©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)
This is my first book by Bryson but it won't be my last. His wit and satire made this one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. In addition to its humor, the book provides an excellent glimpse of Australia... its history, its people, its cities, and its unique and beautiful sights. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about Australia and have a good time to boot. (Memorable quote from the book: "Most people, when sleeping, look like they need a blanket. I look like I need medical attention.")
Fans of Bill Bryson will know what to expect: sharp, scathing, hilariously funny tales from the master of travel writing. If anything, this book is even better than normal because the subject matter is less familiar - giving Bryson free rein to expound on the history, culture(?) and natural perils of Australia. He also narrates the book himself - something that is normally a Very Bad Thing. But he does an excellent job - better, perhaps, than anyone else would have done. All things considered, an excellent book.
I am a big fan of Mr. Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything", but did not find this book up to that lofty standard. I was looking for a book with more facts and interesting stories about Austraila rather than drawn out personal accounts about his visit. I found only about 30% of the book is factual and interesting while the remainder consists of "cute" stories of his trip down under. While they are very humerous, I hoped for more history and cultural facts on this great continent.
Wow! I loved this book. I laughed out loud so many times and was completely entertained for the full reading. Bill Bryson is a great narrator. Funny, very funny. I also learned so much about Australia. Fantastic.
This book is informative, educational, charming, and hilarious. I've read the paper version and listened to it and will probably return to it once every few years to remind myself of all the poisonous things I need to avoid.
If you listen to this book on headphones on an airplane (as I did), you will disturb other passengers when you laugh out loud. Funny and informative. As with all his books, he mixes personal experience with well researched facts and insights. It is always a treat to listen to Bill Bryson narrate his own work.
Funny and informative. I learned so much. I always enjoy Bill Bryson's books and I always laugh out loud. What could be better than to learn and laugh at the same time.
Written with a perfect blend of insightful facts, droll sarcasm, and superlative wit. I was ready to book passage to Australia to go on my own quirky tour after listening to this account of Mr. Bryson's trip across that continent. Not to be missed.
Wow! What a fabulously entertaining and informative book. Not only do you get to learn some of the history of Australia, you also get to take a trip around the country with this humorous author and enjoy his view of things "down under." Almost makes you want to go there--but then again, with all the poisonous critters and vast outback to get lost in, you might just be safer staying in your car with this audiobook.
I downloaded this because I am planning a trip 'down under' and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is beautifully written, amusing, and extremely informative. Bryson has done an immense amount of research on this country, and imparts it in a thought-provoking, insightful, and funny way. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in Australia or in travel writing in general. Only a few minor drawbacks keep this from five stars in my opinion: it has a confusing strucutre (I'm never sure which visit we're on) and gets a bit too long and repetitive toward the end.
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