In a Sunburned Country 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0767903851
ISBN-10: 0767903854
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  • Length: 436 pages
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In the late afternoon, I stopped at a roadhouse for gas and coffee. I studied my book of maps . . . Then, having nothing better to do, I leafed through the index and amused myself, in a very low-key way, by looking for ridiculous names, of which Australia has a respectable plenitude. I am thus able to report that the following are all real places: Wee Waa, Poowons, Borrumbuttock, Suggan Buggan, Boomahnoomoonah, Waaia, Mullumbimby Ewylamartup, Jiggalong, and the supremely satisfying Tittybong."


From the Hardcover edition.

Amazon.com Review

Bill Bryson follows his Appalachian amble, A Walk in the Woods, with the story of his exploits in Australia, where A-bombs go off unnoticed, prime ministers disappear into the surf, and cheery citizens coexist with the world's deadliest creatures: toxic caterpillars, aggressive seashells, crocodiles, sharks, snakes, and the deadliest of them all, the dreaded box jellyfish. And that's just the beginning, as Bryson treks through sunbaked deserts and up endless coastlines, crisscrossing the "under-discovered" Down Under in search of all things interesting.

Bryson, who could make a pile of dirt compelling--and yes, Australia is mostly dirt--finds no shortage of curiosities. When he isn't dodging Portuguese man-of-wars or considering the virtues of the remarkable platypus, he visits southwest Gippsland, home of the world's largest earthworms (up to 12 feet in length). He discovers that Australia, which began nationhood as a prison, contains the longest straight stretch of railroad track in the world (297 miles), as well as the world's largest monolith (the majestic Uluru) and largest living thing (the Great Barrier Reef). He finds ridiculous place names: "Mullumbimby Ewylamartup, Jiggalong, and the supremely satisfying Tittybong," and manages to catch a cricket game on the radio, which is like

listening to two men sitting in a rowboat on a large, placid lake on a day when the fish aren't biting; it's like having a nap without losing consciousness. It actually helps not to know quite what's going on. In such a rarefied world of contentment and inactivity, comprehension would become a distraction.

"You see," Bryson observes, "Australia is an interesting place. It truly is. And that really is all I'm saying." Of course, Bryson--who is as much a travel writer here as a humorist, naturalist, and historian--says much more, and does so with generous amounts of wit and hilarity. Australia may be "mostly empty and a long way away," but it's a little closer now. --Rob McDonald --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.


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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top international reviews

Selamistanbul
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 23, 2019
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CoRak1
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with information and side-splitting situational anecdotes!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2017
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reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Bill Bryson
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2019
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Barnesy
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh a minute
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 4, 2019
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annebar
4.0 out of 5 stars annebar
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 28, 2014
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not as advertised?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2020
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Michael Galvin
4.0 out of 5 stars Best personal way to experience Australia
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2016
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Howie 69
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, bit heavy about snakes and spiders!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 1, 2012
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 8, 2019
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Jonathan Nicholas - Author
5.0 out of 5 stars Essentail reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 11, 2014
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napata
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, informative and fun
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 12, 2018
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jp
5.0 out of 5 stars I have enjoyed the third read as much as the first
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 4, 2017
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Tim Warner
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Bryson at His Best (again)!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2015
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Craig M Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Learnt a lot
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 21, 2019
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Billericay Dickie
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read from Bill Bryson.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2017
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