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259 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read.
I have been to Australia twice, once to Perth (12 days) and once to Cairns (10 days). En route to a 3 month stay in Brisbane, so decided to get stoked about it by reading more on the country. Normally, not a travel book reading type of guy, I prefer historical books (such as Fatal Shore or Graveyard of the Batavia - super read!!) however, I have to give credit to the...
Published 9 months ago by JC

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3.0 out of 5 stars An amusing light-hearted read.
First off. I haven't lived in Australia and I'd never read any of his books before this one. I went in to this book with limited expectations but found myself quite pleasantly surprised. Like some of the other readers say, he doesn't quite cover the entire country. Maybe I'm strange, but I just didn't care. I quite happily read his amusing self deprecating anecdotes, his...
Published on June 4 2011 by Michael


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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read., July 8 2013
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This review is from: In a Sunburned Country (Paperback)
I have been to Australia twice, once to Perth (12 days) and once to Cairns (10 days). En route to a 3 month stay in Brisbane, so decided to get stoked about it by reading more on the country. Normally, not a travel book reading type of guy, I prefer historical books (such as Fatal Shore or Graveyard of the Batavia - super read!!) however, I have to give credit to the author for this is a good read. Relates some interesting facts and makes some good observations, but what I enjoyed most was his humour. I read the reviews of it being funny, but was skeptical. However, I have to admit it is pretty hilarious at times. The chapter on Canberra cracked me up so many times. Funny stuff. Anyway, book is highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best travel books I've ever read, June 29 2013
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This review is from: Down Under (Mass Market Paperback)
Bryson is at his very best here. His adventures in Australia are a tour de force of humour, historical and cultural insights, and an excellent list of the sorts of poisonous and deadly creature down there to both embrace and avoid. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even after a dozen or so reads I still laugh every time, Aug. 7 2008
By 
Ayla Slessor "bookstar" (MB, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In a Sunburned Country (Paperback)
I can't even remember how many times I've read this fantastic, hilarious, well-researched and touching account of author Bill Bryson's travels across distant Australia. There are endless anecdotes which are worked seamlessly into an already wonderful piece of writing. The chapter on cricket on the radio always stands out for me, my mom often quotes favorite lines from that particular section.

But most of all, when I first read this book I was 13. I didn't really know anything about Australia aside from the fact that it was the home of kangaroos and dingos. Well, In A Sunburned Country made me fall in love with Oz. Now I see it as a kind of Canada of the Southern Hemisphere, rugged and very nature driven with a small population and friendly peacful citizens.

Now that I'm 19? I've been accepted to study abroad in Melbourne, Australia and I'm planning on rereading my favorite Bill Bryson book over and over until I'm standing on Australian soil.

What higher praise can there be for an travel author than to inspire his readers to pick up and fly 15,000 km to see the place he's painted so vivid a picture of?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb CD Book Listening Experience, Dec 10 2003
By 
Benjamin Fitt (Williamsville, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In a Sunburned Country (Audio CD)
I love to hear Bill Bryson read his books aloud. His 10 disc monologue on Australia was, by turns, fascinating, LOL amusing, astonishing, informative, good natured and good company. I won't describe the book's content here - others have done a fine job in their reviews. My focus is, instead, on the experience of LISTENING to Bill Bryson. I regularly listen to books on CD as I drive around Upstate New York for work. After spending many hundreds of hours hearing recordings of books, I fancy myself an experienced and discriminating listener. IMHO, Bryson is an engaging and sociable reader as well as a superb (virtual) travelling companion. I believe he genuinely enjoys the act of reading aloud for others. After hearing this generous yet informal treatment, I am reluctant to read the print verion. I fear that the inevitable change in my experience of Bryson's Voice, caused by experiencing him visually instead of with my ears, would strike me as a loss. Listening to the CD version of In a Sunburned Country, it was my happy experience to feel that Bryson was sharing his stories of Australia directly with me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm biased in favour of Bryson, I admit ... this is still a good buy, Sept. 6 2010
By 
C. J. Thompson "Arctic John" (Pond Inlet, Nunavut Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In a Sunburned Country (Paperback)
Bryson loves England - that is obvious in Notes from a Small Island. In Australia, however, he is an outsider on a visit (not a resident) and the difference is obvious in the style and character of this book.

