Neither here nor there – book review

“I sat on a toilet watching the water run thinking what an odd thing tourism is. You fly off to a strange land, eagerly abandoning all the comforts of home and then expend vast quantities of time and money in a largely futile effort to recapture the comforts you wouldn’t have lost if you hadn’t left home in the first place.”
Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe

Neither Here Nor ThereNeither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Neither here nor there by Bill Bryson is not exactly a new book but many of the destinations in Bill Bryson’s book are places that have come to feel like home to me and I was curious what he had to say about them. Not having read anything by Bryson before and blindly accepting the suggestion from Audible.com that I might like this story is a great way to get to 50 books but not necessarily the best way to find a good book.

Bryson shares the experiences of a European trip taken in 1990 with flashbacks to the original trip taken 20 years earlier with his friend Stephen Katz.

Bill Bryson can be funny but he also sounds like a grump, a drunk and a complete pervert; scoping out every porn shop, brothel and peep show from Iowa to Istanbul and groping busty women on trains. He hates the food, which explains why he lives in England and it also strikes me that he seems to hate all Europeans. He likes European Art, beautiful European people and wonderful European architecture but carries a deep disdain for the people of Europe. This to me seems like the oddest combination and made me think he must have some issues that need sorting out.

From Oslo to Istanbul this book can help you plot out an itinerary if you want to visit Europe after reading it. You may not.

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