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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.
If you like Bryson and enjoy reading about travel, you should love this book.
In this installment of travel writing, Bryson shares with the reader his love of and fascination with the island/country/continent of Australia.
I enjoyed reading about Australia, the book gave me a good idea of what that place is like...makes me want to got there...
This was recommended by a friend and tour director; well written and enjoyable.Published 1 hour ago by Noah Borkenhagen
Snapshot of Australia - much resonates, BB's light and amusing style makes for a holiday diversion. Alway feel I should have seen more of my own country country after finishing. Read morePublished 6 days ago by David
Enjoyed this book. My family moved to america from Australia and i was born a year later. I grew up traveling back to Australia for a few weeks at a time so I found it easy to... Read morePublished 8 days ago by David Robinson
Laughed so much. Well researched so provides good history and geography of Australia and Australians. Hopefully they can see the humour and laugh at themselves too. Read morePublished 9 days ago by annapetroica
In a Sunburned Country is a very enjoyable history/travel log of Australia. Lots of information presented in an interesting... often humorous way.Published 11 days ago by djn
I've been to Australia once. After reading "In a Sunburned Country" I want to go back and see it again. Excellent read!Published 16 days ago by Sheila N. Smith