In this amusing travelogue, Bill Bryson documents his tour across Europe with loads of funny anecdotes. In Neither Here Nor There, he mixes quick wit with his travel acumen, to carve a trenchant and honest portrayal of new age Europe.
Summary Of The Book
Europe is not new to Bryson as he had backpacked through its beautiful landscapes when he was still a student. But this time around, he keeps an account of his adventurous tour and presents it with bundles of humor for his readers to soak up. Part travelogue, part nostalgic journal, Neither Here Nor There captures, through Bryson's uproariously hilarious commentary, the astounding beauty that drapes the towns and cities of the European continent.
The book starts off at Hammerfest in Norway, where the author is adamant about seeing the Northern Lights despite the cold and dark whether. It then takes him and his friend, Stephen Katz, through the wonders of Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Switzerland, and numerous other historic locales, small and big, concluding the journey in Istanbul. Despite these changing locations, borders and people, the author keeps the comical quotient stable. Sometimes using his affectionate wit and sometimes, his sardonic remarks, he observes keenly the manners of the French, the driving skills of the Romans, and the Belgian beer.
Then, there are parts of the memoir where the author records his personal experiences like the time he gets pick-pocketed or when he climbs up a steep 6 kilometer long hill-way. He talks about the terror inducing maniacal motorists in Paris, the awkwardness of disputing the check at a Copenhagen restaurant, and several other incidents that would have the readers in splits. Thus, he has added the right amount of interesting drama to ensure Neither Here Nor There doesn't turn out to be just another travel book.
About Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson is an American writer.
A Short History Of Nearly Everything, Notes From A Small Island, Shakespeare: The World As Stage, and The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid are some of his other works.
Born in 1951 in Des Moines, Iowa, Bryson studied for a short period at Drake University before he dropped out to travel across Europe. During this trip, he was so fascinated by Britain, that he decided to live there. He started working at a hospital where he met Cynthia Billen and got married to her. They moved to America and lived there until Bryson finished college. After going back and forth for a while, they finally settled in North Yorkshire. Bryson began his career in journalism and worked in various posts of renowned publications such as The Times and The Independent. It was in 1987 that he gave up his career to become an independent writer. He has since then, written books in various genres like History, Science, Travel, and even the English Language. His works have earned him many awards including the Aventis Prize, the Golden Eagle Award, and the EU Descartes Prize. In 2012, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by King's College London and Durham University's main library was named after him.