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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

4.4 (2103 )
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Performance
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  •  
    D. Engle USA 01-04-04
    D. Engle USA 01-04-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bill Bryson is a genius!"

    Bryson's quirky travel narratives are part-travelogue and part-storytelling with sprinklings of trivia thrown in for good measure. I love the way he jumps around yet manages to stay on topic and interesting. I prefer to travel alone, but, if I had to pick a travel companion, there's no question it would be Bryson or one of his books!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Silicon Valley 10-15-03
    Amazon Customer Silicon Valley 10-15-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'd love to travel with Bill Bryson"

    This is my 3rd Bill Bryson book and I'm dreading the day I run out of titles. Bryson is an engaging travel companion, with lots of interesting background about the places he's visiting, not to mention an always lively commentary on the places he's passing through. Having an author with a good voice reading his own work is a plus, and Bryson's voice is easy to listen to, conversational, often quite understated and wry.

    You'll be glad this version is unabridged and feel as if you, too, were leaving Australia and a good friend behind when it ends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BostonLady Boston, MA USA 05-29-03
    BostonLady Boston, MA USA 05-29-03 Member Since 2002

    BostonLady

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    "Its a Kick!"

    I bought it recently on the recommendation of someone in the monthly newsletter. I have been recently interested in Australia and this was a fun way of traveling through it. This Bryson guy is a real kick and it was fun, light commute "read"!

    I am about to read "A Walk in the Woods" by Bryson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Baltimore, MD, USA 06-24-04
    Michael Baltimore, MD, USA 06-24-04 Member Since 2002
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    "Interesting but not entertaining"

    Lots of people seem to love this book, but the feeling I am left with is that I just spent 11 hours watching Bryson sitting alone in a bar hoping someone will talk to him. And in this time, his verbal affectations have begun to irritate me. I never want to hear him say the word "shop" ever again. It sounds something like schoupt, but I don't think we have letters adequate to describe it. All that said, the story about the construction workers and the little girl is worth the price of the book.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Santa Susana, CA, United States 06-01-05
    Kevin Santa Susana, CA, United States 06-01-05 Member Since 2005
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    "Mixed bag"

    "Sunburned" was my fourth Bryson audio book and my least favorite. Though (at times) he made me laugh out loud, I couldn't quite square what it was exactly that he liked about the country as he repeated that acknowledgement throughout the book. I certainly got a feeling for the myriad things not to like about Australia.

    Too many descriptions of drinking in restaurants and bars, really the theme of the book, and those were pretty dull. I was left with the feeling that Bryson could have written a much better book.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie La Jolla, CA, United States 02-22-12
    Bonnie La Jolla, CA, United States 02-22-12
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    "Dont' waste your time or money"
    What did you like best about In a Sunburned Country? What did you like least?

    Interesting stories from an author that I quite like. This book is read by the author, however, at a pace twice what it should be and hence is very hard to keep up with.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Bill Bryson? Why or why not?

    I like his work but would not purchase another audible book read by him for reasons listed above.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bill Bryson?

    Just about anyone else who can read in a calm manner and at a reasonable pace.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bree Afton, WY, United States 08-11-11
    Bree Afton, WY, United States 08-11-11 Member Since 2010
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    "excellent book, marginal narration"

    I adore Bill Bryson's books, and this one is the usual blend of fascinating facts and fun anecdotes, so it's ironic that I would object to the author's narration. His voice is just low enough that every other phrase seemed to be a throwaway comment and it was a physical effort just to hear what was going on. In this case I would have preferred reading the book to myself.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Plymouth, MA, United States 01-14-11
    Paul Plymouth, MA, United States 01-14-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Not Bill's best"

    Unless you really like Australia, start with one of his other books. A few great parts, but some lulls.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Chandler, AZ, USA 05-04-08
    David Chandler, AZ, USA 05-04-08
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    "Needs more on indigenous cultures"

    I listened to this in preparation for my own Australian excursion and found it to be a funny, throurough travelouge. The missing star is for the shortchanging Bill gives the indigenous cultures of Australia. He has little to do with such an enormous part of Aussie daily life. I spent a large part of my time in the Mildura region where I encountered a shocking amount of blatant racism towards the aborigines. In other areas, like Broken Hill, the aborigine art and culture is actually celebrated and a tourist draw.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, United States 12-03-05
    Julia Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, United States 12-03-05 Member Since 2005
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    "Droll and dry wit"

    I've never understood the attraction of visiting Australia, and, in all honesty, even after reading this book I still don't want to visit. However, as usual, I loved Bryson's style of presenting intformation, and I do know a lot more about the country. He reads it himself which is always a plus. I recommend pulling out an atlas to get your bearings, and then dive in.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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