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Down Under | [Bill Bryson]

Down Under

Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold, and the sun nearly always shines.
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Publisher's Summary

Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold, and the sun nearly always shines.

©2000 Bill Bryson; (P)2009 BBC Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (178 )
5 star
 (85)
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 (61)
3 star
 (19)
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 (11)
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 (2)
Overall
4.3 (67 )
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4.3 (68 )
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 (40)
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3 star
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 (5)
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Performance
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  •  
    Dafydd ammanford, United Kingdom 02/06/2010
    Dafydd ammanford, United Kingdom 02/06/2010 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "Great book, Shoot the narrator."

    Very enjoyable script, but the attempts at accents, Yorkshire and pivotally Australian of which the narrator clearly has no knowledge leaves you leaping for the fast forward button.

    He truly is excruciating, an excellent book ruined

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynette Morris Bangkok, Thailand 24/12/2012
    Lynette Morris Bangkok, Thailand 24/12/2012
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    "Hilarious"

    Bill Bryson is witty, entertaining and thought-provoking and this book is all of those. It's easy to read, makes you laugh out loud and gets the grey matter working. I am from Down Under and it was fun hearing about Australia from a foreigner's perspective. I would thoroughly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer LONDON, United Kingdom 16/06/2011
    Amazon Customer LONDON, United Kingdom 16/06/2011 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent - makes you want to go down under"

    Just finsihed down under and thoroughly enjoyed Bryson's travelogue with random facts and bemusing anecdotes. The narrator is fantastic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heloise Canberra, Australia 28/11/2013
    Heloise Canberra, Australia 28/11/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Accents just awful"
    What disappointed you about Down Under?

    The story was boring, it was full of stereotypes.


    What was most disappointing about Bill Bryson’s story?

    The narrator's pathetic attempt at an Australian accent


    Would you be willing to try another one of William Roberts’s performances?

    No


    What character would you cut from Down Under?

    This was non-fiction!


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason United Kingdom 05/08/2013
    Jason United Kingdom 05/08/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Rather a let down (under)"
    What did you like best about Down Under? What did you like least?

    I have enjoyed some of Mr Brysons efforts before and being a sometime resident of Australia wanted to listen to this one, rather late to the party I confess.

    I found it to be a bit of let down, rather poorly researched with limited references to source material. Furthermore some of the comments I found xenophobic at best, a little racist at worst. ' A Land where men are men and sheep are scared' Is that kind of comment really the best you can offer?

    The worst part I'm sad to say was the narration. Rather an excitable and high pitched American voice. The biggest problem though was the insistence on providing an Australian accent at certain points that was truly dreadful, off putting and a little offensive.

    So not a terrible book and did have some good parts but overall not my favourite.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dugal I an Heath Perth, WA Australia 14/04/2013
    Dugal I an Heath Perth, WA Australia 14/04/2013 Member Since 2005
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    "Go down under with Bill Bryson"

    Bill Bryson’s style of writing is quiet and understated. He draws you in so that you find yourself travelling with him and enjoying his insights into the lives of others from a mid Atlantic perspective. He includes a lot of factual information about the country and his understanding of the Australian psyche. I especially enjoyed his interpretation of the game of cricket and the story of house building in Melbourne. So if you do not want to go to all the trouble of having to travel to Australia yourself then sit back and let Bill Bryson take you there instead.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becki United Kingdom 04/07/2012
    Becki United Kingdom 04/07/2012 Member Since 2006
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    "Bryson at his best"

    I've never been to Oz but I want to go now! This is Bryson at his best, great observation, brilliantly descriptive and as funny as ever.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Péter Plymouth, United Kingdom 26/06/2014
    Péter Plymouth, United Kingdom 26/06/2014 Member Since 2011
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    "FunnyHow Much Not Funny"

    Everything Mr. Bryson saw in Australia is exciting and breath-taking and superbe and extraordinary and amazing and astonishing. Well, that's how it goes downunder. Obvious observations, shy criticism, slight racism, too much museum. However, the style is easy-going and sometimes made me laugh.
    Who enjoys the most this book? The constantly tipsy narrator, of course. This mate is having the time of his life while reading 'Downunder'. I'm happy he found so much fun in it.

    Consider the date. It has been written 14 years ago, before Internet, before the major natural catastrophies in Australia, before even Sydney Olympic Games. The book is hopelessly out of date. And I think this fact has a certain charm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gordon RADLETT, United Kingdom 01/12/2013
    gordon RADLETT, United Kingdom 01/12/2013 Member Since 2013
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    "Great narration and Bryson engages as always"
    What made the experience of listening to Down Under the most enjoyable?

