by Sukey HowardSeptember, 2000
Wonder down under Bill Bryson, traveler and travel writer extraordinaire, has taken us along on many of his walks, tours, and jaunts and let us worldwatch with him. In a Sunburned Country, his latest bestseller about Australia, seems grander and more detailed than his previous books and that's quite fitting for a book on a vast land of improbable creatures that is, uniquely, a sovereign country, continent, and island all in one. Never one to romanticize or censure, Bryson keeps a storyteller's distance, but gets close-up and personal with people, places, and the perplexities of travel. Most captivating is his ability to incorporate interesting nuggets of history, botany, zoology, and local lore into his travelogue, whether it's Australia's astounding number of lethal critters, impenetrable political system, or rough origins as a penal colony. Also captivating is Bryson's reading of this unabridged presentation he's a good companion and gifted guide.