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Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country (Bryson Book 6)

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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. Another travel book, A Walk in the Woods, has become a major film starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson.

The thing that Bryson most loves about Australia - its "effortlessly dry, direct way of viewing the world" - is, in fact, his own. Bill Bryson ’s bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent and Notes from a Small Island , which in a national poll was voted the book that best represents Britain. A lice Springs sounds like a real let down along with the population of Darwin, apart from that it all sounds so enticing, even with all the animals there that would kill you several times over! Then in 1995 Aum Shinrikyo gained sudden notoriety when it released extravagant quantities of the nerve gas sarin into the Tokyo subway system, killing twelve people. On my first visit, some years ago, I passed the time on the long flight reading a history of Australian politics in the twentieth century, wherein I encountered the startling fact that in 1967 the prime minister, Harold Holt, was strolling along a beach in Victoria when he plunged into the surf and vanished.From ancient fossils on the West coast that can be found there living in small colonies, to the gold rush of 1849, the same time frame as the ones in the USA and Canada. Among the general subjects that outstripped it were balloons and balloonists, the Church of Scientology, dogs (though not dog sledding), Barneys, Inc. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. This book shows its roots - in a colour supplement commissioned by The Mail On Sunday, padded out with some A-level history and lots of twee observations of a country crossed at speed.

The Lost Continent (1989) was a rite of passage: when his father died it prompted him to discover the continent lost with his youth.

You almost don't feel like you don't need to go and see the Sydney Opera House or journey through the Outback, because Bryson has told you all you need to know. His best-known works include Notes from a Small Island, Neither Here Nor There and A Short History of Nearly Everything.

What I enjoy most is the feeling he gives the reader of moving in close to a subject, examining its quirkiest or most singular aspect, then panning out again to take a more distant or panoramic view. Amazingly, Mark Sanderson, in the London Evening Standard, was even more vituperative than Lette: "Australia is big, far too sunny and mostly empty: no wonder Bill Bryson feels it is his kind of place.Its sports are of little interest to us and the last television series it made that we watched with avidity was Skippy. The problem is that, after a few pages, one finds oneself looking forward to the moments when Bryson takes us back to the library.

His bestselling books include The Road to Little Dribbling, Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods, One Summer and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. I think my favourite episode in the whole book is when Bill and his increasingly tetchy companion drive around Darwin several times trying to find a hotel whose name is unaccountably different from the name it went by when he booked it. Thanks for not shirking the reports of the incomprehensible attitude of some Australians towards the Aboriginal people, counterbalanced with the accurate recount of the warmth good nature and hospitality of most citizens.His new number one Sunday Times bestseller is The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island. Must have ate some of his own cooking" and a full tuckerbag more, are entertainingly, albeit rather hastily, delivered by the reader. He reserves his funniest writing for those occasions when he encounters total frustration and annoyance. I will soon start reading Bill Bryson’s ‘A Walk in the Woods’, which is about the Appalachian Trail, and I have no plans to actually go to the US and do the trail myself!

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