Thursday, February 23, 2017
In a Sunburned Country (Bill Bryson)
I definitely have some more reading to do.
I really didn't know anything about Australia before this. His book was a great way to learn about Australia. I learned that you could die there. They have some seriously unique animals and plants and a lot of danger. I think I'll stick to the coastal areas, if I go there. Although, the lure of undiscovered gems and minerals in the wide open outback is a bit of a temptation!
I really enjoyed his humour. I found myself chuckling often. I read this while hanging out in the lodge on our school's ski days and my friends around me would often ask what I was chuckling about. We enjoyed it together. I was glad I had those two days to sit and read. I wouldn't want to spread this one out over too many more days...it could take forever to read this one, if you let that happen. Instead, I totally immersed myself. It isn't that long, but the font is quite small....very dense!
It is interesting to me that so many countries have a part of their history where they were abusive to the indigenous people that were there when they arrived. There doesn't seem to be much shame in that on the part of Australians though. I found that quite curious.
I did find him a little more verbose than necessary. He does like to go on and on and on. Mavericks was the same way. (I never did finish that one...it's more of a long term project type book) It had a lot of great information, but there was just so much of it! I wondered if more people would read these kinds of books if only they were a little more succinct. He also likes to use crazy words. At first I'd look them up. Then I just started making a list to look up later. Most of the time I discovered that there was usually a word that would be just as effective that he could have used.
Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion along the Appalachian Trail resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the Woods. In A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in an entirely different place: Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiousity.
Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book. Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide.