Down Under by Bill Bryson, 1 of 52

The second Bill Bryson book that I have read now. The first was ‘A walk in the woods’, which I really enjoyed. Mr Bryson has a keen eye for character observation and retells the peculiarities of people in an engaging and slightly biting way. I like his satire, had tears running down my face reading this book.

In regards to ‘Down Under’, I live in the great Island Continent of Australia. Way down in Adelaide, where Mr Bryson only stayed a 2 days, but he is knowledgeable about our home. He knew the famous geologist Mr Reg Spriggs of Andamooka fame and where now a private mining company wants to plant a huge mine. Having been to the Flinders for a family jaunt in July staying at the famous Wilpena Pound, I can attest to the amazing almost savage beauty of the country of the Admyanathanha people and it should be left alone. But I digress.

‘Down Under’ was an engaging read, I enjoyed reading it – mostly. It does appear to be a catalogue of the great perils and dangers that exist in Australia, and I truly thought that Bill Bryson was deriving some deliciously devilish pleasure at expounding this large catalogue. It is true, Australia is a pretty unique place when it comes to creatures that might bite, sting, poison, maul or devour you. However, this is not something an Australian worries about; having said that I am completely an utterly paranoid about Sharks and living in South Australia I feel slightly justified in my phobia. I always tell my husband when he buys a lotto ticket that he is just increasing my chances of getting eaten by a shark – statistically you have more chance of being eaten by a white pointer than winning lotto!! It is interesting that Bill Bryson didn’t focus more on the shark, I think he was too shocked by the crocodile stories.

So as a way of summing up my first book – do I need a criteria…hmmm haven’t thought that one through. This could be an evolving thing.

Readability  8.5 out of 10

Can’t put down rating 8 out of 10

Recommend to others 7 out of 10

Do I want to read another book by this author – yes.

Book #2 in progress. Frankenstein by Mary  Shelley.


2 thoughts on “Down Under by Bill Bryson, 1 of 52

  1. That was a classic line: “Australia is a pretty unique place when it comes to creatures that might bite, sting, poison, maul or devour you. ”

    Where can I purchase my plane ticket? In fact, I’ll bet if you put that on travel brochure you would get lots of interested tourists… LOL.

    Thanks for the post and good luck with the challenge. I absolutely *loved* “A walk in the woods.” and based on your review looks like I’ll be picking up a copy of “Down Under”!

    Kindest Regards,


    1. Thanks Chuck for your kind comments and hope you get the chance to come to Australia one day – worth the long flight. I hope you’ll enjoy the book to.

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