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In a Sunburned Country | [Bill Bryson]

In a Sunburned Country

Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion on the Appalachian Trail resulted in the best seller A Walk in the Woods. Now, we follow him "Down Under" to Australia with this delectably funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance that combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. More from Bill Bryson.
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Publisher's Summary

Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion up, down, and over the Appalachian Trail resulted in the sublime best seller A Walk in the Woods. Now he has traveled around the world and all the way "Down Under" to Australia, the only island that is also a continent and the only continent that is also a country. Australia exists on a vast scale, a shockingly under-discovered country with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on this planet, and more things that can kill you in extremely malicious ways than anywhere else: sharks, crocodiles, the ten most deadly poisonous snakes on the planet, fluffy yet toxic caterpillars, seashells that actually attack you, and the unbelievable box jellyfish. In a Sunburned Country is a delectably funny, fact-filled and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. Wherever Bryson goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging. They are the beaming products of a land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine. Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bryson its perfect guide.

©2000 Bill Bryson; (P)2000 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Bryson's cheery Australian tale should entertain even the most listless driver. His strength lies in his ability to incorporate astounding facts about the country with nutty personal anecdotes." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Seacoast Shopper 02-04-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Virtual Australian Journey"
    If you could sum up In a Sunburned Country in three words, what would they be?

    Informative, immersive and experiential.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of In a Sunburned Country?

    In addition to a hundred memorable, anecdotal 'Bryseconds' (short, engaging, sidebars that never fail to be superbly funny and are not bad in the re-telling when describing the book to others), the magical juxtaposition of rea-life/present day experiences and sojourns alongside the sharing of Australian history (and truly historical characters) weaves a very imagination-provoking tapestry. The unique perspective on the Australian Aborigines - their story, their plight and their level of integration (or lack there of) into Australian society and culture was (embarrassingly) news to me... I'm now on a quest to gain a better understanding of what sound like a fascinating people.I hope I make it to Australia some day, but if I don't - I'll have this book to thank for taking me on a journey there.


    Which character – as performed by Bill Bryson – was your favorite?

    Bill as Bill is hard to beat.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laughter abounds, the book is hugely entertaining.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Finn J. Johnsen Oslo, Norway 01-07-13
    Finn J. Johnsen Oslo, Norway 01-07-13 Member Since 2015
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    "good, but not fantastic like 'A Short History...'"
    Would you try another book from Bill Bryson and/or Bill Bryson?

    Yes, I plan trying 'At Home' after being recommended it from a colleague.


    If you’ve listened to books by Bill Bryson before, how does this one compare?

    This was another topic entirely, so may be an unfair comparison - but 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' blew me away


    Could you see In a Sunburned Country being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lydia 12-01-12
    Lydia 12-01-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A bit mediocre"

    I especially enjoyed this because I recently visited Australia and some of the descriptions are perfect, but overall I found it a bit unexciting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 11-22-12
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 11-22-12 Member Since 2012

    Enjoying one good listen after the next!

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    "Pack Your Bags!"

    Another brilliant Bryson tome! So enjoyable! History and politics, geography and more -- all in a delightfully narrated package. Don't hesitate!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel W. San Jose, Costa Rica 11-17-12
    Daniel W. San Jose, Costa Rica 11-17-12

    Living abroad in Costa Rica, am a frequent traveler with interests in humanities, adventure and technology

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    "Never a dull moment for Curious Listeners"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Australia is a very interesting place that is expensive and difficult to visit. This book is the next best thing, and the author’s diction and voice is enthralling.


    What other book might you compare In a Sunburned Country to and why?

    Although similar to a Walk in the Woods, this book appeals to a broader audience and is more exciting.


    What does Bill Bryson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Bryson’s voice reflects his intelligence and human empathy.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    One of my all time favorites.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are actually planning to visit Australia for business or pleasure, then start here. It's a long flight, so the unabridged version is best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 10-07-12
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 10-07-12

    Don't you just love a great story well told?

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    "Bryson World Class Writer and Narrator"

    Ultimately when you "travel" with with Bill you feel as if you are along for the ride enjoying the sights or puzzling over the oddities of any given location. He describes all the characters or ridiculous situations in which he finds himself in such delightful way that you often feel as if you have stumbled into the fictional word of "The Phantom Tollbooth" (with its odd but well intention inhabitants) but with the thrill of it all having been real. Both history and natural wonders are described with proper perspective to sound quite worthy of one's appreciation. You even enjoy the occasional pause for refreshment, that cup of tea before a day's adventures, or a well earned pint at some colorful pub at the end of a long day. This book allows you to enjoy myriad dangers of Australia's vast and deadly outback without the slightest risk of being reduced to drinking any urine. (a recurring joke only readers of the book will get)
    Bryson does his own narration and is one of the few authors for whom this works. His self deprecating tones add humor to the many absurd situations in which finds himself. For example he asks, with the perfectly quizzical note of concern in his voice, "So are you suggesting that I just drown calmly?" after having been advised on how to deal with the dangerous rip currents off Australia's beaches. I had no idea Australia was such a fascinating place. As far as my enjoyment of the audiobook I will quote Bryson who says occasionally if and when appropriate, "I couldn't have been more pleased."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Nahas ALAMO, CA, US 09-29-12
    Jan Nahas ALAMO, CA, US 09-29-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Author read makes for a good read!"
    Where does In a Sunburned Country rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the top


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is an anecdotal travel log about the author's experiences.


    Which character – as performed by Bill Bryson – was your favorite?

    He is the main character and his observations are hilarious.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting information about a very interesting country.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlene A. Mason Point Richmond, California United States 09-14-12
    Marlene A. Mason Point Richmond, California United States 09-14-12
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    "Absolutely Outstanding!"
    If you could sum up In a Sunburned Country in three words, what would they be?

    Funny, Magnificient, Unforgettable


    What does Bill Bryson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His wonderful tones of voice, the nuances, the pauses, the "understatements"; his warmth, his ability to laugh at himself, to share himself...I can't imagine "hearing this story" in my own voice, in my own head. This is his story and his gift to us. I read his "Walk in the Woods"...also hilariously entertaining...but lacking his beautiful ability to convey his experience completely via his voice....Perhaps I will check to see if it is on Audio as well!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I am moved by its entirety. The way Bill Bryson sees the world, his place in it; the way he Sees others and our planet moves me deeply. Thank You, Mr. Bryson! Please keep writing, living, seeing, sharing!


    Any additional comments?

    I first listened to this recording 10 years ago and have never forgotten it. I purchased it two other times but was too "computer illiterate" to figure out how to play it. I've just purchased the disc set for my sister. I can hear her laughter now. I KNOW she is going to love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Manchester Center, VT, United States 08-29-12
    Beth Manchester Center, VT, United States 08-29-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A fabulous read"

    More than likely I would never have even considered a book on Australia, but because it was Bill Bryson, I was pretty confident I would love it. I was right! I listened to this book during my long and exceedingly boring commute to and from work each day, and it was enough to make me look forward to the drive. I laughed, I learned, I pondered, I marveled, I wondered if I would have nightmares about crocodiles and jellyfish, and I longed to hop on the first plane to Sydney. Bryson rekindled my childlike wonder at this amazing world, and his sharp and sly sense of humor made me laugh out loud. When it was all over, I seriously considered starting at the beginning again, because I just couldn't bear to have it end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen HOLLAND, MI, United States 08-13-12
    Stephen HOLLAND, MI, United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great story that gives a personal perspective"
    What did you love best about In a Sunburned Country?

    The book gave a personal perspective to the country while adding in its history to give more further context.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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