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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 the Hardcover edition.
l learned a lot of stuff about where I live
some bits hurt but that aside the book is hilarious entertainment at least
Years ago I read his "Walk in the Woods" book and loved it and for some reason he slipped off my radar. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Caroline Russell Munoz
Excellent book! I love Bill Bryson's writing, and this one is a great portrait of Australia. It's so good, I'd like to use it as a guide book to explore
the country. Read more
As Australian have to say - its accurate with great dose of humor mixed with facts new for us locals !Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
I first discovered Bill Bryson through A Walk in the Woods before I did a jaunt of my own on the Appalachian trail. He did not let me down with this book. Read morePublished 11 days ago by spt vet
Well written, entertaining and educational. Humor always makes something more fun to read.Published 17 days ago by Carol Canty
Laugh Out Loud and learn about Australia at the same time. This travel guide is, like others Bryson has written, is the most enjoyable way to get a feel for the country and it's... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Sheila
In a Sunburned Country is the second book I've read by Bill Bryson, the first being A Walk in the Woods. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Ellen Klock