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Neither Here nor There | [Bill Bryson]

Neither Here nor There

Having seen Europe with a rucksack 20 years earlier, Bill Bryson decides to make a sentimental return. An incisive, honest and funny portrait of modern Europe.
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Publisher's Summary

Having seen Europe with a rucksack 20 years earlier, Bill Bryson decides to make a sentimental return. An incisive, honest and funny portrait of modern Europe.

©1991 Bill Bryson; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (64 )
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4.2 (39 )
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  •  
    M. Craft 08-12-14
    M. Craft 08-12-14 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
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    "Authentic Bryson, but that might be the problem"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend Neither Here Nor There with reservations, because the actual traveling-around-Europe portion of the book is exactly what I wanted from Bryson. Unfortunately, he indulges too much in digressions where he displays quite unlovable character traits, some of which include:

    -despising all dogs and most animals in general
    -shameless objectification of women
    -defending his complete lack of remorse over beating up the fat kid in his middle school.

    In a travel book, I seek to identify with the author so that I may see the places he goes through his eyes. Bryson's digressions make this very difficult, and it is hard to understand why his editor permitted them to remain in the work, since they are so extraneous to the purpose of the work.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I think there is a book that covers his ORIGINAL trip through Europe with Katz, and as a fan of A Walk In The Woods, I'm curious about that one.


    What didn’t you like about William Roberts’s performance?

    Bryson freely admits being completely ignorant of all non-English languages, except for mostly-forgotten lesson in school. Despite this, Roberts continually indulges in heavy accents and pronunciations that feel false in the context that Bryson has created.


    Do you think Neither Here nor There needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Nope. I don't want to tempt Bryson into deeper navel-gazing, since this book took him to some pretty dark places already.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Busch 07-29-14 Member Since 2003

    Old Fart 1960 (some day....)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    9
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    "Early work shows rawness of author"
    Would you try another book from Bill Bryson and/or William Roberts?

    I love Bill Bryson books especially when they're narrated by Mr. Bryson.


    What could Bill Bryson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Read it himself.


    What three words best describe William Roberts’s performance?

    I beleive he did it justice, but it really sounded contrived.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment compared to later works by Bill Bryson.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't believe it was the narrator, but I just couldn't finish this book. It was not the usual Bill Bryson that I've come to relish. It seemed to me that most of the stories were a bit contrived, and therefore Bill had to stretch the truth of what actually occurred. Well, maybe the narrator had something to do with it as Bryson's books definitely benefit from him reading them aloud. I may try to finish this book later, but for now it's on to something else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik 07-19-13
    Erik 07-19-13 Member Since 2013

    ErikWH

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator delivers the book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Neither Here nor There to be better than the print version?

    It is difficult to compare audio editions with the print versions in most cases. When listening to others read a book, I almost always find I would have read it in a slightly different way. When I read a book, I put my own voices on the dialog, and I have my own way of reading and interpreting the sentences. These are small, subtle changes that I find important for my reading experience.

    William Roberts does an excellent job narrating this book. I mean, Bill Bryson is who he is, funny, a great storyteller, and able to make almost any subject appear intriguing through his observations. I've read a book by him before, so I knew what I was getting for content. Therefore, William Roberts' narration came as a pleasant surprise and really made the listen a very enjoyable experience. He read with a voice much better than my own internal one, and in my opinion, emphasizing exactly the right words for each sentence, thus bringing out those extra subtleties I enjoy.

    Therefore, I'm inclined to consider the audio edition better than the print version in this case.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Neither Here nor There?

    Being from Norway, I obviously found the part where he travels to Norway particularly interesting. It is interesting to hear a foreign take of one's own culture. It is clear however, that the book is more than 20 years old now, so there's a lot of those small cultural observations that no longer applies. But, I'm old enough to remember!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I'm not going to lift a particular scene up to favorite status. The book was generally enjoyable, and not to mention a reminder of how much the world and particularly Europe has changed during the last 20 years. Some cultural differences have disappeared, some have emerged, as with currencies, politics, customs and culture.

    In a way, the stories and observations are a bit outdated, but for someone of my age, that didn't lower the reading experience.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I had had the opportunity to do so, I probably would do so. But then again, I would with any book, I guess.


    Any additional comments?

    In summary, I would say a very enjoyable listen, great but slightly outdated content, but with excellent narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results
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  • KOKSAL COBAN
    ISTANBUL Turkey
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Fun to listen to.."

    A very lighthearted approach to Bill Bryson's travels around Europe. The author makes it a fun to listen to his travel memoir with his sophisticated sense of humor. A number of different countries across the Europe are covered with interesting anectodes and sharp critical observations at times. Narration is also very good and clear. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    Ballyclare, United Kingdom
    1/5/12
    Overall
    "Very enjoyable."

    I have only read one of Brysons books before and found this to be in the same lighthearted, yet educational style. Had me chuckling outloud.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Yahya
    Torquay, United Kingdom
    10/19/11
    Overall
    "Hilariously discriptive and Brilliant"

    Bill has a great expressive word power. He describes the situations, people and places with brilliance. His descriptive account of European travels creates an enjoyable picture to the listeners. I enjoyed the audio and got hooked on it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    Stonehouse, Glos, United Kingdom
    1/26/10
    Overall
    "An American in Europe"

    Dull is the adjective which characterises this book. Bryson seems to see nothing, appreciate nothing and spends endless time speculating how things and places would be improved by some kind of Americanisation. As a fan of Bill Bryson's writing I was surprised and disappointed by this book.

    9 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • sharon
    haywards heath, United Kingdom
    5/15/10
    Overall
    "Neither here nor there"

    The book was very good as expected but it would have been nice for Bill Bryson to actually narrate it.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • vjgift9
    Middlesex, United Kingdom
    7/16/12
    Overall
    "Wonderful Journey through out the book"

    Very astonished, excellent emerging enthusiastic interesting book. Gave lot of new knowledge.Good books read. Nice Narration.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results

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