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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
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
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
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
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 4 people found this review helpful