Down Under

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Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines.

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In a Sunburned Country

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Overview

Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780552148368
  • Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2000
  • Format: Cassette

Meet the Author

Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson
With a wacky worldview -- and wanderlust -- that garners him comparisons to everyone from Chaucer to Dave Barry, Bill Bryson entertains readers around the world with his travelogues and riffs on the intricacies of language.

Biography

A backpacking expedition in 1973 brought Des Moines native Bill Bryson to England, where he met his wife and decided to settle. He wrote travel articles for the English newspapers The Times and The Independent for many years before stumbling into bestsellerdom with 1989's The Lost Continent, a sidesplitting account of his rollicking road trip across small-town America. In 1995, he moved his family back to the States so his children could experience "being American." However, his deep-rooted Anglophilia won out and, in 2003, the Brysons returned to England.

One of those people who finds nearly everything interesting, Bryson has managed to turn his twin loves -- travel and language -- into a successful literary career. In a string of hilarious bestsellers, he has chronicled his misadventures across England, Europe, Australia, and the U.S., delighting readers with his wry observations and descriptions. Similarly, his books on the history of the English language, infused with the perfect combination of wit and erudition, have sold well. He has received several accolades and honors, including the coveted Aventis Prize for best general science book awarded for his blockbuster A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Beloved on both sides of the pond, Bryson makes few claims to write great literature. But he is a writer it is nearly impossible to dislike. We defy anyone to not smile at pithy, epigrammatic opening lines like these: "I come from Des Moines. Someone had to."

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    1. Hometown:
      Hanover, New Hampshire
    1. Date of Birth:
      1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Des Moines, Iowa
    1. Education:
      B.A., Drake University, 1977

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 151 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(93)

4 Star

(37)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 151 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Red white and funny all over

    The first time a read this book I enjoyed it. The second time I read it, a couple of years later after learning a great deal more about Australia from other sources, I loved it. Bill Bryson does not take you to the typical tourist stops. Rather he takes you to many places best avoided, but he explains why in the process. His focus is on odd happenings in history, and quirky people he meets along the way. He is always researching museums and reading local papers to ferret out more little know factoids about the place. He does not spend a lick of time at the Great Barrier Reef except to tell us about the couple that was left there to try to snorkel thirty miles back to shore. They were most likely eaten by sharks as they tried to reach a buoy resting on the other side of a deep channel where the big boys roam. Instead, he takes us to the distant shores of Western Australia, a place so vast that it has never been completely explored, to stare at blobs of matter called stromatolites credited with being the first bits of life in our universe. No matter where we are he always throws in a bit of sly, self-deprecating humor. Fun read chock full of information and insights into the people and the place down under.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2012

    Bill Bryson should write all the history books

    If Bill Bryson wrote all the history books, history would become every student's (and everyone else's) favorite subject. I've read most of Bryson's books and have been educated and entertained by them all. "In a Sunburned Country" is not a history book, but is about all kinds of facets of Australia, including history, the culture past and present, the geography, topography, animal and plant life, and the residents. Bryson makes it all incredibly interesting. I learned a lot, laughed quite a bit and enjoyed the book thoroughly.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2000

    A book to make you think

    I immensely enjoyed this book... Considering the fact that I've learnt more about my own country from a traveller of origins elsewhere probably says something, not the least of which about my good self. But that is the beauty of Bill Bryson: the most seemly dull things transform into small realms of genuine interest and consideration. With that said, who better to write a book about Australia? Quite an enjoyable read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Great Book!

    If you're a fan of Bill Bryson, and I am, then this is another must have. Lots of fun and useful information, stories and tidbits about Australia, but what makes it worth the read is Bryon's style and wit. I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    My Favorite Travel Book

    Hands down Bryson's funniest and most interesting book! I've reread this a number of times over the years and it has never lost it's charm.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Funny & interesting overview of Australian history & people.

    Classic Bryson style with a wonderful meandering tale chock full of facts, anecdotes and a good giggle nearly every page! Too bad Bryson wasn't my history or sociology teacher!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The 2-star rating above just about sums it up ... "it was o

    The 2-star rating above just about sums it up ... "it was ok". There were definitely parts of this book that I enjoyed, but for the most part it just bored me to no end. My book club chose it for this month's selection and I'm glad I didn't have to read it again, I just borrowed it from the library to get a quick refresher.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2012

    The Bush

    Humorous and interesting if you plan on doing a similar trip.
    Great fun on his take of the local people.
    A little long but enjoyed what I read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Read it. You wont regret it.

