After tales from the USA and Britain, Bill Bryson turns his roving eye to Australia, the only island that is also a continent and the only continent that is also a country. It is the driest, flattest, most desiccated, infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents. It has more things that can kill you in a very nasty way that anywhere else. Yet when Bill Bryson travelled to Australia he promptly fell in love with the country. And who can blame him? The people are cheerful, the cities safe and clean, the food is excellent, the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines. He tries to find out why Aussies are so cool, digging up a past that reveals convicts, explorers, gold diggers and outlaws.
From the Publisher
The best book yet by this most beloved of authors
It is inevitable, such his popularity, such are his sales, that the reviewers' knives are out for Bill Bryson. Let them cry "stinking fish!"; DOWN UNDER is the best book yet by this wonderful, laugh-out-loud-funny writer. I suspect that even the most well-read Australian will learn a great deal about his/her country via this richly-detailed travelogue. It is a hymn of praise to the "sunburned country" - containing countless affectionate, warm, wise, witty insights into both the land and its inhabitants. Bill Bryson wears lightly his considerable learning and his readers must thank him for that. No other writer that I know possesses to such a degree the enviable gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad. Will you enjoy DOWN UNDER? No worries!
Please note purchasers of DOWN UNDER should be aware that this title is published in the United States as IN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Back Cover
It is the driest, flattest, hottest, most desiccated, infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents and still Australia teems with life - a large proportion of it quite deadly. In fact, Australia has more things that can kill you in a very nasty way than anywhere else.
Ignoring such dangers - yet curiously obsessed by them - Bill Bryson journeyed to Australia and promptly fell in love with the country. And who can blame him? The people are cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted and unfailingly obliging; their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water; the food is excellent; the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines. Life doesn't get much better than this.
User rating -
Before reading this book, I hardly knew a thing about Australia. But Bryson explains not only about the places he visits (which is pretty much everywhere in the huge country)but the history of the places and how monuments and buildings etc. got there. He tells you all about the wildlife around him, talks to the auzzies about news and catastrophies in the country, that only australians will know about. This is a great book for both travellers and non-travellers. I recommend it to anyone.
User - Lewis Clegg from England
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