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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 (2187 )
5 star
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4.4 (745 )
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4.5 (747 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Bree 08-11-11
    Bree 08-11-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    99
    4
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    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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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
  •  
    Brian Mesa, AZ, USA 02-24-05
    Brian Mesa, AZ, USA 02-24-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "If ever I were a writer..."

    If ever I were a writer, I would choose to write as explicit as Bill Bryson. Enough said!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew St. Albans, N/A, United Kingdom 08-29-03
    Matthew St. Albans, N/A, United Kingdom 08-29-03
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    3
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    "Plan your trip to Auz, don't plan on laughing"

    I read "Lost Continent" when it came out and laughed myself silly! Recently I had a long car trip to take, and thought I'd re-acquaint myself with the author, and was disappointed.

    The book is factually packed with useful information if you are planning a trip to Australia and need some background knowledge, but it is very long in this audio format with any entertainment way too thin on the ground (a couple of "ha's" every 5-10 mins and one laugh-out loud joke in the first hour is disappointing).

    That leaves this heartfelt and interesting description of Australia in limbo between a travel book that doesn't give hotel phone numbers, and topical, entertaining writing that falls way short of the authors previous work.

    Now I have thought this through, I've given it 2 stars instead of 3!

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-01-07
    09-01-07 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nice"

    I learned a ton about Australia. I met some Australian dudes and I knew more about their country than they did.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia 10-08-04
    Julia 10-08-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Needs Aloe"

    I bought this book because of the reviews. The voice of the narrator was somewhat irritating and may have something to do with my not liking the story. I listened to the first CD and did not bother to "burn" the remaining CD's.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra 10-03-07
    Sandra 10-03-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring"

    This book is very boring.

    1 of 20 people found this review helpful
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