Genre: Arts, History & Current Affairs
Published: 1 June 2000
Publisher: Doubleday

Down Under

by Bill Bryson


Beloved for his travelogues from around the globe, Bill Bryson turns his roving eye on Australia, the only island that is also a continent and the only continent that is also a country. It is the driest, flattest, most desiccated, infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents and – according to Bryson – it has more things that can kill you in the most nasty ways imaginable than anywhere else. Ignoring such dangers, indeed curiously obsessed by them, Bill promptly falls in love with Down Under. And who can blame him? The people are cheerful, the cities safe and clean, the sun nearly always shines and they can look back on a history rife with convicts, explorers, gold diggers and outlaws.

"The thing that Bryson most loves about Australia - its 'effortlessly dry, direct way of viewing the world' - is, in fact, his own. They're a perfect fit"
- The New York Times Book Review
"Bryson is the perfect travelling companion... when it comes to travel's peculiars the man still has no peers" - The Times
"Bill Bryson is a very talented writer and an enormously funny and perceptive one. He is an artist who needs a big canvas. Australia has provided this. He's painted a masterpiece in travel literature" - Globe & Mail Toronto