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Publisher's Summary

Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold, and the sun nearly always shines.
©2000 Bill Bryson; (P)Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Peter Collins
  • 03-25-17

Bill Roberts is excellent

I didn't find it as fuuny as the other Bryson books. Bill Roberts is brilliant

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  • Kate
  • 03-16-17

Makes cleaning toilets a little brighter :o)

I listened to this whilst at work as a cleaner/ironer and it certainly made my job a lot easier to stomach. With laugh out loud moments and insightful musings, I can't recommend this audiobook highly enough. Bill Bryson has a wonderful way of making you want to spend the rest of your life as a travel writer, despite his dry and often unenthusiastic approach to it. A true genius in my opinion

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  • Frank M
  • 03-08-17

Aother hit form Mr Bryson

What did you like most about Down Under?

I love Bill Bryson't style and the way he captures the little details that make his stories so wonderful.
As a long time fan, and an Aussie myself, this book is just brilliant.

Can't fault it other than I wish it was longer.

What other book might you compare Down Under to, and why?

If you've ever read any other books by Bill Bryson or listened to them, then you'll know what to expect. A rollec coaster of a ride. You can't not pay attention because every sentence carries full weight and takes you to the next one.

The other author you could compare to is Clive James, who, although a gentler style, has similar views and insights in his writing.

Which character – as performed by William Roberts – was your favourite?

I can't say I had any favorites. It was all brilliant.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Bring a tissue. You'll need it to wipe the tears of laughter

Any additional comments?

Go for it. You won't be sorry.

  • Overall
  • Nike
  • 03-08-17

Brilliant again

Eminently rereadable. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you. I have the satisfaction to having stayed for a month with my many families scattered all over the Continent. Lovely as Bill would say.

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  • Al
  • 12-30-16

Intriguing/funny but let down by awful narration

Would you try another book written by Bill Bryson or narrated by William Roberts?

I'd buy another Bill Bryson book, but it'd have to be in written form as I found William Roberts' narration wholly off-putting.

His accent grated on my nerves and his pitch, tone, and timbre demanded continual focus and attention and resulted in the inability to relax during listening.

I much preferred the hard copy of the book which I found intriguing and well-flowing.

Based on my experience of this purchase, I can whole-hearted say that I intend to never buy another title narrated by William Roberts.

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  • S
  • 12-20-16

Totally Disappointed

Totally disappointed is an understatement, Bill Bryson does all kinds of research, travelling to give first hand observations, and then is racist to the Indians, does bother to research to major sports of Australia (and tries to make fun of them to cover up) and comes across as a complete idiot. I thought I was going to listen to a humorous researched book, it's just not funny.... though it maybe to some Americans who think it's funny to laugh at things they don't understand - Zero Stars if I could!

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  • Lisa
  • 11-25-16

Enjoyable

Great to get an in depth experience of a visitor's experience to Aus - as I am, and could relate to the funny idiosyncrasies the author presents in a funny entertaining manner

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  • Stuart
  • 11-12-16

Lots of interesting information.

This is Bryson at his best. Drole, entertaining and full of information you will not find anywhere else easily. The narration is OK but it would be better to hear it in Bryson's own voice if that were possible.

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  • Stan
  • 09-16-16

Down Under

Would you listen to Down Under again? Why?

Yes,the book is witty and informative.

What other book might you compare Down Under to, and why?

Notes from a Small Island,also witty and informative

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Bryson's encounter with the elderly couple

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

None in particular but I felt that Bryson loved Australia and its people

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  • Lesleyboyd
  • 08-31-16

I now want to go to Australia!

I was really impressed with Bill Brysons account of Australia and now do genuinely want to pay it a visit...but..would struggle with where to start..it all sounds so amazing.
he does a great job of intertwining history with geology with facts etc. I was hooked from beginning to end.

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  • Wendy
  • 05-24-16

Entertaining, informative and light-hearted

If you could sum up Down Under in three words, what would they be?

This is a humorous and honest look at Asutralia from an American viewpoint

Would you recommend Down Under to your friends? Why or why not?

I'd recommend this book as I learnt a lot about my own country and enjoyed his descriptions of the places I have been to. - Although he knows a lot more about Australia and our history than I did, including our shameful aboriginal history. Amazing the absences from our school history curriculum.

What about William Roberts’s performance did you like?

His voice sounds like a very raspy older American male. He can do a variety of convincing accents and can communicate irony very well using intonation.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There is a particularly well written piece about his experience with a dog that made me laugh.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-14-16

Entertainment from start to finish

Travel book with a difference - lots of humour and useful and useless but interesting stories and trivia. Read perfectly by the narrator negotiating both accents and timing of humorous narrative. Despite it's age now would recommend.

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  • Mick
  • 03-14-16

Bryson nails it again!

Down Under is an amusing look at the people and places ot Australia. Bryson discusses the sights and sounds in a humerous and factual manner as he explores this great country. Highly recommended as it is easy to listen to.

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  • Bruno
  • 04-24-15

It is an amazing review of what is Australia

I must say that I am a fan of Bill Bryson and this book helped me a lot to understand a little bit more about the country I'm living now. I really recommend it for those who are curious about why this country is so peculiar...

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave
  • 04-12-17

Awesome book!

A story well research, written and conveyed. Easy to understand with just enough technical information for geeks, but told in a way to keep everyone captivated. Well done.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeff
  • 06-21-16

Superb except for Australian accents

Loved the book, hated the poor rendition of Australian accents. Apart from the accents, the narrator was good. His narration would have been far more enjoyable if he had just read the Australian quotes in his normal accent. Despite being a well domestically travelled Aussie who has visited most of the places dealt with in the book, I learnt a lot and loved the humour.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful