©2000 Bill Bryson; (P)2009 BBC Audio
I was first introduced to Bill Bryson, and first read Down Under during a 2 year holiday in the UK (I am Australian). It has been a long time since then and I thought this would be a great book to revisit and to cut my teeth on Audible as a new subscriber. The book was a great laugh and Bill portrays Australians and Australia in a way that makes me want to go there! :)
Dr Steffan Silcox is a recognised educational leader in Western Australia. He is a bibliophile and has an extensive library of history books
This is an extremely insightful, very funny journey through a magnificent continent. Bryson captures the essence of the Australian landscape and the characters that make it a singularly extraordinary place to travel and live. I acknowledge his outstanding penmanship and appreciate his honest humour and natural affinity for all that is quirky. Well read and captivating. Well done.
I love Bill Bryson's writing, really I do. His books, audiobooks included, are some of my favourite and most revisited. And Down Under is a great book that is wholly ruined by the narrator, a whiny, pinch-voiced man who manages to take Bryson's wit and give it an air of smugness, sometimes bordering on spite. I don't know if I just despised the narrator because he was awful or because he was so utterly unsuitable to read Bryson. It doesn't help that he attempts accents and can't do them, making both English and Australian voices grating and high-pitched.
Honestly, the narrator ruins the book, but if you want this or several of Bryson's other, earlier, books, then this is the standard you get. I loathe abridged books but at least they're read by the man himself.
Retired some 8 years but continual to work part th me as Health ans Safety consultant. Main reading/listening to non-fiction although I have some favoutite authors John Wyndham, Bill Bryson and Mark Wallington.
As all Bill Bryson books I have read so far this is full of interesting facts that show the countries good and bad points in detail.
His time spent on the Barrier Reef
His diction and clearity of voice
Just pure interest
Looking forward to listening to his other books having read most already
Sublime. Wonderful. Superb.
Thew combination of Bryson's wit and Robert's talent.
Yes!!! This is perhaps the best - his Australian accent is superb!!
Yes - again and again!
Bryson and Roberts in combination are perfect! As sad as I am to have read the last of the Bryson/Roberts works, I am so pleased I can hear them again and again when I need reminding that the world is a grand and wonderful place!
Loving the time saving, knowledge gaining audiobook. There's nothing like a good listen. Currently enjoying genres of survival/adventure, economics, politics, history and religion.
The story itself held little appeal to me however the viewpoint of Australia from another culture sold me. Bryson does well to make a rather boring story into a mostly entertaining listen.
Is it so through and so well written
He is good. I mean realy GOOD !!!
No, no extreme reaction but fun all the way and yes my tear was flowing by laughter.
I work in IT, I love reading, I love Writing and for those daily travels too and fro I love to listen to Audible books too
I listened to this after being recommended to me, it told me more about Australia than I learned in school back n England. I think this should be oven to every migrant. Or at least a migrant book Like it as it would be less dry than official books.
Plenty, but especially Eureka stockade
Notes from a small island which is a perfect companion
Very enjoyable, listen to this to give you some detail of the history of OZ but also about he people and places and then make that book you first step to more on Australia
I spend as much time as I can reading or knitting. The audio version of the book allows me to do both.
Although only a very small part, the ranger from the Alpine National Park and his observation of how lucky he is, was my favourite.
If I could have sat and listened all at one I would have. I love the observations, anecdotes and historic references the author uses to tie it all together.
It is a great book. Bryson loves lists, there are lots of lists. He likes characters, Australia is full of them. He has a great sense of humour, Australians love to laugh (although sometimes at the expense of others). His observations of the behaviour, language and ritual made me (an Australian) nod and agree. There is so much information and Bryson visits a lot of places but his pattern of travel often makes no sense. You can't get from Adelaide to the Mornington Peninsula without going through Melbourne. And he missed Geelong!
"Great book, Shoot the narrator."
Very enjoyable script, but the attempts at accents, Yorkshire and pivotally Australian of which the narrator clearly has no knowledge leaves you leaping for the fast forward button.
He truly is excruciating, an excellent book ruined
Bill Bryson is witty, entertaining and thought-provoking and this book is all of those. It's easy to read, makes you laugh out loud and gets the grey matter working. I am from Down Under and it was fun hearing about Australia from a foreigner's perspective. I would thoroughly recommend it.
"Excellent - makes you want to go down under"
Just finsihed down under and thoroughly enjoyed Bryson's travelogue with random facts and bemusing anecdotes. The narrator is fantastic.
"Accents just awful"
The story was boring, it was full of stereotypes.
The narrator's pathetic attempt at an Australian accent
This was non-fiction!
"Rather a let down (under)"
I have enjoyed some of Mr Brysons efforts before and being a sometime resident of Australia wanted to listen to this one, rather late to the party I confess.
I found it to be a bit of let down, rather poorly researched with limited references to source material. Furthermore some of the comments I found xenophobic at best, a little racist at worst. ' A Land where men are men and sheep are scared' Is that kind of comment really the best you can offer?
The worst part I'm sad to say was the narration. Rather an excitable and high pitched American voice. The biggest problem though was the insistence on providing an Australian accent at certain points that was truly dreadful, off putting and a little offensive.
So not a terrible book and did have some good parts but overall not my favourite.
"Go down under with Bill Bryson"
Bill Bryson’s style of writing is quiet and understated. He draws you in so that you find yourself travelling with him and enjoying his insights into the lives of others from a mid Atlantic perspective. He includes a lot of factual information about the country and his understanding of the Australian psyche. I especially enjoyed his interpretation of the game of cricket and the story of house building in Melbourne. So if you do not want to go to all the trouble of having to travel to Australia yourself then sit back and let Bill Bryson take you there instead.
"Bryson at his best"
I've never been to Oz but I want to go now! This is Bryson at his best, great observation, brilliantly descriptive and as funny as ever.
"FunnyHow Much Not Funny"
Everything Mr. Bryson saw in Australia is exciting and breath-taking and superbe and extraordinary and amazing and astonishing. Well, that's how it goes downunder. Obvious observations, shy criticism, slight racism, too much museum. However, the style is easy-going and sometimes made me laugh.
Who enjoys the most this book? The constantly tipsy narrator, of course. This mate is having the time of his life while reading 'Downunder'. I'm happy he found so much fun in it.
Consider the date. It has been written 14 years ago, before Internet, before the major natural catastrophies in Australia, before even Sydney Olympic Games. The book is hopelessly out of date. And I think this fact has a certain charm.
"Great narration and Bryson engages as always"
Bryson is at his best mixing anecdotes with history to interest and entertain his readers. The reading is dramatic and gives a real sense of the place and people.
Being back in the world of Bryson
Bouncing around Bondi and the out-back
If you like Bryson - this is a must
the whole book from beginning to end was most enjoyable, the clever writing skills alongside the narrator William Roberts lead to a brilliant listen.
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