The author starts off by pointing out that you don't know anything about Australia. Nobody does.
And then he proceeds to fix that. Australia-- pretty much ignored by the rest of the world-- comes alive in vivid detail as he touches on the history, scenery, and people of Oz with his trademark wit.
Read by the author and unabridged-- which is how a Bryson audibook should be.
Having travelled to Australia, I found this book to be very true and interesting. Bryson uses the right mix of history, stories, and humor to keep the listeners attention. Australia has a lot of each to pick from.
I read the Bryson's backpacking trip in tha appalachia's and it was great and I couldnt put it down. Thinking Bryson was very entertaining I rented this book, it was dreadful and I couldnt even finish listening. It was not even close to being witty or interesting. Very monotone ....
Likes any genre so long as it is done well.
I am a Bryson fan, and I've been to Australia, so this was a good match. He picks up the quirks very well, and brought back fond memories.
Unfortunately, I spent most of my time in Brisbane, which is the only major city not in the book, but he does talk about Surfer's Paradise.
Very enjoyable listen
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.