Written By: Bill Bryson

Narrated By: Bill Bryson

Date: July 2000

Duration: 11 hours 55 minutes


Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. This time in Australia.

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.


  • Bob C.

    just a great journey of that great county t


    It's talk about the history of Australia and it's people, plus his dairies throughout Australia

  • Manasi Kashyap

    Very entertaining and informative. I now want to know more about Australia, so am watching "Australia's first 4 billion years". His dry humor

  • Anonymous

    Entertaining and interesting. More facts about Australia than you ever could imagine. The dry reading style is also a plus. I recommend it.

  • Anonymous

    As a diehard fan of Bryson, I was surprised how he rambles during this journey. It was nice of him to do all the research and unearth every little detail of all the areas he visited, but could have left some of them out. I still enjoyed the book, and want to visit Australia even more, just not with as much history. I very much enjoy Bryson’s stories of interacting with other travelers and natives during his visits, he seems to stay mostly alone,(maybe not by choice as Australia’s population is much different than ours) and when he is with others, he doesn’t interact with them like he has in past books.

  • Anonymous

    Bill Bryson adds his sarcastic humor to this travels throughout Australia. This is a very good read for a person interested in learning about Australia and/or will be traveling to Australia.

  • Anonymous

    Overall this was an OK book, not as good as some of Bill's other books but still educational and entertaining. I was dissapointed that he did not write more about travelling in the outback. Was a bit dry at times.

  • Joan

    I always look forward to a Bill Bryson book, and he didn't disappoint here. Once again, he finds many interesting, out of the ordinary observations about the places he visits. A very good book for a commute.

  • Laura

    Interesting information about the history and places of Australia, great preview if you are planning a trip there, and witty- but it goes on and on and on -- I actually switched to another audiobook and then returned to it after that break.

  • Anonymous

    I loved it. Funny and interesting. Bill Bryson is an engaging writer.

  • Marissa

    I am currently reading the actual book, and although I'm only halfway through, I can already tell I'm going to be a huge fan of Bill Bryson's writing style. The book is both educational AND interesting. I appreciate the historical information as well as his humor. I'm looking forward to reading the next half!

  • Robin

    Really enjoyed "Walk in the Woods" and "Notes from a Small Island", but this book was way too historical. I enjoy his books that focus more on his bumbling adventures. Unless you're really into the history of Australia, don't waste your time. I sent this one back before I even finished it.

  • Anonymous

    Loved his Appalachian trail book, this just got a little long winded for me. I loved listening about the history of the aborigines.

  • Anonymous

    Although the tale itself is entertaining enough, the author needs to either take a few acting lessons or give the job of reading his work to someone more entertaining.

  • Steve Y.

    I almost quit this one into the first minutes of disc one. The history and background leading up to the story was tedious. But, it quickly revived itself and I grew to look forward to Bryson's tale of his travels. He has a great wit mixed with an entertaining dose of sarcasm. His comments were "real life", all mostly positive about Australia, but not totally. He was not afraid to call it like he saw it, good or bad. If you can handle his occasional references to evolution it is well worth the time spent.

  • Emily Matthews

    I just got a job where i commute and hour every day and i really don't like driving. I had this audio book though and that drive seemed a lot shorter. Bill Bryson narrates his own book this time and it made it just that much more enjoyable. It felt like I was sitting there with Bryson having a chat about his recent viisit to Australia. I have to admit that after the first CD i was pretty sure I'd never go visit the country because he spends a lot of time talking about all the things that can kill you. After the last CD though, I put Australia back on the list. Bryson has a way of combining interesting stories with lots of factual information that keeps one entertained and also educates. Excellent book.

  • David Gardner

    I have read nearly everything that Bill Bryson has published. This one did not disappoint. Bryson has a way of describing people and events that place you at the scene. It's as if you're actually there. The book contains many obscure but interesting facts about Australia. For example, there are more things that can kill a person in Australia than anywhere else on earth. Bryson describes a seemingly unending array of deadly creatures; snakes, jellyfish, spiders, and yes - crocodiles. But the book isn't all about danger. It also describes many of the continent's treasures in rich, engaging detail. I enjoyed this book immensely. It is a charming portrait of a nation sometimes forgotten, yet altogether fascinating.

In a Sunburned Country

by Bill Bryson

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