This was a fun read. Bill Bryson is always fun, and this was one of the best memoirs I’ve read by him yet. Basically, it’s just Bryson in Australia in 2001. He does a lot of drinking, a lot of exploring, and a lot of trying not to get killed by the locals (animals, people, plants, whatever). It’s witty and silly and his traveling companion for the last few weeks cracked me up. Bryson has a Dave Barry-like way of describing things (or maybe Dave Barry has a Bill Bryson-way?) that made me reread sentences over and over for a laugh. Also, despite his many, many warnings (see below), I still totally want to go to Australia.
“Australians are very unfair in this way. They spend half of any conversation insisting that the country’s dangers are vastly overrated and that there’s nothing to worry about, and the other half telling you how six months ago their Uncle Bob was driving to Mudgee when a tiger snake slid out from under the dashboard and bit him on the groin, but that it’s okay now because he’s off the life support machine and they’ve discovered he can communicate with eye blinks.”