kindle, and it was a great read. Bryson has traveled the world and has a fantastic way of describing his adventures, outlining his... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Jon G.