    One of my absolute favorite books. Funny, informative, and endearing throughout the whole thing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    Loved it!

    Bill Bryson is one of the best writers in the world. This was a fun read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I'm ready to start packing.

    I enjoyed the hearing about the history of the places and things he encounters along his trip.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Good travelogue re Australia but not typical "Bryson funny"

    If I were going to Australia, I would want to read this book prior to leaving. However, I got a bit bored with it--and I adore Bryson--and did not finish reading it because of that.

    Would not recommend this if you are looking to be entertained and looking for Bryson's wonderful humor. It is in there but not as much as his other books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2009

    Entertaining and informative.

    This book is enjoyable and easy to read while also containing a wide variety of facts and interesting knowledge that are presented by the author in an excellent manner. Bill Bryson (author) has a way of telling his stories that make you feel like you are right there with him and are experiencing his journey as it happens. He has a great sense of humor and thoroughly enjoys what he does. I would recommend this book for anyone who has been to Australia, lives there, or is thinking about traveling there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Australia, Here I Come

    I loved In A Sunburned Country. Bill Bryson is a witty and smart writer. I want to Australia as soon as possible. He makes Australia come alive and jump right off the page.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Funniest Australian Tour Guide

    I hoped this book would provide a lot of practical information about being a tourist in Australia, and it does. There is a parade of facts, figures and stories about the history of this wild and amazing place, and tons of practical advice on how best to see this continent, what to see despite the hardships in getting there, and what to skip (Canberra). Amazingly, all his facts are real and quite informative. This is a place like no other. What I did not count on was the humor, the hilarity the author finds in trying to survive his adventures in this untamed playground. The reader gets to experience all this with him for the first time, see a vast and bizarre continent through the eyes of a most civilized and middle-aged westerner not normally given to extremes. The result is truly funny. Thereafter, I read more of Bill Bryson; "Notes From a Small Island," about touring the British Isles, and "The Lost Continent," about touring the U.S. after 20 years abroad. I did not like either of these books nearly as much, mainly because in them, he complained constantly. It was not like the detached dry humor of his Australian tour book, wherein he is a confused but willing foreigner trying to make his way through an unforgiving wilderness among people bent on minimizing to the point of deception the dangers lurking in the Australian waters, gardens and yes, in the Outback. But in the other books, Bryson is not as game to try new things, he seems to be looking back for something that once was and not finding it. In them, no place was worth the effort or money he expended to get there, nor did it live up to his fondest memories once he arrived. I did like Bryson's "I'm a Stranger Here Myself," a compendium of newspaper articles he wrote about his new life once he had repatriated back to the U.S. and settled in small town New England. I may try another one of his travel guides. I'm hoping there is another one out there that he wrote with the love and humor as he did this love letter about Australia."In a Sunburned Country" is recommended for its entertainment value even more than for its extensive information that anyone should have before visiting Australia.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    LOVED IT!!!

    After living in Australia for a year, it brought back all the fond memories of a wonderful country. Humorous and educational at the same time.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    no worries, mate!

    i've never been to australia, but i feel like i've just taken a 3 week vacation there. bryson's style and descriptions are great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2007

    Immensely entertainig

    I have enjoyed BIll Bryson's account of his love for the 'Sunburned Country' so much I have to turn off the audio book to laugh out loud and then replay it so I can laugh again. He is fast becoming one of my all time favorite authors. He wicked tongue in cheek is the most fun you can have with a subject about travel in a foreign country.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2006

    Awesome

    I just finished this book and loved every page! Bryson has such a way of putting things to make even the most mundane seem comical and interesting. In the past, I have the opportunity to visit many other places he has written about and can't wait to go to Australia now. Who ever thought giant worms would be so fascinating?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2004

    Hilarious!!!! Everyone should read it!

    I absolutely loved this book. I found it hilarious. Mr Bryson's writing style is great, and it was not only informative, but very fun to read! Even if you're not interested in Australia, everyone should read this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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