Bill Bryson has authored several well-written travelogues and this book does not disappoint. In a Sunburned Country recounts the numerous trips he has made to Australia over a 4 or 5 year period. His travels take him around the nation to places both well known (Sydney, Perth, Canberra) and obscure (Broome, Cape Leeuwin). With a keen sense of humor he introduces the reader to the lively and enthusiatic people of Australia, their colorful history, unique flora and fauna, and the challenging climate and geography that have kept the country removed from much of the Western world.
In typical Bryson fashion, his misadventures prove to be the best reading and misadventures abound throughout. Whether he is getting lost on strolls through public parks or driving into monsoon weather conditions he never loses his ability to find humor in the situation. Australia is a big nation and he does an admirable job of looking closely with curiosity at the land he traverses and people he meets. At times he poses challenging questions to the reader regarding the treatment of the Aboriginal people, exploitation of Australia's natural resources and the role Australia plays in the pacific and the world.
This report prepared by David Fletcher