Neither Here Nor There [8 out of 10]


Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson Another great book by Bryson. This time about his travels in Europe. I love the way Bill Bryson just tells you about his trip and all the anecdotes with such an honest tone. However, it does tend to be pretty much the same from cities to cities, which consist of finding an hotel, usually way too expensive, wandering around the city, visiting a church or two and then starting to drink. Luckily for us, the drinking part is always accompanied by one of those funny moments that will make you laugh out loud in the bus while reading.

Excerpts from the book:

Here is a passage explaining how much he like Sweden and Norway:

but then i don’t begin to understand a lot of things about Sweden and Norway. It’s as if they are determined to squeeze all the pleasure out of life. They have the highest income-tax rates, the highest VAT rates, the harshest drinking laws, the dreariest bars, dullest restaurants, and television that’s like two weeks in Nebraska. Everything cost a fortune. Even the purchase of a bar of chocolate leaves you staring in dismay at your change, and anything larger than that brings tears of pain to your eyes. It’s bone-crackingly cold in the winter and it does nothing but rain the rest of the year.

Bryson obviously liked some countries more than others. Italy was one of those:

Everything seemed wonderful to me [in Rome], even the monumentally impassive waiters, even the cab drivers, even the particular cab driver who bilked me out of the better part of thirty thousand lire–the price he quoted to take me from the Stazione Termini to my hotel, without bothering to inform me that it was two and a half blocks away and could be walked in thirty seconds–because he did it with such simplicity and charm, forgiving my stupidity for letting him do this to me. I was so touched that I tipped him.

Conclusion

In the end, I really enjoyed the book and could even read it again very shortly. It’s a great Bryson book, as always, funny and depressing, full of good memories. Hope you like it as much as I did!

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