Saturday 11 May 2013

Neither Here Nor There: Travels in EuropeNeither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Don’t f*** with me. I’m a guy who knows his maps”

When Bill Bryson travels, we the readers start laughing. Whether its Australia, USA or for that matter any country in the world his antics as a traveler makes us laugh. It was no different this time. ‘Neither Here Nor There’, takes us with the author on a tour of Europe. Bryson acts as the perfect guide, as he shows us the Europe which is far different from the stereotype view reserved for the continent.

Bryson gets robbed on this tour, he is asked to tell his weight, height and complexion while trying to claim his money back. He is charged for a glass of orange juice which was pink in color and which he never drank. He was also charged for a shower cap, which he obviously never used. He rode on an elevator that took two days to reach the fifth floor, while motorists in Paris purposely tried to kill him. And, amidst these all heartfelt tragedies Mr. Bryson still managed to come out live, write the book and made me hysterical with laughter, and informed me that all was not well with Europe.

One small glitch remained though. The humor quotient of the book, according to me, was unevenly distributed. In the first half of the book there is hardly a page, where I didn’t experience belly ache caused due to laughing while reading. Such moments became far spaced and less frequent in the second half of the book. But as the book was small, and the author was Bill Bryson, the whole experience of reading never became boring. Bill Bryson knows what he is doing. He knows how to travel, he knows how to write, but most importantly, he knows how to entertain his readers and make them laugh.

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