Neither Here Nor There

  • by Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by Bill Bryson
  • 5 hrs and 38 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Like many of his generation, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe in the early '70s - in search of enlightenment, beer, and women. Over 20 years later, the acclaimed author of Notes from a Small Island, The Mother Tongue, and A Walk in the Woods decided to retrace the journey he undertook in the halcyon days of his youth, carrying with him a bag of maps, old clothes, and a stinging wit honed to razor sharpness by 2 decades of adult experience. The result is this affectionate, blisteringly insightful, 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 - a brutally frank and uproarious tourist's-eye-view of the Old World according to Bryson.

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Customer Reviews

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reader beware

I would have assigned this book a minus option if it were abailable. I thought Bill Bryson had lived in England, he must have something to say about European countries. But after he began from bragging about his lack of foreign language knowledge, I recognized a familiar type of traveller - opinionated, not interested in learning other peoples culture, ready for derision. That exactly what this book is about: derision and labeling of peoples and cities if they failed to please at the 1st glance. It amounts to outright lies and misrepresentation. Too bad, a city cannot sue for libel! I spent many weeks in the German city of Cologne in the course of 2 years. That's Bill Bryson's characteristic of this wonderful city bustling with life, very comfortable to live, with beautiful scenery, lots of public spaces, museums, a famous opera, etc., etc. : "Cologne is a dismal place, with its Cathedral occupying a huge ugly square similar to an empty parking lot". (something like that - I could not post the exact citation since I don't have a printed copy). Bill Bryson is so sensitive - he left Cologne in disgust after a night stay since he happened to find a pornographic shop at the train station! How ironic - considering that his book is a fine example of pornographic writing - sexual remarks in bad taste on each page. He described a bad travel companion who annoyed him by categorizing his farts - I can describe his book instead as a collection of verbal farts. Who is it written for? I can imagine someone who hates travelling (especially because of all those foreign languages), so he enjoys Bill Bryson's book, and thinks: "How wonderful this guy saved me the trouble of seeng all those disgusting European places, with all those French and Germans who want me to obey their stupid rules!". But someone who is open minded and curious please don't trust this bunch of lies and distastful jokes. Go and see by yourself, or read Mark Twain if you want a funny travel book.
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- Marina

Been There -- Didn't Do That!!

Bryson is like the Professor we all wanted to have in College, the one your friends had but you couldn't get in. His intelligent narratives and thorough investigation will make you beg to listen to his next book. Although Bryson and I don't share the same politics, I love his writing just the same. In addition, he is one of the few writers who do justice to their books as the reader.
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- Darren

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio