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Walkabout: A Walk in the Woods & Down Under

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  1,854 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Omnibus edition of A Walk in the Woods and Down Under, which is also published under the title In a Sunburned Country.

Combined in one volume are Bryson's "Down Under/In a Sunburned Country", an account of his memorable walk across Australia, and "A Walk in the Woods", that tells of his lengthy stroll along the longest continuous footpath in the world - The Appalachian Tra
543 pages
Published 2002 by Doubleday
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Nov 20, 2011 solaret rated it really liked it
Odd. I couldn't find a separate entry for just Down Under, so I'll have to use this. And I've read the first chapters of A Walk in the Woods, so it's not entirely inaccurate, I guess?

Anyway. Bill Bryson wrote accounts of his travels, with Down Under chronicling his encounters in Australia. And he made it interesting. I can't say that I'm entirely interested in Australia, and all I knew before opening this book was that they have an Opera House in Sydney that's apparently quite nice. However, as
Zoe Zunica
Nov 17, 2015 Zoe Zunica rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
If you're Australian, even if you're not Australian, read this book.

I've been carrying Bill Bryson's Down Under around for over 3 months since I left Australia to go backpacking in Europe and every day it's gotten heavier until I decided to finally read it.
And how glad I am that I finally have and how glad I am that I waited until I'd experienced overseas and realised just how amazingly different and unique Australia and Australians are.

Bill Bryson has the perfect outsider perspecti
I was inclined by plenty of reasons why I picked this book;
(1) I Adore this part of Land of the world called Australia! the People, egalitarianism, the life, the landscapes, and most of all the Animals. (this book has replaceed my ideal exotic place Rio)

(2) I had always thought to read some travel and history books by this particular writer. And I was certain I wouldn't regret any of his book, although this book must be his least acclaimed.

(3) I heard Bill Bryson writes his books comically too
Carolina Jg
Jan 14, 2013 Carolina Jg rated it liked it
I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in auto- biographies mostly memoirs. If you enjoy travel guides or travelling then this book would be perfect for you. It explores Australia in with the deepest details. It mentions its monuments, culture and even lifestyle. What I really enjoyed about it was that I was able to learn a lot of historical knowledge. For example: “ Just over 25% of Australians were born in another country, making it the developed country with the highest prop ...more
Laura Rittenhouse
Mar 22, 2011 Laura Rittenhouse rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I only read Down Under but liked it enough that I might continue on with A Walk in the Woods. I won't say this book is a belly laugh, but it is really entertaining. Bryson is at his best when he's describing his fascination with the numerous ways you can be killed by nature in Australia (lost in the desert, eaten by crocs, bitten by spiders....) but really, he's pretty funny most of the time. He comes across a loving the country and its people, but he sees it all with an inspired and critical ey ...more
Philip Whiteland
Apr 30, 2016 Philip Whiteland rated it it was amazing
Always excellent. Wouldn't Bill make a wonderful travelling companion. I decided to re-read this having just come back from a brief visit to Australia and it was great to see Sydney through his eyes and also to get a flavour of this vast continent of which I had only seen the merest hint. His description of falling asleep in the car has me in stitches every time. Highly recommended.
Feb 20, 2015 Bethan rated it it was amazing
I love Bill Bryson's dry humour and Down Under had me laughing out loud. His description of cricket is particularly amusing. He also manages to combine factual information about the geography, history, Claudia and fauna of Australia with engaging anecdotes of human achievements or disasters. I particularly enjoyed his pithy and incisive observations of places I've recently visited.
Zach Vowles
Mar 31, 2014 Zach Vowles rated it it was amazing
Loved reading about Australia from an outsider's point of view. Bryson had me in stiches, and reminded me of all the things I love about home. I haven't read 'A Walk in the Woods', but perhaps that's next.
Tanya Eccleston
Jan 05, 2013 Tanya Eccleston rated it it was amazing
I hadn't any genuine interest in antipodean travels - just an appreciation of Bill Bryson's other work. Now, I would like to see Australia (and beyond). My view of Australia had been so influenced by stereotypical media portrayals, that I overlooked the possibility of the real life of this obviously amazing continent and its history. I know Australians, old and young, but I didn't ever really take the nation serously (beyond considering them as our imperial offshoots living on the outskirts of h ...more
Jan 25, 2016 Phoebe rated it really liked it
Engaging and funny, Byrson takes you on a fascinating trip around Australia.
In most instances the perfect balance between his own stories, history and interesting facts.
I only read Down Under while traveling in Australia.
Great book, funny anecdotes and lots of interesting information on this great country.
Aug 20, 2009 Andrea rated it really liked it
I didn't read a walk in the woods. But Down Under alone is not on here. I rarely laugh out loud to a book, let alone have a hysterical fit. I was a touch jetlagged having just returned from 'Down Under' so my hysteria may be excused but he has a special way with words. I had to read his description of cricket two or three times as I couldn't see through the tears first time round! I have never read a more apt description! As for aussies and Australia, I was newly acquainted with many of the plac ...more
Amy Gouker
Jul 08, 2015 Amy Gouker rated it really liked it
Like A WALK IN THE WOODS, Bryson tells a funny life experience sprinkled with interesting history and insightful commentary.
Amy Groher
Jan 30, 2016 Amy Groher rated it it was amazing
Actually read Down Under but it's not on Good Reads
Alannah Foley
Apr 12, 2015 Alannah Foley rated it it was amazing
I read these two books separately (couldn't find individual listings for them on Goodreads for some reason)...

I rather enjoy the way Bill blends his own observations of a country & its people with historical facts & other trivia. And along the way, he never fails to amuse.

In particular, I found A Walk in the Woods most entertaining. This is the story of a trip Bill took across the Appalachians with old friend Stephen Katz; and the interaction of the two characters really made the book. N
Jul 16, 2010 Cherry rated it it was amazing
I (like quite a few people here it seems) only read Down Under. I read it whilst travelling through Australia, and was quite amused to find he was going almost the exact same route as we were, and each night I'd sort of "compare" my opinions with his. It really made the trip much more entertaining. I've never read his travel writing before, but it's wonderful to read, with a storyteller quality to it. Loved every minute and was sad to finish it. (although I'm slightly miffed he didn't get to vis ...more
Hani Mebar
Jul 01, 2016 Hani Mebar rated it really liked it
My first Bill Bryson book.
Aug 15, 2014 Donelka rated it really liked it
Hilarious...and so true
Pace Lockwood-davis
Dec 19, 2015 Pace Lockwood-davis rated it really liked it
Oct 29, 2014 Ann rated it liked it
Heb alleen down under maar ik vond hem hier niet afzonderlijk.
Sep 02, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
Interesting view of Australia but very enjoyable
Sep 12, 2016 Cathy rated it really liked it
Down Under - 4 1/2 stars, most enjoyable.
Jan 12, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: worth-a-look
I've only read "Down Under" and I enjoyed this "outsider's" look at my own country. As usual the book is both informative and entertaining.
Jan 31, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
A Walk in the Woods isn't that entertaining (although he does meet some interesting characters and does a lot of sweating) but Down Under more than makes up for it. How other people percieve Australians is hilarious and the sheer volume of creatures that can kill you horribly is astonishing, even if you're an Aussie it will shock you.
Nathaniel Robinson-Juleff
Sep 06, 2016 Nathaniel Robinson-Juleff rated it really liked it
A fantastic, intriguing and heartfelt travelogue on Bryson's adventures in Australia. Extra fascinating for someone who lives here.
Aug 17, 2009 Iain rated it it was amazing
Couldn't find 'Down Under' on its own so this'll do. I read this while I was travelling in Oz and loved it whilst empathising with him on more than one occasion. Random, chance meetings. Dodgy motels. Weird and wonderful characters. Drinking alone. Travelling as it should be. Observational - Witty - Hilarious.
Nov 09, 2008 Taddie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: not to my mum, what I did ;)
Shelves: borrowed
nice easy read
unfortunately the point of view of an american
you can learn a lot of Australia and recognize the charm of the country and people, but way too much about the very very dangerous animals in this country - you don't meet them all the time, just need to take care of yourself ;)
Feb 12, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
Like many others i only read Down under, but thats not on good reads by itself :l hmm
anyway i really enjoyed Down under, it amazing to see our country from anothers view, and a humerous view that was. Brysons skill is amplified in this book. Thoroughly enjoyed
Sep 01, 2014 Erica rated it really liked it
Shelves: down-under
At times laugh out loud funny, but gets a bit repetitive and is maybe 100 pages too long. The observations of Aussie culture are spot on and Bryson makes you want to visit every place he goes to, even the ones he didn't like! (Review just for "Down Under")
Oct 17, 2013 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favourites
Down Under is one of my favourites.
I'm disappointed that it doesn't come up on Goodreads as a separate book from A Walk in the Woods which is about the Appalachian trail in USA. I've read both but Down Under is awesome.
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Same book? 2 17 Apr 28, 2011 07:55PM  
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Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. He settled in England in 1977, and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer. He lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire. He and his family then moved to New Hampshire in America for a few years, but they have now returned to live in the UK.

In The Lost Continent, Bill Bryson's hilarious first t
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