Review: Down Under, Bill Bryson

Rating: 4 out of 5

Bryson in Australia? Sure, I’ll take a look… What a perfect overview of the place! In the various hops the author took over the oceans to get to Australia, he manages to cover everywhere from Victoria through to the Northern Territory, quite often through lengthy drives which are described hilariously.

There’s the almost obligatory story of Harold Holt as well as other introductory narratives to Australia that can so often create the difference between what you see somewhere and what you know you should be seeing for all the events that have taken place. Hence, I think this can be both a travel guide and a collection of stories — if the place has got a mention.

That said, I also disagreed with some of Mr Bryson’s assessments (such as on the Parliament House) but that makes a book like this even more approachable. I also think that he did not visit Tasmania on these journeys which gives that small isle a regretful miss. However, the other states and territories are included and I think this could be in the to-read-list for either someone who thinks of going to Australia or for someone who doesn’t think that at all!

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