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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...
If you’ve always wanted to go to Australia but haven’t had a chance, reading “In a Sunburned Country” is the next best thing. Read morePublished 16 hours ago by Mary E. Trimble
Learned a lot about Australia thru the book. Followed his travels via Google Earth. Was fun to read. Recommend reading.Published 1 day ago by Gunther
An incredible journey into a land so mysterious. Loved it! I feel as though I have taken a vacation and am loathe to return home.Published 2 days ago by Jennifer
Australia is to me one of the most fascinating places on earth, and Bryson does an incredible job explaining just why it should be. Read morePublished 4 days ago by A reader
While everyone said it was "very funny", I did not find it to be so. I found it a bit tedious and repetitive. Perhaps that's a fault of Australia rather than the author. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Roz D.
Not as funny as his other books, but if I'm ever in Australia, I would take this as a travel guide.Published 5 days ago by Amy
Thanks Bill for a great read and lots of laughs,but mostly for reminding me of the amazing country that I inhabit.Published 6 days ago by drcuzo