I wasn't really interested in Australia - but I love Bill Bryson! So while recovering from eye surgery, I decided to give this 12 hour audiobook a try.
Mr Bryson took me all around Australia and back. The book was so great I almost wished for another day of laying in the dark. I had been apprehensive about 12 long hours of reading... but it made the time fly and I was sad when I came to CD number 10 and end.... And now Australia is on my list of places to go!
Bryson comes through again in this excellent book about Australia. His 20 years in Great Britain have left him with that dry English humor. When it manifests itself on the page, its delightful. It is even more delightful hearing him read it. If you never go to Australia, this is the book to read--you'll feel like you were there.
I am a big fan of Mr. Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything", but did not find this book up to that lofty standard. I was looking for a book with more facts and interesting stories about Austraila rather than drawn out personal accounts about his visit. I found only about 30% of the book is factual and interesting while the remainder consists of "cute" stories of his trip down under. While they are very humerous, I hoped for more history and cultural facts on this great continent.
There are very few authors who can also perform their books as well as an actor could, and unfortunately Bill Bryson isn't one of them. However, even with his rather dull naration, some parts had me shaking with laughter. I can recommend this book, but with reservations.
Bill Bryson isn't the most talented narrator, perhaps he should leave this to someone else, but he sure is a charming writer.
As always Bill Bryson's work is informational and entertaining. This book went very quickly for me as I found myself sipping tea and listening to the book instead of turning on the television for the evening.
In addition, Mr Bryson does an excellent job narrating his own work.
If you are a Bryson fan you won't be disappointed and if you have not yet jumped off into Bryson-Land yet this would be a nice starting point.
My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine; (fortunately) everybody drinks water. - Mark Twain
Bill Bryson does a wonderful job of bringing the reader into his travels across Australia. His first hand account of his travels across the continent, and country, are engaging and informative. Bryson also adds historical background which is needed for the reader to attain an understanding of the continent and country that makes up Australia. The narration is done by Bryson himself, and he is as good a narrator as he is a writer.
I can only compare it to other Bryson books as it is basically a travel log.
Yes I have and this one is at the top of my list.
The good, bad and ugly of touring in Australia.
I loved the narration. Bryson does Bryson as no one else could. He made me laugh out loud.
Bill Bryson takes you off to a land far far away. And you can easily imagine what it's like there. Love the humor and all the stories and historical facts. Love that Bill Bryson narrated it, couldn't imagine anyone else doing it.
On a few occasions, it did feel like a chore to keep going, but I'm very happy I did.
I recommend this read to anyone visiting Australia. I read it in preparation for my fourth trip (first three happened before the book was written). It reminded me of experiences in my first three, and guided me to discoveries in my fourth that I might have otherwise not have seen. One of Mr Bryson's best. He tells the story we might not, the mistakes, near misses, accidents and in doing so, shows the true character of real places and people.
Mr Bryson's willingness to just go and do, and tell about the good and not so good results from his travels.
He tells the story in a matter of fact manner, providing the interesting details with a great voice. It is as if you are talking with your favorite cousin, over drinks, and he is relating the trip of a lifetime in all the detail you want and nothing more.
No, but two sittings.