In 'Notes from a Small Island', Bryson skips easily from topic to topic, highlighting whichever particular memories strike his fancy. Here, however, we are presented with much more of a standard travelogue in which a good deal more historical and geographical detail provided. Most of it though, I am glad to say, is presented in the light, humorous way in which this author usually entertains me and I enjoyed it immensely. I am cognizant that some reviewers have criticized Bryson for being less than accurate and not 'in-depth' enough, but I didn't buy this book as a sociological, political, or 'what-have-you' treatise, I sometimes just liked to hear a story about somebody's experiences... that's what this book is. I should add that, while my wife and I have very different tastes in literature, I gave her this book before she took a trip to a conference in Sidney and she enjoyed it very much.

My only quibble about this book is as follows: When Bryson is at his most fluid and honest, his humor is easy and very natural. When he *tries* to be funny, however, the prose becomes noticeably forced and the resultant humor declines proportionately. In this book, he confesses to a fear of dogs and goes into a lengthy description of an encounter with one in suburban Sidney. Unfortunately, his particular reaction to canines is not one shared by most people so this whole attempt at to provide a comic 'filler' ended up being little more than tedious... for me at least.

Still a great book though :)
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3.0 out of 5 stars An amusing light-hearted read., June 4 2011
By 
Michael (Toronto) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: In a Sunburned Country (Paperback)
First off. I haven't lived in Australia and I'd never read any of his books before this one. I went in to this book with limited expectations but found myself quite pleasantly surprised. Like some of the other readers say, he doesn't quite cover the entire country. Maybe I'm strange, but I just didn't care. I quite happily read his amusing self deprecating anecdotes, his take on Australian historical tidbits. To a Bill Bryson book virgin such as myself, I was rather gleeful as I sped through this happy little book. Though some of his loyal fans might proclaim this far from his best, I was more than happy with my investment. How often do you have so much useless information tossed at you and wind up laughing as a result? Exactly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In A Sunburned Country, May 2 2010
By 
L. Penner - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In a Sunburned Country (Paperback)
Bill Bryson is a wonderful writer, witty and descriptive. I laughed alot while reading this book. Having just been to Australia myself for the first time, I enjoyed all the extra tidbits and trivia written with tongue-in-cheek humor. It was interesting to see what the author's take was on the same places that I visited. A must read for anyone who is traveling to Australia, would like to travel to Australia, or has had the good fortune to have been to Australia.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Laughs, Feb. 11 2008
By 
Mark Nenadov "arm-chair reader" (Essex, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In a Sunburned Country (Paperback)
This funny account of travel in Australia isn't necessarily the greatest of Bryson's works, but it is worth a read! You will find it entertaining, with his usual piercing, sarcastic, and witty insight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very witty story told about visiting and history of Australia, Oct. 21 2007
By 
Petra Mehner (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In a Sunburned Country (Paperback)
This book was originally recommended to me by a co-worker when he found out I was taking my annual 3 week vacation this year to Australia. This will be my first trip Down Under. He advised that it was well written, witty, informative, and kept him in stitches. I wasn't disappointed when I bought it at a travel specialty store in downtown Vancouver. The book is written in such a way that it's like the author is discussing his adventures to you over a cup of coffee at a local cafe. He pokes fun at himself over the mistakes and misadventures he gets himself into with dry humour (a bit of self depreciation too), and the people that he works with and meets in Australia are not immune to his keen observations. He also includes historical facts from stories about the earliest explorers to the local flora and fauna. I happily read the first two chapters on my way home on the bus, my bursts of laughter causing glances from fellow passengers. Because this book is so easy to get lost in I have decided to leave the rest for my 18 hour flight to Sydney in November.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Quirky Take, Jan. 18 2006
By 
marji "marji" (Vancouver, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In a Sunburned Country (Paperback)
The day I picked up this book, I was sitting at the bus stop reading the first couple of pages, chuckling to myself at Bryson's turn of phrase and ability to see humour it the most common of events, when a voice beside me asked what was so funny. Instantly recognizing the accent as coming from the 'sunburnt country', I proceeded to read Bryson's comments about the PM who went swimming and never came back. To paraphrase Bryson, "I had never known of a country to loose a prime minister!" The Aussie woman threw her head back and announced, amongst her laughter, that this was the best bloody description of what happened.
After that recommendation, I dove into the book and devoured it quickly.
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In a Sunburned Country
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (Paperback - June 12 2001)
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