©2000 Bill Bryson; (P)2000 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.
"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)
Informative, immersive and experiential.
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.
Bill as Bill is hard to beat.
Laughter abounds, the book is hugely entertaining.
Yes, I plan trying 'At Home' after being recommended it from a colleague.
This was another topic entirely, so may be an unfair comparison - but 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' blew me away
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
Another brilliant Bryson tome! So enjoyable! History and politics, geography and more -- all in a delightfully narrated package. Don't hesitate!
Living abroad in Costa Rica, am a frequent traveler with interests in humanities, adventure and technology
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.
Although similar to a Walk in the Woods, this book appeals to a broader audience and is more exciting.
Bryson’s voice reflects his intelligence and human empathy.
One of my all time favorites.
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.
Don't you just love a great story well told?
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."
Among the top
This is an anecdotal travel log about the author's experiences.
He is the main character and his observations are hilarious.
Interesting information about a very interesting country.
Funny, Magnificient, Unforgettable
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!
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!
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.
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.
The book gave a personal perspective to the country while adding in its history to give more further context.
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