Tuesday, May 30, 2017

In a Sunburned Country

By Bill Bryson

Australia: perhaps the most exotic place in the world. Full of flora and fauna found nowhere else on our planet, some of which is dangerous and/or toxic. Much of it is inhospitable, uninhabited and pretty much unexplored. Parts of the interior have never been closely surveyed and may possibly contain unknown  reserves of mineral wealth.
Australia is nearly the same size as the continental United States but sparsely populated, with most of the people living in cities on the  southern and eastern coasts.  The coasts have the best climate, with lush forests and land suitable to grow crops. The interior is desert of the harshest, most deadly kind.
Bill Bryson has a love affair with Australia, despite its much touted dangers. He set off on a tour of the civilized places, visiting some of Australia's most outstanding and amazing attractions. Throughout his trip he finds the people welcoming and helpful and the natural wonders simply amazing. He rarely has a harsh word to say and is looking forward to returning in the future.

I enjoyed the book a lot. Bryson has a lovely sense of humor and doesn't mind poking fun of himself. I laughed out loud several times as Bryson describes some of the predicaments he gets himself into.
But besides the humor, Bryson's descriptions made me long to visit Australia some day. If I could, I would go there without hesitating, eager to see all the sights that Bryson does such an excellent job describing.

For another review, see https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-7679-0385-1.

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