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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    2,348
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    78
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    37

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,567
  • 4 Stars
    465
  • 3 Stars
    134
  • 2 Stars
    34
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    14

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall

Simply wonderful

Bill Bryson is always great, but this book is a particular favorite, and as a reader Bryson is marvellous -- low-key, endearing, and very funny. It's like spending hour after delightful hour in the company of a dear friend with an inexhaustible supply of fascinating and amusing anecdotes. I've never been to Australia -- yet -- but I love it dearly as a result of this book. In fact, when I read Nevil Shute's "A Town Like Alice" not long after completing this book, I got so homesick for Australia that I read the Bryson book all over again. I really can't recommend it highly enough.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bev
  • Alton, IL, USA
  • 09-09-07

Bryson is Genius

How to describe a Bryson book? Funny, touching, and so incredibly descriptive you feel as if you are there. I have been to Australia, it feels just like he describes it. So very worth a listen. In my top 10 all time books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Steven
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 12-31-05

I want to go there!

Bill Bryson lent a personality to his adventures in Australia that makes me want to go there and experience the sublime the ridiculous and the extraordinary for myself. Saying goodbye at the end of the trip was sad indeed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

No worries, mate.

A humorously personal journey of discovery through a fascinatingly unique island/continent/country. If you don't find yourself alternately laughing out loud and gasping in wonder, you aren't paying attention.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stephen
  • Hong KOngHong Kong
  • 03-04-05

In a Sunburned Country

I have only one complaint about this book. If it's your first audio book then it's hard to see you finding anything better. He's witty and incisive bringing to life a country I've had the pleasure to visit on a few occasions. He draws word pictures which bring to life the people, the geography and even the social attitudes, particularly in his comments about the appalling Australian treatment of Aborigines. Even then he handles it with a wry humour and moves on in his own inimitable way.

The man's a star!!

It would get 10 stars if they were avaialble!!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very Good

Perfect for short drives (20 minutes) snippets. Bryson is humorous, and I found myself transported easily from here to Australia. Great book, great narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Brendan
  • Independence, KY, USA
  • 01-10-04

Excellent

It's always great when you're laughing throughout a book and still learning an incredible amount about something.

I highly recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wow

Only got this one because my daughter recommended it. It is over the top. Am listening to it for the second time. This title gets my vote for book of the year.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very funny

I have never read a "travel" book before so I was not sure what to expect. I simply wanted some information about Australia. What I got instead was one of the funniest stories I have listened to in a long time. I did also learn a great deal about Australia in the process. Bill Bryson is a great author and he reads his work like a pro. The section where he describes how the game of cricket is played is worth the price of the book alone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Evelyn
  • Duncans Mills, CA, USA
  • 07-20-03

Great read even better when Bryson reads it!

This is the best of Bryson's work. It's fascinating, informative & best of all, funny. This book had me laughing out loud! Bryson is an excellent writer & nobody can read his books better than he does. I was bereft when I finished it. I will listen to this again. Maybe again and again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful