©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)
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.
BIll, nice job. I found the format different and interesting. While not a captivating nor an edge-of-your-seat read, I very much enjoyed your perspective and detailed account of this not so noticed, yet worthy land. Your interpretation of cricket had me rolling in laughter!
This corker is a real Captain Cook at down under. From Big Smoke to lots of Woop Woop, Bryson takes in Yabbos and Wosers alike. The Seppo’s a bit of a whinger, but he’s a dunny rat he is with words. Be warned if you’re a banana bender, he thinks you’re a bag of cut snakes, and he doesn’t care much for biters and blueys either. But if you’re up for a fair dinkum ear bashing, it’s a rip snorter and good oil for Oz.
This story is an amazingly insightful trip through a country that few are familiar with and fewer know about in depth. Bryson reviews the rich, varied and spectacular history of Australia, from its inexplicable roots to the modern day with his trademark wit, humor and attention to the small details that allow the book to paint a vivid and relatable picture of the land, people and history.
The story is read by the author and his inflection, emphasis and experience in his travels come through in the reading, making it that much more enjoyable. Whether you plan to travel to, dream of traveling to, or never intend to set foot in Australia, this book gives you a glimpse into a vast and exciting land.
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