In a Sunburned Country – Bill Bryson

Amazon.com Review

Bill Bryson follows his Appalachian amble, A Walk in the Woods, with the story of his exploits in Australia, where A-bombs go off unnoticed, prime ministers disappear into the surf, and cheery citizens coexist with the world’s deadliest creatures: toxic caterpillars, aggressive seashells, crocodiles, sharks, snakes, and the deadliest of them all, the dreaded box jellyfish. And that’s just the beginning, as Bryson treks through sunbaked deserts and up endless coastlines, crisscrossing the “under-discovered” Down Under in search of all things interesting.
 
What I liked:  Bryson is a funny guy, he revels in his self deprecating style of humor which makes him always seem like an alien in a strange land.  He cracks me up with his snarky wit and hilarious imagery.
 
“If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles, or carried helplessly out to sea by irresistible currents, or left to stagger to an unhappy death in the baking outback .”
 
I also learned a great deal about Australia, its wacky topography and  deadly animals. 
 
What I didn’t like:  I’ll be perfectly candid here, and say I didn’t really love this book.  I found many chapters to be honestly quite boring and droll.  I ended up skimming a decent amount.  I wish he  would have talked more about the animals and culture of Australia and a little less about the history, because lets face it – Australia has lived a peaceful existence for many years, no wars, no coups, no civil unrest – how interesting can that be?  That being said, I do plan to keep reading and following Bill Bryson.  I have heard that the book he wrote about England – Notes from a Small Island, is really good so maybe I’ll try that one next.
 
What about you?  Have you read this book?  Did you like it or not?  What’s you favorite Bryson book?
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