In A Sunburned Country

In A Sunburned Country

Book - 2000
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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 (well, most of it) resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the Woods. Now he has traveled across the world and all the way Down Under to Australia, a shockingly under-discovered country with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. In a Sunburned Country is his report on what he found there--a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. Australia is a country that exists on a vast scale. It is the only island that is also a continent and the only continent that is also a country. Despite being the most desiccated, infertile, and climatically aggressive of all inhabited continents, it teems with life. In fact, Australia has more things that can kill you in extremely nasty 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 (don't ask). The dangerous riptides of the sea and the sun-baked wastes of the outback both lie in wait for the unwary. It's one tough country. Bill Bryson adores it, of course, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond the beaten tourist path. Here is a place where interesting things happen all the time, from a Prime Minister lost--yes, lost--while swimming at sea to Japanese cult members who may have set off an atomic bomb (sic) entirely unnoticed on their 500,000-acre property in the great western desert. Wherever he goes (and Bryson goes just about everywhere) he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging--the beaming products of a land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine. On occasion the Aborigines, a remote and mysterious race with a tragic history, make a haunting appearance in this book. But by and large Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide. Published just in time for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, In a Sunburned Country offers the best of all possible introductions to what may well be the best of all possible nations. Even with those jellyfish.
Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, c2000.
ISBN: 9780767903851
0767903854
Branch Call Number: 919.4 BRYSON
Characteristics: x, 307 p. ; 25 cm.

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lijunair
May 17, 2019

LHTL friday newsletter funniest book

This book follows Bill Bryson’s travels across Australia. He stops at several major cities and makes his way through the Outback, visiting both well-known and long-forgotten points of interest. Along the way, he recites wonderful bits of history, painting a vivid picture of the country. It is laugh-out-loud hilarious, brutally honest, and will make you want to plan a visit to see it all for yourself. (submitted by CT)

Hillsboro_RobP Oct 22, 2018

Bryson weaves in plenty of history, biology, and humor in his travel narrative that has officially made me afraid of crocodiles and any snake I find in Australia.

SCL_BethZ Jul 06, 2018

A great armchair travel book. Our staff brought it to a read-aloud program for seniors and the selections we read generated lots of interest and discussion. It's getting to be a bit out of date, but still a lovely read.

g
graciemc
Jun 06, 2018

A bit out of date, but worth a read nonetheless. It's very funny, I found myself laughing out loud at various points in the book. I learned a lot about Australia too. Bryson weaves history, facts and stats effortlessly into this entertaining travelogue.

SPPL_János Mar 21, 2018

Bryson tackles Australia with wit and wonder, musing on its bounty of poisonous animals, its utopian chumminess, its addled explorers, the inexplicability of cricket, and its delightful inhabitants. Quite possibly his most enjoyable book yet.

s
swheeler89
Jan 31, 2018

If you like Bryson, you'll enjoy this one. He keeps his readers laughing while venturing to a new and, in this case, very far off lands. While he can get dramatic at time (no Bill, you will not die of shark attack nor snake bite) he weaves historical events and odd interactions so wonderfully into his journeys - without having to take a 15 hour plane ride.

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.

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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.....

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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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