Customer Reviews for

Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    A Delightful Post-Trip Read

    I read this on the plane returning from Europe, and it was a humorous, quick read that brought a smile to my face and had me almost laughing out loud as Bryson so remarkably described the experiences I had just undergone attempting to cross streets in Paris and Rome, or weeding through tourists in Florence in an attempt to see the beautiful sights the city offered. A nice collection of short essays reflecting back on his travels 20 years earlier, as well as describing his return visit more recently. After reading it, I had no desire to add Naples or Capri to the bucket list of travel, but would love to spend time in Bruges some day. He brings each location to life through his vignettes.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The story line is very interesting and is an eye catcher. The expressive and down to earth presentation regarding true-life adventures on travels in Europe. The novel made me want to plan/schedule to do an extensive trip in Europe in the near future

    The novel expertly describes the great sites in Europe to visit. Bill Bryson does a very good job in bringing the sites he visits to life. He describes both the Pros and Cons of the sites visited in each country. The humor and writ make these sites come to life, as well as expresses the attitiudes of the populace in each country. The people interaction was one of the most interesting parts of the commentary, which I enjoyed and helped me realte to the adventure Bill Bryson was describing about his travels. Bryson's writ and humor made it almost impossible to put the novel down, because I could not wait to read about the next spot to be visited. This is a 5-Star reading for anyone, who travels.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010


    I enjoy Bill Bryson's books. This one has some laugh out loud moments. It was a little less enjoyable than "Notes From a Small Island" for instance. It was more caustic, and he just didn't seem to like many of the places he was visiting. I will eventually read all of his books, though, as I love travel and reading about travel.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Bill Bryson strikes again!

    I have read nearly all of Bill Bryson's books, and I must say - Neither Here Nor There has to be the funniest of all of them. A Walk in the Woods was the first Bryson book I ever read, and the return of Katz in another novel was great - both men are hilarious, and it is even better knowing that they're actual people. Neither Here Nor There is poignant and has the ability to spark the travel bug in anyone, let alone someone like myself. His accounts are humorous while also being informative - I would have decided to be a history major long ago if every textbook was written by Mr. Bryson. I love the biting and sarcastic tone.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Bill Bryson is is my Hero

    I havn't read in years. I was given "A Walk In The Woods" and read it on the way home from Maine this summer. I became hooked on Bill Bryson's books. Neither Here Nor There is an entertaining look at a man who's traveled many lands, and in his witty sense of humor, makes Europe look both pleasing and monotanous. If you're not pleased and inspired to see the world or at least somewhere besides your local town by reading this book, you should stop reading, period!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2009

    Don't Read With Your Mouth Full...It's That Funny!

    This is one of my favorite books of all time! I'm an avid reader and seldom ever read a book twice. Like the cliche, there are just too many good books and so little time. This book, however, I've read too many times to count. Never has a story induced tears of laughter nor joy in reading aloud to friends. Neither Here Nor There is a permanent fixture in my living room and whenever I need a chuckle, I only have to open to a random page and I'm lost in one of Bryson's hilarious travel ordeals. If someone doesn't find this book laugh out loud funny, they're either a prude or have no pulse.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    Hated This Book, and I usally don't HATE books

    I have friends who have read Bryson, and they suggested I check out one of his books. I'm an avid reader and pretty tolerant of most books. HOWEVER, this book is going down in history as one of the WORST books I have EVER encountered. I wish I could erase it from my memory -- that's how bad I hated it. I would love to ask his wife, who was sitting at home as he traveled, what she thought about Copenhagen and how Bill was disappointed that 'their [the secretaries]lovely breasts [were] bagged away for at least another day...' Shucks, Bill didn't get to see naked women. I feel real bad for him. And, really, I'm not a prude or anything, but I really, really could have done without the 'inviting anus' discussion. Bill comes across, in this book anyhow -- and believe me, I won't pick up another, as a typical ugly American, overweight and proud of it, beer guzzling idiot. Seriously! Even when he realized he was the mad man in the mirror, he still wanted a cape to throw over his shoulder and an 'ebony stick' to use on the doorman. Bill, give me a break. You think you are funny -- you failed in this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2005

    Just Dont Travel Mr. Bryson...

    I have mixed emotions about this book. First of all, it IS true that sometimes a city is just not what you want. Everyone has fantasies of going to exotic towns in Europe and sipping the best cappucino you've ever had while the weather is perfect. This doesnt always happen. Sometimes there is going to be trash on the ground!!!! Why cant he understand this??!! He always seemed to find the ugly in every city he visited and could not grasp how the age and decay of some of europe is where it gets its charm and character. On page 162, he writes: 'Why is it that the cities that people most want to see are the ones that so often do the least to make it agreeable to do so?' Its like cities have a responsiblity to impress tourists. If the cities that he is talking about in particular are the ones that most people want to see, then obviously they are not doing anything wrong in the first place. So, where does he get that from? Its very backwards. In the Florence chapter, he is disgusted by the dirt and the age of the city. Excuse me??!! Its Florence. It would be wrong if the people changed it by cleaning it up. That is where it gets its character. Europe is old and it should stay that way!!! Florence is one of my favorite places in Europe so far. And what I found to be the most appalling in his book, was how he seemed to think that everything in Switzerland is ugly. In fact, I think he pretty much says that, word for word. Someone like this should have his passport taken away. What is the use in traveling if you cant find the beauty in anything. The only thing that this book really has going for it is that Bill Bryson is a very good writer and has humor that made me laugh out loud at times. This book is definitely recommended, just dont him all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2004

    This is one offensive book

    This was the first and only Bill Bryson book I ever read. Someone gave it to me and I started reading -- big mistake. Almost immediately, I noticed that I had been almost every place Bryson discussed. The next thing I noticed was how negative, insulting, and crude he was. He has a knack for identifying the worst aspect of a location and harping on it. He may think this is amusing; I sure don't. If I want to read something seemingly written by a fratboy with an inferiority complex, I can read Paul Theroux; I don't need Bryson.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2004


    I have read a couple of other books by Bryson, and they were okay...however...this one is SO incredibly interesting. I laughed out loud a couple times at his observations and quick quips. I especially enjoyed picturing him with his massive hangover while paying his bill upon checking out of a hotel and being charged for calls that did not go through (I believe this happened in Copenhagen). I have been to Belgium, France, and Holland, but, I wish I had been there with Bill, because I missed a lot of the interesting places he talks about.Too bad this book hadn't been written before my uneventful trip. I want to pack my bags and travel with this man!!!! Now, I am all geared up to order another of his books, because I enjoyed this so so much!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2003

    Real World Traveling

    I found this book to be so close to my own perceptions of my journeys through europe. We went through many of the same troubles. The similarities only made me want to read more. It was delightfully funny but i would not suggest it to a first time european traveler. As it may give you the wrong impression of some of the famed cities in the book. Others will absolutely love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2003

    Offensive and Uninteresting

    The author really has a knack for spotting the worst aspects of everything. I've been in most of the places he discusses and am surprised at how awful he makes them sound. Avoid this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2003

    Travel writing the way you remember it.

    Bryson captures the essence of foreign travel and the blunders that accompany it. If you have done any travel yourself, you will appreciate his honesty and cynicism. His trials with other languages and social norms keeps you turing the pages to see what he will get himself into this time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2003

    More excellent travel writing from Bill Bryson

    This was my third Bryson, and I can honestly say that he never disappoints me. Bryson delivers an excellent account of his trip through Europe. I found the section on Hammerfest, Norway especially interesting. He describes the Aurora Borealis phenomena with colorful, vivid detail. He makes his readers want to go where he went, and see for themselves the world in his light. Bryson never fails to deliver a hilarious rundown of the nonsensical troubles of the world, and I for one will continue to read whatever he puts on the shelves for us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2001

    Avid reader's review

    Travels in Europe was not only interesting and informative, but was so funny on many occasions that I had to put the book down to stop myself laughing. The only small criticism I would make was the author's frequent moans about the expense of everything. But maybe he was joking here too! I was born in the same year as Bill Bryson so feel an affinity with him although I have never met him. I also enjoyed Notes From a Small Island and The Lost Continent. You are brilliant Bill!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2000

    For the Open Trail

    I listened to these tapes on the road, and they made me wish I was packing it through Europe rather than the midwest! They were humorous, revealing, and informative, and particuarly enlightening regarding the radical changes Europe underwent in the early 1990s. Definitely worth it to hear!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2000

    Hilariously funny

    This book, looking at two hikes round Europe, is perfectly balanced being both funny and informative. A definate must.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2000

    Ugly American Revisited

    I thought that this book would be the story of Bryson's misadventures with his inimitable travelling companion, Katz. Unfortunately, the book is a continent-long ethnocentric rant. I know Bryson is joking and he does include himself and his adopted Britain in on the abuse, but it just isn't funny. Save your money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 1999


    (It's fairly self explanitory)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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