©1999 Bill Bryson; (P)1999 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Hello! I'm a full-time nurse, part-time reader, chef, gardener and stylist! Love all my hobbies. Oh, and mother to Marley (shih-tzu) and Sam
Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe starts out slow and in a remote, cold and desolate location that I have never had a desire to visit. I almost stopped listening right there. But I hung in there and was richly rewarded. Bill Bryson delivers a European travel log full of wit and unfaultering truth.
I love the details of the travel hiccups and mishaps and of course totally related to the gaps in communication and the glaring differences between Americans and Europeans that after all make travel interesting and fun.
The point of travel is to venture into the unfamiliar to view the unviewed and to meet the unknown. Bill Bryson took me on a trip through Europe and reminded me of how much I miss being there when I'm away.
If you have previously visited Europe, you will enjoy the rekindling of memories, if you have never been to Europe, you will get a taste in this book.
One note, this book is based on Bill Bryson's trip through Europe in the 1990s and much has changed and much has stayed the same.
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.
Bill Bryson's voice alone just makes me smile. I find whatever he writes about to be entertaining. He manages to make fairly mundane events memorable and humorous.
I liked learning about the different countries. I have never been overseas and it was rather like taking a cruise - you learned a little bit about each area and then had to move on.
It is hard to define but when he narrates his own books it just feels like you are in the room with him having a conversation about his travels. I recently listened to A Walk in the Woods and while the narrator did a good job it just wasn't the same as if Bill had narrated it. The humor just seems to come from within him and it comes across in his narration. The more audiobooks I listen to the more I enjoy the ones the are read by the author. It has a much more personal touch - for obvious reasons.
Yes and no - I always hate it when they end.
I wish that Bill would narrate all his books - time consuming I know but of all the books I listen to - he adds the most to the narration. If you haven't read or listened to a Bill Bryson book just pick any one - they are all good.
The author is by far the cheapest most negative traveler I have ever encountered. Other than topless secretaries and a few other minor points nothing in his travels could make him happy. I would not waste my time listening to this book. If you are looking for a truly great travel book pick up anyone of Micheal Palins books you will not be dissapointed.
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