In a Sunburned Country

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Broadway Books, 2001 - Travel - 335 pages
1694 Reviews

Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion along the Appalachian Trail resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the Woods. In A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in an entirely different place: Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiousity.

Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book. Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide.

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What an entertaining look at Australia! This travelogue was filled with not only anecdotes from the author's trips around the continent/country, but also glimpses into its little known history and a plethora of other interesting facts. I learned a lot - and I have been to Australia before! Bryson's writing felt honest and completely authentic. I imagine that if you were to bump into him at a party, these are the same stories that he would share. I really enjoyed reading this and I am looking forward to reading more of his work!
He brought up the couple who were lost at sea quite a few times throughout the book, and I wonder if this had anything to do with that movie _Open Water_ being made. Bryson certainly seemed fixated by their mystery, and while the movie was not great, it was worth seeing once.
The real highlight of the book, to me, was Bryson's trip through Tennyson Park... I had hoped to hear about some of the dogs of Australia, but after that escapade, I understood why this wasn't included in the book.

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In a Sunburned Country is what it is. Pure Bryson all the way and I loved every minute of it. It is not meant to be a scholarly course on Australia history but it is informative and fun. Considering ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

BILL BRYSON'S many books include, most recently, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, as well as A Walk in the Woods, Lost Continent, Notes from a Small Island, and Mother Tongue. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951, he lived in England for almost two decades. He now lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, with his wife and their four children.

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