In A Sunburned Country

In A Sunburned Country

Large Print - 2000
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Compared to his Australian excursions, Bill Bryson had it easy on the Appalachian Trail. Nonetheless, Bryson has on serveral occasions embarked on seemingly endless flights bound for a land where Little Debbies are scarce but insects are abundant (up to 220,000 species of them), not to mention the crodiles. Taking readers on a rollicking ride far beyond packaged-tour routes, IN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY introduces a country where interesting things happen all the time, from a Prime Minister who was lost at sea while swimming at a Victoria beach to Japanese cult members who managed to set off an atomic bomb unnoticed on their 500,000-acre property. Leaving no Vegemite unsavored, readers will accompany Bryson as he dodges jellyfish while learning to surf at Bondi Beach, discovers a fish that can climb trees, dehydrates in deserts where the temperatures leap to 140 degrees, and tells the true story of the rejected Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House. Published just in time for theOlympics, IN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY provides a singularly intriguing, wonderfully wacky take on a glorious, adventure-filled locale.
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, c2000.
Edition: 1st large print ed.
ISBN: 9780375430565
0375430563
Branch Call Number: Lg. Prt. 919.404 BRY
Characteristics: x, 578 p. (large print) ; 25 cm.

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t
TootinMoose
Jul 31, 2017

Great Bryson. Not as crabby as he is in later books. He does a great job balancing travel narrative, personal experience, and historical connections. Definitely worth your time to read it.

q
QueenSheba_0
Jun 13, 2017

The book is a bit dated now but still well worth a read. You'll never find a more entertaining travel companion than Bill Bryson and the glimpses of Australia that he offers are quite intriguing.

j
joalo
Feb 24, 2017

Still a great read if a tad dated. So many changes in the interval -communications for one- must have altered that lovely country too.

e
elwright
Jul 02, 2015

Brilliant, laugh-out-loud funny, classic Bryson.

h
hey44
Sep 10, 2014

I’d left this book, freshly checked out from the library and not yet cracked open, on the dining table and gone upstairs, leaving my partner still seated at the table finishing his morning coffee. A few short minutes later, I heard some strange gurgly sort of sounds emanating from the main floor below. The sounds were sort of human like, but not the sort of noise you routinely make while sipping your mug of morning brew. “Is this a medical emergency?”, I wondered, slightly alarmed. My partner does, after all, have a heart condition. “Is the cat regurgitating a larger than usual volume of barely-begun-to-be-digested Fancy Feast?” As I sat at my computer trying to determine the source of this aural outburst and pondering whether the noise indicated a situation urgent enough to demand further investigation, it dawned on me – the book!....those gurgled snorts I was hearing through the floorboards were the sort of fits of laughter that emanate from a fellow who does not laugh out loud easily or often. My partner, a fellow fan of Bryson, must have noticed this book on the table, picked it up, and started to read. I smiled and relaxed, relieved that all was well, I didn’t need to leap into action to deal an animal or human emergency, and pleased that some good fun, in print format and authored by Bill Bryson, was readily at hand.

So there you have it. This book will have you laughing a short while into it, and you will find yourself sputtering with amusement at regular intervals. Bryson has a gift for writing in a manner that is both informative - it`s a travel book, so you will learn about Australian history, geography and culture - and entertaining, often to the point of laugh-out-loud funny. The humour is often self-deprecating, other times it pokes fun, but not in an unkind way (ok, except perhaps for some of what he writes about Canberra). The friend who recommended this book to me wryly commented that the take-home message for her was that pretty much everything you may encounter in Australia will either kill you or seriously harm you, given the right circumstances - poisonous and otherwise nasty creatures, harsh and at times and places unforgiving climate and geography etc - and while there is certainly a goodly dosage of that served up (!), Bryson also illustrates the challenges posed by the general vast emptiness of the country interspersed with descriptions of unique and unsurpassed beauty to behold, interesting, amusing and poignant historical accounts of how Australia was discovered and settled, and encounters and conversations he has with some of the people he meets as he explores the country.

Go ahead, read "In a Sunburned Country" during your bus commute – your fellow passengers just might wonder how come you are having so much fun on an otherwise dreary bus ride and be envious. Either that or they`ll think you are slightly loopy, in which case you will make their commute more interesting and amusing.

sheilastewart Jun 16, 2012

I loved this book. Read it just before travelling to Australia - its full of anecdotes, history, and travel information. Well written and humerous. Recommend it to anyone planning to travel down under.

bmetcalf64 Feb 23, 2012

Loved this book. I knew next to nothing about Australia. Now I know there are lots of poisonous and dangerous things, and that it's little explored and vast. Well, and a lot more besides. It's my first book by Bryson. I will definitely seek out more of his stuff.

brendanjon Apr 26, 2011

One of my favorite all time books, it makes me want to move to Australia.

m
melbl8tr
Oct 12, 2010

Delightful account of one man's visit to a country very much NOT like his own.

n
neonbacalao
Sep 25, 2010

Even if you have no plans to go to Australia anytime soon, this is a great read. It's especially good for if you're going on a plane trip soon and you don't want anyone to talk to you because you will be laughing like a maniac through almost the whole book. Funniest travel book ever!

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hey44
Sep 10, 2014

On television the green of the House of Representatives has a decidedly bilious look, as if the members are debating inside someone's pancreas.....

h
hey44
Sep 10, 2014

Nervously I quickened my pace. Dogs don't like me. It is a simple law of the universe, like gravity. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have never passed a dog that didn't act as if it thought I was about to take its Alpo. Dogs that have not moved from the sofa in years will, at the sniff of me passing outside, rise in fury and hurl themselves at shut windows. I have seen tiny dogs, no bigger than a fluffy slipper, jerk little old ladies off their feet and drag them over open ground in a quest to get at my blood and sinew. Every dog on the face of the earth wants me dead.

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