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Publisher's Summary

In Neither Here nor There Bill Bryson brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. Whether braving the homicidal motorists of Paris, being robbed by gypsies in Florence, attempting not to order tripe and eyeballs in a German restaurant, window-shopping in the sex shops of the Reeperbahn or disputing his hotel bill in Copenhagen, Bryson takes in the sights, dissects the culture and illuminates each place and person with his hilariously caustic observations.

©1991 Bill Bryson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too Too Droll

sentences read with one liner swagger, a stand up comedy that lacked variety and rhythm

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • J W
  • Australia
  • 28-01-2015

If you are amused by sexually deviant things

Then buy it if not forget it and you have to write nineteen words to leave a review! What next?

0 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Craft
  • 12-08-2014

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • gandalf
  • 05-12-2015

Disappointed

I enjoyed some of Mr. Bryson's other books, namely Made in America and the obvious A Short History, and was excited to listen to a book about his own direct experiences. Unfortunately I didn't get what I was expecting. I couldn't imagine having so much privilege in life while complaining so much. Trip around Europe, full of new sights and experiences! Sounds great. Better complain for half the book about the bus ride in a way that's far from amusing. There is nothing compelling or interesting about this book or Mr. Bryson. I'll stick to his writings not about his miserable existence.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Abigail
  • 15-11-2017

Might want to skip this Bryson

In general terms this just isnt one of Bryson’s best. I love so many of his other books but this comes off more whinging and ranty than humorous without the usual wry and sometimes subtle wit you’d expect of Bryson. This is more like the stories you would get traveling with your drunk, entitled and mildly racist uncle across Europe with the tired blanket statements about cultures (the french are so rude!) and predictable sexual or derogatory statements about all the women he sees. These jokes were tired long before this book was written. He also is almost certain to insult half his audience at some point in this book be it from discussing the great childhood joy of pounding on the fat kid at school (a treasured memory), to the rather uncomfortable objectification of women, the hatred of dogs/idea that all dogs should be gotten rid of to a remote island except poodles which should all be shot because dogs dont like him (wonder why), the book is just filled with statements that are likely to fall flat to modern audiences. Of course much of this is just said in humor but that type of humor tends to fall flat and this book really does just that.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jellie
  • 17-09-2017

Adolescent but Hilarious

NOT a book that gives an objective view of other cultures, but an amusing look at the mind of an adolescent male.
If you are considering this book because you like Bryson's other work, don't. It is as if written by a totally different person.

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  • marty
  • 23-08-2017

Usual good yarn from Bryson

Bryson doesn't disappoint with his wanderings around Europe noticing things and occasionally getting into entertaining trouble.

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  • George
  • 01-07-2017

Later stuff from Bryson much better

It's Ok and it has some good parts but it is much weaker than later books. He went back trying to find things he had seen before but everything had changed. The opposite of Rick Steves.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hani
  • 11-03-2017

Amazing book

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book, Bill Bryson is hilarious and I was laughing out loud, there were parts that I was driving on the highway and I thought I might get into an accident cause I was laughing so hard.
I thought the book gives you a fair review of what to expect in each country and city
Most guide books tell you the place is great and amazing and recommend all museums and everything touristy there is to do
In this book, Bill Bryson does other things that not all tourists do, he goes to places that not all guide books recommend and gives you his honest opinion of the country and its people
I liked it much more than a lot of other guide books
Highly recommended

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joyce
  • 30-01-2017

Going Back Again

In his younger years Bill had taken this tour with a guy he had just met and thought he'd see if it had changed much over the years.

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  • Cody
  • 22-07-2016

Great

This is only my second Bryson book and is much better than the road to dribbling which was my first I highly recommend this book if u r looking for a good quick listen.

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  • Jacob A. Nordby
  • 06-02-2016

Classic Bryson but a little tired

First, I always love Bill Bryson. He knows how to frame the mundane in clever ways. I laughed right out loud a few times while listening to this book.

I would have rated the story more highly if this one had more depth or heart or something. Didn't get a sense that he was doing much more than reeling it all out with a bit of Bryson frosting in places.

Quite well read by the narrator and worth the listen overall--just not as great as some of his earlier work.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • 05-01-2012

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy
  • 29-03-2017

decent enough, but this has dated!

Would you listen to Neither Here nor There again? Why?

No.I loved Notes from a Small Island the moment I picked it up. For a while back in the mid '90s I couldn't get enought Bryson. Listening to this audio book of Neither Her nor There brought a lot of pleasant memories back, but it also showed it as a somewhat dated "Daily Mail Reader Tours Europe" (even though he hates the Daily Mail). I think the somewhat irritating tones of the narrator (William Roberts) didn't help things here. My wife couldn't bear to listen to it. There seemed to be way too many antagonistic remarks about pretty much any country/people (which I know is somewhat the point), but it rather undid all it's good work some 20 years later and I began to wonder why the hell he bothered travelling at all, if he felt this way? Funny though it still is in large parts, it has a mildly icky undertaste that's a little patronising by the standards of 2017

What other book might you compare Neither Here nor There to, and why?

Notes from a Small Island - similar vintage Bryson. The Road to Little Dribbling - more contemporary, if slightly less funny

Did William Roberts do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Not really many characters to speak of. Even so, his tone is a bit whiny and I think this dragged the funnier elements of the book down, making it sound like an American-knows-best kind of rant.

Any additional comments?

Remarking on all the bare-breasted women sunning themselves in parks might be the kind of comment made by middle-aged men (or teenagers) to their friends (in private, without being mic'd up) but devoting a vast chunk of a chapter of a book to it borders on the embarassing

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 08-07-2016

Was thinking of stoppong half way through

Would you try another book written by Bill Bryson or narrated by William Roberts?

No, although I liked some of the humour and the sarcasm, the narration was so annoying.

Any additional comments?

Althoug the book is about stereotypes, unfortunately a lot of them are very outdated. Woman in germany dont shave under the armpits? Split a stinking city, Sofia communistic....didnt want to make the effort to see Cologne after first impression, but went back in Itaky to the same poor city and walked through it.

Got into way too many details at times. I enjoyed the hunour and sarcasm in some parts and then was about to stop when I listened for 5 minutes about some unnecessary details. Could have been half the size the book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Danielle
  • 25-03-2015

disappointing

I loved 'notes from a small island' so thought I would enjoy thus. it was OK, it passed the time, but I was left feeling that someone who may have got more out of it should have taken the European trip. he was just passing the time and seemed not to enjoy it. although I did enjoy the northern lights at the beginning I otherwise found the whole trip uninspiring.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mub
  • 19-10-2011

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Salter
  • 21-09-2018

A must listen!

Bryson's ability to succinctly describe every day things with such wit and humour is just magical. I really could listen indefinitely! I'm looking forward to listening to the few books from Bill that I've got left.
William Roberts describes the adventures and observations in such a wonderful way. I think the narration is as close to perfect as one could hope to get..
Highly recommended..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Agatha
  • 21-02-2018

Europe- More Blissful Travel

As I get older and due to restricted movement, my adult years of travel have come to end. This new chapter of my journey I hate with avengence. When I was able to travel, I rarely read travel books as I was too busy doing my own travel with my own many adventures. Now I copiously read/listen to travel books to satisfy my hunger.
Bill Bryson is my saviour and medicine.
This book covers many places I have visited in Europe. It is so beautifully descriptive of local customs of past and present, the people, the scenery, the good and the bad of travel and has so much belly laughter humour.
This trip is ideal for anyone wanting to visit Europe with Bill Bryson - it’s another great journey...thanks Bill

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-02-2015

Good listen

Narrator was Excellent. Story was not quite as good as the other book "a walk in the woods". Observations and insights not quite as funny as last book either.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KOKSAL COBAN
  • 24-12-2012

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carl D.
  • 02-12-2015

As fantastic as always

Any additional comments?

Just superb, I have listened to the whole collection atleast twice now and cannot recommend them enough. The writing style is superb, I could wax lyrical about the efficacy of his descriptive writing and humour but suffice it to say, you need to listen to these to fully appreciate just how good they are!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful