I LOVED THIS BOOK! I was so disappointed, knowing it had to end. Initially Bill Bryson's narration seemed not quite right, but in no time at all the dryness of his voice matched that of his humor. This was interesting, amusing, informative, upbeat, even historical, full of little tidbits of information you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere except in someone's private journal. I am currently in Australia and it is so fun to actually see and experience the things he is describing. But this is certainly not a requirement to enjoy this book. I look forward to reading some of his other travel narratives.
I love Bill Bryson's books, and have read every one of them, except "A Short History of Nearly Everything." This was my first experience with his writing in audio format, and I think I may stick with his books from now on.
Bryson's dry sense of humor is charming, and really funny in a subtle way. However I found his accent annoying. That may just be a matter of taste, so it shouldn't stop someone from purchasing this audiobook.
The thing that was the biggest downfall of this book was its length. It's almost twelve hours long. That's a lot of obscure Australian history and museum descriptions. If I had been reading the book version, I probably would have skipped some of these parts.
Bryson's writing truly sparkles (and the amount of expression in his voice increases) when he is reading dialogue between himself and his traveling companions. Some of these conversations had me laughing right out loud.
If you've never read Bryson's work, you should consider it-you'll be happy you did.
After reading this book multiple times and spending a good deal of time in Australia, it is great to listen to Bryson um and ah about his adventures abroad. Even though I'm prepared for his descriptions and anecdotes, I still find myself laughing uncontrollably in the car on my way to work... Makes me long for Tim-Tams, Milo, Natural Confectionary, and Triple Dark Chocolate Dove Bars...
His perceptive insights into the essence of the Australian character are spot on (I should know - I have lived with an Australian for almost 4 years!!!!) If you want to "try before you buy" the Australian Experience this book is the ideal first step. Bryson proves again and again with his recollections of conversations with typical Australians that Aussies are infinitely funnier than Yanks.
My final word of advice is... BEWARE!!!!!! Bryson is right, anything that can kill you can REALLY kill you in Australia.
this is the third book i've listened to by this author. "a walk in the woods" is similar in it's composition: bryson experiences take him completely outside his comfort level, an even more uncomfortable acquaintance tags along and we learn a lot more than we expected. i have to think a reading by the author would be a don't miss experience; partly because it wouldn't be eight hours long.
This was my first Bill Bryson book. I am so glad I took a chance on him. I loved his humor and the way he infused the history of the country into this story about his trip. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to listen to Bryson's voice; I thought it would kill the story. But it was exactly the opposite. I don't think anyone else could convey Bryson's humor. I couldn't give it five stars because there were times where the history got too involved and I lost interest with it, but that was so minimal. If I could, I would give it 4.75 stars. It was a great listen. I'm going to download another one.
I enjoy Bill Bryson's sense of humour. This book is informative and thoroughly entertaining. Recommended listening for anyone planning a trip to Australia or just curious about Australia and Aussies.
This is the first Audible product I purchased 2 1/2 years ago, and it's still the most enjoyable.
I have listened to the complete work three times now. Whenever I'm bored or dissatisfied with the selection I have made for the month, I pull excerpts of this book off the shelf and listen to it instead. What more can you say?
I have since collected all of Bryson's works offered by Audible and thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. But this one is still the king.
This book is the perfect example of what can happen when you combine an endlessly fascinating subject with humorous, intelligent writing and narration.
This is the best example of what Audible has to offer.
I have to say that I was unimpressed at first. I had actually read A Walk in the Woods and loved it. I think actually hearing his voice put me off. The more I listened though, I was completely entralled. I have never been interested in Australia until this. I found myself asking my wife if she knew that there were 12 foot long earthworms? That place sounds desolate, hot, and a wonderful alternate version of what America might have been. I can't wait to go.....that's all I'm saying.
This is a wonderful trip around the fascinating country of Australia. The author presents a great mix of things he observed and experienced during his travels in the land down under as well as presenting interesting history and background information. This is a very well written, entertaining and informative book and the narrator is clear and concise and does a fine job with a tinge of humor throughout. As you start to listen you will quickly learn how little we in the USA actually know about the country and island continent of Australia.