©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)
Really entertaining and insightful tour of the back woods and roads less travel in Australia. You need to like sarcasm to enjoy this book but it is not mean spirited, very self deprecating. Really funny and definitely goes to the back roads.
Bill Bryson is a writer's writer and a national treasure. I don't like to travel and will never make it to Australia but this book actually made me want to go.
Nan Becklean Tobin
I would listen to segments again.
Bryson delves deeply into his topic and shares the best bits with his readers.
He does not have a particularly strong voice. He is mellow and self-effacingly funny, but a stronger voice would be easier to hear and understand especially if you are listening in an environment with some competing noise.
I enjoyed 98% of this book. Occasionally--and often without any warning--Bryson includes profanity or off color material. This is too bad as his book is fascinating enough to hold the attention of my 6 year old.
I might listen to a few segments, especially if I were to consider a visit there.
This is a very entertaining (and easy) read. You learn about how deadly so many animals can be in Australia and what a unique place it is. Reading this book really moves you to Google Map Austraila's great Outback. You realize how right Bill is--there is just nothing there for tens of thousands of square miles.
Bill Bryson is a very gifted reader of his own matial giving every humorous observation exactly the right tone and cadance to make you laugh out loud (very disconcerting to other passangers on the Shanghai subway where I commute).
I like Bill's books a lot as they are among the few that can make me laugh out loud. He is a very entertaining writer even on topics you that you expect to be pretty serious.
I totally recommended it to anyone. It kept four of us entertained on a road trip from michigan to new york. It was the perfect amount of informative and funny.
This is my forth Bill Bryson book and it is as good as any of the others I have read. So if you like his books, you are sure to like this one.
If you have never read one of his books, this is as good a place to start as any.
Why read his books? He has a way of making just about anything, interesting. In the case of this book, he has the whole of Australia to entertain us. Easy pickings if you ask me.
If I have any complaint, it is only that the book could have been longer. There is so much more that he could had told us about. Dam his schedule, apparently he couldn't spend as much time in Australia as I would have liked. Ha Ha.
The author narrates his book and does a very good job. His books always have a good dose of humor and this more than the usual. Because he is the author and the narrater, the humor shines. I have rated this book a solid 4 stars but if there were a category for humor it would get 5 stars.
Live and die with no regrets
I love Bryson's writing style, a milder "gonzo" style of travel writer with Englishman's humor. I missed an opportunity to travel to Australia in my early 20's to work as a tourist guide in the bush when I was a very active outdoorsman, backpacker and survival instructor. Now I sorely regret not taking the plunge. Listening to Bryson describe the history and quirkiness of the country was a delight. Now I must see this country before I die.
I highly recommend the book, just wished it was twice as long.
Englishman's humor wrapped in gonzo style
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