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Neither Here, Nor There: Travels in Europe (Bryson) Paperback – 2 Apr 1998
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"A breezy and entertaining account of what it is like to be utterly at sea in a continent most of his readers will regard as familiar" (Independent on Sunday)
"Hugely funny (not snigger-snigger funny, but great-big-belly-laugh-till-you-cry funny)" (Daily Telegraph)
"Undoubtedly the most enjoyable travel book of the year" (Time Out)
"This is the travel book that every Inter-Rail vagrant would love to write; the Animal House of the genre" (New Statesman)
Bill Bryson's second, achingly funny book, retracing his own steps as a student backpacking through Europe, twenty years later.See all Product description
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all bumming around europe at pretty much the same time
except that bill - being a yank - had more money
but apart from that the memories all came flooding back except this time I couldn't stop giggling, hopelessly and helplessly
yes - ok - so some of his comments are a bit off colour now, viz the remark about German waiters as already slated elsewhere in one of the one star reviews
but this was the early 70s - and like it or not the 30s and 40s were not that far away, not in my living memory perhaps - but close enough to wonder at the impact those years had had on the people we met.
It all seems so realistic to me, and yet told with much more humour and first rate observation than I could ever manage - brilliant - brought it all back
not least the yanks bible - "hitchhikers guide to europe - on 5 dollars a day" - we did it on half that - and it gave rise to 'hitch hikers guide to the galaxy'
those were the days my friends those were the days
glad I was there and love the memories this book evokes
bryson has such a sharp eye - like other humour greats eg dave allen, victoria wood -
The book is written with good humour as he appears to stagger from travel hiccup to minor crisis, but in the end his role as an innocent abroad became tedious. (Perhaps he should have treated the foreign beer with a little more respect.)
I regret that I finished the book with some relief, my only thought as I put it down was: Is Bryson really such a klutz.?
Reading it again, some fifteen years later, it is not dated. This is not the fault of the author, because times have changed. For instance, Yugoslavia has since been broken up and with Bulgaria now part of the EU, there is stuff to buy in Sofia. I have been lucky enough to have travelled to some of the places Bryson did since reading it and I will say that a lot of it still rings true, although as time creeps on it is more of a historical reference. I would read it more for sheer entertainment and the enjoyment of the author’s wit rather than an actual travel guide.
It's a funny book, with lots of Bryson-esque witticisms that keep you turning the pages, from the interminable bus journey in Norway at the start, right up to the poignant moment where it ends in Turkey. Thoroughly enjoyable, you end up liking Bryson a lot, not just as a writer, but as an all round good bloke.
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