©1999 Bill Bryson; (P)1999 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.
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.
I love reading Bill Bryson and it is a treat to hear him narrate his own book. He is very funny and the book is filled with interesting facts and observations. If you listen to this on headphones in public, people will stare at you when you laugh out loud.
I have listened to all of the other available Bryson audio books, starting with A Walk In The Woods (which I had already read first, but loved as an audio book narrated by Mr. Bryson). I've enjoyed each and every Bryson book - until this one... In the other Bryson's, I've found myself engaged and wanting to hear more. Sadly, this narrative seemed pointless and wandering. After an hour and a half, I found I just didn't care to listen any longer and it became almost a chore. Certainly not as fun as his other works! Sorry.
I loved this book. I read it in paperback originally and it was the first of his books that I read, but enjoyed listening to the audio book as it was narrated by the author (I am in fact disappointed that his other books available from audible are not all narrated by him), I am really only writing this review to rebut something negative said in one of the other reviews.
The other reviewer talks about him "bragging about his lack of knowledge" but either failed to continue listening to/reading what came after that, or is purposefully being disingenuous. Mr. Bryson talks about how he doesn't speak any language besides English, but goes on to say that what he likes about being unilingual in foreign countries is that it makes him feel how young children must feel; having no real idea what is going on around them but happy to be there nonetheless.
I feel that that distinction is important as it changes the tone of his comment altogether from 'bragging about his ignorance' to a comment on innocence. I wouldn't want anyone to give this book a miss because of a review written by someone with either poor reading comprehension or an axe to grind. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinions, but those opinions should be based on facts (or the entirety of what the author said) not just snippets taken out of context.
Love the book and Bryson does a great job of reading. My complaint would be that this uhas the worst audio quality of any audiobook I listened to.. Bill sounds like he did it over the phone. Not up to the usual standard.
You'll be laughing out loud as you tramp around Europe with one of the world's sharpest writers. Acid and charming all at the same time: Bryson is the master of wit and literary lightning.
A fun book that was enhanced by the author's reading. Bill Bryson could sometimes barely contain his laughter as he recalled some of the events. This really gave the book some extra zing.
I'm listening to Bryson's book for the first time as I prepare for my own solo return to many of the sites he reviews. Despite differences in national currencies, the result of creation of the euro, and a few country name changes that resulted from some nasty civil wars over the years, I was transported back in time and with Bryson revisited many of the same places, sites, smells and experiences he describes. While a decidedly lightweight reflection of history, economics and social structure, it is nevertheless a delightful review of major tourist cities and provides travelers and would-be visitors with ideas of how a budget traveler might enjoy some of Europe's greatest sites. Altogether a pleasant way to travel vicariously for a few hours.
This is a great book to listen to. Bill Bryson's humor is fantastic and his descriptions of traveling wonderful. I've already recommended it to my friends and family.
Loved hearing Bryson be Bryson and I've listened to it thrice through already ....... Wonderful in every way...
Bryson of course
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