In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

In a Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson, Book Journey, Australia

If You have heard of the book/now movie A Million Ways To Die In The West than you must also know there are a million ways to die in Australia; or at least according to humorous author Bill Bryson there is.  Crocodiles, poisonous spiders, sharks, and lots of miles of hot desert with no relief in sight are just to name a few.

Bill Bryson shares his adventures of visiting the Land Down Under mixed with true experiences of a killer sun burn, scary hotels, miles of driving to look at famous (or not) spots, as well as a good dose of history in this amazing area; In A Sun Burned Country will give you a pleasant mix of what Australia is like today, and how it was discovered.


When this book showed up in Candace’s guest post about books recommended either about Australia or with Australian authors, this is the one that caught my attention.  Why not read a book about the country I was about to visit by an author that was known for his humor.  I liked the fact that I was not about to read a dry commentary on Australia and I dug in.

Bill Bryson is definitely an author to experience.  Not only did I learn interesting facts about the country of Australia and the places it is known for, but I also laughed along the way as I read.  (You must read about the history of the Opera house and what happened to the man who designed it.  EEP!)  I found myself quoting this book frequently through the trip including reading passages out loud to my fellow travelers.

I read this one on the plane to Australia, and while on the cruise ship.  I found it interesting, insightful, and full of fun – exactly the type of book you want to read on vacation.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is going to experience (or has experienced) Australia.



  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (May 15, 2001)


40 thoughts on “In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

  1. I love Bryson! I I loved A Walk in the Woods, which I guess is coming to the big screen very soon. Such a funny book. I’ve read a few others of his, but Woods is the one that sticks with me.

  2. Sheila, my boyfriend LOVES Bryson’s books 🙂 He has this one but hasn’t finished it yet. (He often skips around with his books.) He said your review says it all 🙂

  3. Sheila, it sounds as if you found the perfect book for your trip! I’m glad you made such a good choice for your travel to Australia. I will add Bill Bryson to my list of authors to keep in mind. 🙂

  4. Perfect read enroute to Australia! His books are great on audio btw – he reads them himself and I love his dry humor.

  5. Looks like a really interesting book! Must have been exciting to read as you were flying to Australia! Hey, how come you don’t have a “like” button? I’m assuming there is a reason, and I’m curious as to why. 🙂

      1. Oh, actually I can like your posts from the Reader Feed, just not on your page! Not sure what is up with that. I thought maybe you did that on purpose to encourage comments instead of likes. 🙂

  6. I read this one right before I went to Australia to live for 6 months and work at the Sydney Olympics….and, I agree, it’s such a perfect choice for anyone who has been there or is planning to go there!

  7. I’ve been busy, busy, so I’m late to the party. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY so glad you read this one. I absolutely loved it.

  8. I have such mixed feelings about Bill Bryson. He’s informative and can be really funny, but sometimes his humor really rubs me the wrong way. Some of his jokes just don’t make sense, but it’s like he thinks his readers are too dumb to realize his jokes are bad. (Like the one about how breakfast is a barbaric meal because people eat embryos (eggs). Bill, we all know the eggs we eat have not been fertilized and therefore do not contain embryos. Shut up.) I seem to be the only one who doesn’t love him, though.

  9. Bryson generally cracks me up! I read one about the English language that bored me to death, and I was pretty insulted by A Walk in the Woods (I seem to be the only person to feel this way, but he mostly skipped NC and TN, basically saying that we’re armpit states–not the way to make me a fan). Otherwise, we’re good. I enjoyed this one a lot! I’ve listened to a couple and I actually do love him as a narrator. His dry narration fits his dry humor so well!

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