Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson

Neither Here Nor There

I’ve read several books by Bill Bryson and always enjoyed his humor.  In particular, A Short History of Nearly Everything and A Walk in the Woods are among my favorite non-fiction books.  I also love travel memoirs, so this account of Bryson’s attempt to retrace his European travels sounded like a book I’d love.  Only I didn’t love it.

I gave it some thought and I came up with two reasons why I didn’t enjoy this book.  First – he’s traveling across Europe and can’t seem to find anything enjoyable, save for the food in Italy.  I mean Bryson complains about everything, and he’s snarky and makes fun of every country he travels to.  That really turned me off.  Usually, travel memoirs are fun and exciting.  If something goes wrong the author uses self-deprecating humor more often than not, because most of the time it’s because the traveler is the one at fault.  Sometimes Bryson makes fun of himself, but most of the time he made fun of everything and everyone else.  Second – he’s traveling alone.  In my personal experience, all good traveling involves others.  Even if it’s people you’ve met along the way.  It’s human reaction to experience and each other which make life interesting, and that goes double for travel memoirs, in my opinion. Maybe my disappointment was because it’s because this was one of his earlier works, before his writing style became something I could truly appreciate, but I’m glad that Bryson’s writing has matured and developed into something more entertaining and enlightening.  My advice – don’t bypass this author if you don’t care for this book.

3 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1993
254 pages

Amazon Book Preview of Neither Here Nor There

Advertisements

About Suzanne

I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids who loves to read.
This entry was posted in Non-Fiction, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s