Neither Here Nor There by Bill BrysonNeither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson

Neither Here Nor There

byBill Bryson

Paperback | October 9, 2001

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about

Bryson brings his unique brand of humour to travel writing as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet and heads for Europe. Travelling with Stephen Katz—also his wonderful sidekick in A Walk in the Woods—he wanders from Hammerfest in the far north, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. As he makes his way round this incredibly varied continent, he retraces his travels as a student twenty years before with caustic hilarity.
Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa. He settled in England in 1977 and lived for many years with his wife and four children in North Yorkshire. He recently returned to the US and now lives in New Hampshire. Bryson's first bestseller was The Lost Continent, a journey through the USA by car. Notes from a Small Island was a #1 bestse...
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Title:Neither Here Nor ThereFormat:PaperbackPublished:October 9, 2001Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385658605

ISBN - 13:9780385658607

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny and quick An entertaining light, fast read.
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very funny account of Europe I really enjoyed this book It's a true and accurate account of Europe but put in a very funny way there were many occasions that I was laughing out loud You don't need to have traveled to Europe or to the places that are mentioned in the book to appreciate the book
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A quick, light read I read this book in just a few days, whenever I had spare time here and there. One night my wife literally made me leave the bedroom because I was laughing too hard while she tried to sleep.
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Neither Here Nor There He kind of goes off on tangents (of a sort). It's difficult to get through.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun, Fast Read Fun, fast read!
Date published: 2015-03-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst inviting advertisement against European travel. I bought this book thinking it would be a fun read during vacation. Big mistake. Mr. Bryson has a way with words. That's not the problem. He's funny and you never know how he's going to spin the words for his situation. The big negative of this book is it's negativity. He cannot find anything positive to say about the hotels he chooses (his favorite word is "expensive") of the places he visits. Of course it's expensive it's Europe. I did a mistake when I bought this book ($ 22.00 paperback). I did not look at the date of publication. 1995. Almost 20 years ago. Not up to today's standards of writing and his comments are deja passe. This book should be taken off the shelves or sold at a discount $ 6.99 Do not think that Europe is as he says it is. It's a lot better. I would not like to travel with him. Travel is supposed to be fun but he makes it a chore.
Date published: 2014-07-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Best advertising against European travel. I bought this book thinking it would be a fun read during vacation. Big mistake. Mr. Bryson has a way with words. That's not the problem. He's funny and you never know how he's going to spin the words for his situation. The big negative of this book is it's negativity. He cannot find anything positive to say about the hotels he chooses (his favorite word is "expensive") of the places he visits. Of course it's expensive it's Europe. I did a mistake when I bought this book ($ 22.00 paperback). I did not look at the date of publication. 1995. Almost 20 years ago. Not up to today's standards of writing and his comments are deja passe. This book should be taken off the shelves or sold at a discount $ 6.99 Do not think that Europe is as he says it is. I would not like to travel with him. Travel is supposed to be fun but he makes it a chore.
Date published: 2014-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Witty A very witty account of 90s travels in Europe. It's fascinating to compare the continent of 20 years ago to Europe of today. Bryson's brilliance lies in his account of the mundane aspects of travel - the mindless willing away of time on the train and too much time spent with only your own thoughts to entertain you.
Date published: 2014-06-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyed it. 3.5 stars. Bryson twice travelled through Europe when he was younger. Some years later, he decides to go again and write about it. In this book, some of the places he travels through include Norway, Denmark, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Yugoslavia (the book was originally written in 1992), and even Liechtenstein. He will often think back to his original trip and describe that, as well as the “current” trip he was on and writing about. I’d say this is pretty typical of his books. I enjoyed it, and there were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. I particularly seemed to like some of his comments while he was in colder places (coming from Canada, myself). It was kind of interesting to read the Yugoslavia section and wonder how much has changed.
Date published: 2010-05-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from OK but not great This is the first book by Bill Bryson I've read. I was attracted to the fact that he writes light and funny books. The beginning of Neither Here Nor There is quirky, amusing, and promising. Unfortunately it goes downhill from there (at a leisurely pace I must admit). The problem is that Bryson travels alone and can't speak any of the languages of the countries he travels to. So he can't really interact with the locals except in a very passive way. And we are left with descriptions of shopping streets, restaurants and bistros where the author only orders sandwiches and beers, smokes cigarettes and reads paperbacks. This is pretty much it. The book starts on a good note then it becomes repetitive, with a few amusing anecdotes thrown here and there, very little of them. I would rate it as an okay read for the bus or the train, nobody will be annoyed by your chuckling as there will be so few of that.
Date published: 2007-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A fun tour through Europe Bryson takes the reader from Hammarfest to Italy and most points in between in this funny and engaging travelogue. Some of his information isn't exactly earth-shattering (Florence has too many tourists and Scandinavians are polite - who knew?) but the writing is funny, and if you don't want to visit Bruges, Sorrento, or Liechtenstein after reading this book , it's not the author's fault.
Date published: 2006-06-21

Read from the Book

Chapter OneTo the NorthIn 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. It is on the edge of the world, the northernmost town in Europe, as far from London as London is from Tunis, a place of dark and brutal winters, where the sun sinks into the Arctic Ocean in November and does not rise again for ten weeks.I wanted to see the Northern Lights. Also, I had long harbored a half-formed urge to experience what life was like in such a remote and forbidding place. Sitting at home in England with a glass of whiskey and a book of maps, this had seemed a capital idea. But now as I picked my way through the gray late December slush of Oslo, I was beginning to have my doubts.Things had not started well. I had overslept at the hotel, missing breakfast, and had to leap into my clothes. I couldn't find a cab and had to drag my ludicrously overweight bag eight blocks through slush to the central bus station. I had had huge difficulty persuading the staff at the Kreditkassen Bank on Karl Johansgate to cash sufficient travelers' checks to pay the extortionate 1,200-kroner bus fare — they simply could not be made to grasp that the William McGuire Bryson on my passport and the Bill Bryson on my travelers' checks were both me — and now here I was arriving at the station two minutes before departure, breathless and steaming from the endless uphill exertion that is my life, and the girl at the ticket counter was telling me that she had no record of my reservation."This isn't happening," I said. "I'm still at home in England enjoying Christmas. Pass me a drop more port, will you, darling?" Actually, I said: "There must be some mistake. Please look again."The girl studied the passenger manifest. "No, Mr. Bryson, your name is not here."But I could see it, even upside down. "There it is, second from the bottom.""No," the girl decided, "that says Bernt Bjørnson. That's a Norwegian name.""It doesn't say Bernt Bjørnson. It says Bill Bryson. Look at the loop of the y, the two l's. Miss, please."But she wouldn't have it."If I miss this bus when does the next one go?""Next week at the same time."Oh, splendid."Miss, believe me, it says Bill Bryson.""No, it doesn't.""Miss, look, I've come from England. I'm carrying some medicine that could save a child's life." She didn't buy this. "I want to see the manager.""He's in Stavanger.""Listen, I made a reservation by telephone. If I don't get on this bus I am going to write a letter to your manager that will cast a shadow over your career prospects for the rest of this century." This clearly did not alarm her. Then it occurred to me. "If this Bernt Bjørnson doesn't show up, can I have his seat?""Sure."Why don't I think of these things in the first place and save myself the anguish? "Thank you," I said and lugged my bag outside.The bus was a large double-decker, like an American Greyhound, but only the front half of the upstairs had seats and windows. The rest was solid aluminum covered with a worryingly psychedelic painting of an intergalactic landscape, like the cover of a pulp science fiction novel, with the words "Express 2000" emblazoned across the tail of a comet. For one giddy moment I thought the windowless back end might contain a kind of dormitory and that at bedtime we would be escorted back there by a stewardess who would invite us to choose a couchette. I was prepared to pay any amount of money for this option. But I was mistaken. The back end, and all the space below us, was for freight. "Express 2000" was really just a long-distance truck with passengers.We left at exactly noon. I quickly realized that everything about the bus was designed for discomfort. I was sitting beside the heater, so that while chill drafts teased by upper extremities, my left leg grew so hot that I could hear the hairs on it crackle. The seats were designed by a dwarf seeking revenge on full-sized people; there was no other explanation. The young man in front of me had put his seat so far back that his head was all but in my lap. He had the sort of face that makes you realize God does have a sense of humor and he was reading a comic book called Tommy og Tigern. My own seat was raked at a peculiar angle that induced immediate and lasting neckache. It had a lever on its side, which I supposed might bring it back to a more comfortable position, but I knew from long experience that if I touched it even tentatively the seat would fly back and crush both the kneecaps of the sweet little old lady sitting behind me, so I left it alone. The woman beside me, who was obviously a veteran of these polar campaigns, unloaded quantities of magazines, tissues, throat lozenges, ointments, unguents, and fruit pastilles into the seat pocket in front of her, then settled beneath a blanket and slept more or less continuously through the whole trip.We bounced through a snowy half-light, out through the sprawling suburbs of Oslo and into the countryside. The scattered villages and farmhouses looked trim and prosperous in the endless dusk. Every house had Christmas lights burning cheerily in the windows. I quickly settled into that not unpleasant state of mindlessness that tends to overcome me on long journeys, my head lolling on my shoulders in the manner of someone who has lost all control of his neck muscles...

Editorial Reviews

“Bryson is first and foremost a storyteller – and a supremely comic and original one at that.” – Winnipeg Free Press