In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love Bill Bryson. Yep, it's a full-blown, one-sided bromance. Bryson could write a book about the history of the individual rooms within the typical house and I would love it (he did and I did)! So, when I discovered he'd written about his experiences while traveling Australia, I knew I'd found my next good read!
In a Sunburned Country takes in the Land Down-Under, from today traveling all the way back to its earliest historical findings. You expect and get a look at modern Australia, its UK-convict days, Sydney and other cities, the bush, the outback, and the plight, trials and importance of the aborigines.
All of the above also comes with a healthy dose of Bryson humor. It's self-deprecating, it's consciously delusional for comedy's sake, it's honest and it gives me the chuckles. I appreciate that he puts himself in awkward situations and really enjoy his description of scenes in which he is a participating victim. Australia has countless ways to kill a person, what with all its deadly animals, so there's plenty of opportunity for hair-raising hilarity, especially considering Bryson's the sort of guy who could get himself savaged by a hedgehog.
Fun is fun and all, but in the end this book is about the learning, so if you have an interest in learning more about Australia I couldn't recommend another book more highly. The author has a love for learning, as well as the subject at hand, so the reader is treated to a veritable love-fest spewed all over the pages of In a Sunburned Country!
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