The funny thing about discovering an author late in the game is that there already exists a bank of work from which to choose; there's no waiting years for the next book to arrive -assuming the author is getting busy at his keyboard (*coughjosephboydencough* it's been two years there, bud - just sayin'. But he's a whole other author and a that's a whole other post)- there's just the happy procurement of back copies. As if the procurement of books could be anything other than happy. Anywhoo, fate has decreed that Bill Bryson should work quietly under my radar for twenty-odd years building a veritable library of travelogues, memoirs, and books of social, historical, cultural, literary and scientific interest (yes, but does he do windows? I kid) so that by the time I discover him I feel giddy with the glut of choices. How then to proceed? Read them all at once, or sparingly? So far I've tended toward the sparing, reading something else -or three- in between. I figure that way I won't run the risk of author fatigue - perish the thought.
'Neither Here Nor There Travels in Europe' is an older -but new to me- travelogue, published in 1991, and the latest to be crossed off my list. I loved it -natch- but I could tell that it was one of his early books; the story-telling was uneven and the humor more forced than I was used to with his recent books. Not a big deal, really, just something I noticed. It's still an interesting, quirky, fast paced and funny read - very Bill Bryson.