    Bryson is at his best mixing anecdotes with history to interest and entertain his readers. The reading is dramatic and gives a real sense of the place and people.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Being back in the world of Bryson


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Sunburn!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Bouncing around Bondi and the out-back


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Bryson - this is a must

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig MAIDSTONE, United Kingdom 10/10/2013
    Craig MAIDSTONE, United Kingdom 10/10/2013 Member Since 2013
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    "Awesome Listen"
    What made the experience of listening to Down Under the most enjoyable?

    the whole book from beginning to end was most enjoyable, the clever writing skills alongside the narrator William Roberts lead to a brilliant listen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Ryan
    Inglewood, Australia
    18/02/10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A safe bet!"

    I was first introduced to Bill Bryson, and first read Down Under during a 2 year holiday in the UK (I am Australian). It has been a long time since then and I thought this would be a great book to revisit and to cut my teeth on Audible as a new subscriber. The book was a great laugh and Bill portrays Australians and Australia in a way that makes me want to go there! :)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • lloyd
    mollymook, Australia
    15/10/11
    Overall
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    Story
    "alonzo"

    Very funny,entertaining , please Bill stay with an American accent, your Australian could cause a diplomatic incident, loved the book

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Steffan
    Albany, Western Australia
    17/02/11
    Overall
    "Got it Right Mate"

    This is an extremely insightful, very funny journey through a magnificent continent. Bryson captures the essence of the Australian landscape and the characters that make it a singularly extraordinary place to travel and live. I acknowledge his outstanding penmanship and appreciate his honest humour and natural affinity for all that is quirky. Well read and captivating. Well done.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    Frankston South, Australia
    30/01/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bryson Books Need Bryson Narration"

    I love Bill Bryson's writing, really I do. His books, audiobooks included, are some of my favourite and most revisited. And Down Under is a great book that is wholly ruined by the narrator, a whiny, pinch-voiced man who manages to take Bryson's wit and give it an air of smugness, sometimes bordering on spite. I don't know if I just despised the narrator because he was awful or because he was so utterly unsuitable to read Bryson. It doesn't help that he attempts accents and can't do them, making both English and Australian voices grating and high-pitched.
    Honestly, the narrator ruins the book, but if you want this or several of Bryson's other, earlier, books, then this is the standard you get. I loathe abridged books but at least they're read by the man himself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Rochford, United Kingdom
    02/07/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    As all Bill Bryson books I have read so far this is full of interesting facts that show the countries good and bad points in detail.


    What did you like best about this story?

    His time spent on the Barrier Reef


    What about William Roberts’s performance did you like?

    His diction and clearity of voice


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Just pure interest


    Any additional comments?

    Looking forward to listening to his other books having read most already

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • HBT
    Thyborøn, Denmark
    17/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bryson and Roberts - a match made in Heaven"
    If you could sum up Down Under in three words, what would they be?

    Sublime. Wonderful. Superb.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Thew combination of Bryson's wit and Robert's talent.


    Have you listened to any of William Roberts’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes!!! This is perhaps the best - his Australian accent is superb!!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes - again and again!


    Any additional comments?

    Bryson and Roberts in combination are perfect! As sad as I am to have read the last of the Bryson/Roberts works, I am so pleased I can hear them again and again when I need reminding that the world is a grand and wonderful place!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reuben
    America
    09/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A first Bill Bryson for me"

    The story itself held little appeal to me however the viewpoint of Australia from another culture sold me. Bryson does well to make a rather boring story into a mostly entertaining listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    31/01/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Down Under?

    Is it so through and so well written


    Have you listened to any of William Roberts’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He is good. I mean realy GOOD !!!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, no extreme reaction but fun all the way and yes my tear was flowing by laughter.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Garry
    Cannington, Australia
    30/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Making history easier for all"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I listened to this after being recommended to me, it told me more about Australia than I learned in school back n England. I think this should be oven to every migrant. Or at least a migrant book Like it as it would be less dry than official books.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Down Under?

    Plenty, but especially Eureka stockade


    Have you listened to any of William Roberts’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Notes from a small island which is a perfect companion


    Any additional comments?

    Very enjoyable, listen to this to give you some detail of the history of OZ but also about he people and places and then make that book you first step to more on Australia

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kerri
    Moolap, Australia
    21/09/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprise! It's Australia"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Down Under to be better than the print version?

    I spend as much time as I can reading or knitting. The audio version of the book allows me to do both.


    Which character – as performed by William Roberts – was your favorite?

    Although only a very small part, the ranger from the Alpine National Park and his observation of how lucky he is, was my favourite.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I could have sat and listened all at one I would have. I love the observations, anecdotes and historic references the author uses to tie it all together.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a great book. Bryson loves lists, there are lots of lists. He likes characters, Australia is full of them. He has a great sense of humour, Australians love to laugh (although sometimes at the expense of others). His observations of the behaviour, language and ritual made me (an Australian) nod and agree. There is so much information and Bryson visits a lot of places but his pattern of travel often makes no sense. You can't get from Adelaide to the Mornington Peninsula without going through Melbourne. And he missed Geelong!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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