In A Sunburned Country Summary

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The book In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson is a travel book that revolves around Bryson 's visit to Australia. Bryson was born in 1951 in the United States but has since moved to the UK. Most of Bryson’s books are about travel, the english language, or science; he is probably best known for the book A Short History of Nearly Everything which explains a lot of more scientific things in a way everyone can understand. In a Sunburned Country has two titles, the other being Down Under. The title Down Under derives from the fact that Australia is much farther south than most other continents. The book is titled In a Sunburned Country in Canada as well as the US. The title In a Sunburned Country comes from a popular Australian poem, My Country, …show more content…
When reading his book about Australia, one can tell that Bryson is an experienced writer that knows how to engage the reader.

The book is set up into three parts, Into the Outback, Civilized Australia, and Around the Edges. During the first section of the book, Into the Outback, Bryson spends most of his time on the indian pacific railway crossing from the east side of the continent to the west. The second part of the book, titled Civilized Australia, entails Bryson exploring more populated cities along the continents south-east corner. Finally, Bryson goes into the middle of Australia, to Alice Springs. The reason the final section of the book is titled Around the Edges is because the center of Australia is mostly unpopulated, hence it’s the edge of where people typically venture there. During the book there are two points made, one is that people don’t know much about Australia and assume it is uninteresting, and two, that it is in fact interesting. To launch his first point, Bryson points out just how little Australia is covered in big newspapers such as the New York Times: “[In 1997] the Times ran
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The book includes historical references such as, “Of the roughly one thousand people who shuffled ashore [Australia in 1788], about seven hundred were prisoners and the rest were marines and officers, officers’ families, and the governor and his staff. The exact numbers of each are not known, but it hardly matters. They were all prisoners now” (45). Which recaps the original colonization of Australia by the British, who took advantage of the opportunity to get rid of their convicts. The book includes large amounts of information, not only about the original colonization of Australia, but about the events that occurred thereafter such as the federation of Australia, the gold rush that effectively ended the idea of using Australia as a prison, the building of the sydney opera house, and much more. Bryson has written a total of seven travel books, and as such has a large amount of experience with the genre that is reflected in how well he balances Australian history, current events, geography, and his travels there. Another strength of the book would be that it contains a detailed map of Australia so you know just where everything is. The book has a couple weaknesses as well. In a Sunburned Country contains no table of context which can make it difficult to find your page if you have somehow lost it. Bryson is known to use a large amount of humor in his books; however, In a Sunburned Country

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