BILL BRYSON - Down Under , in hardback , published by Doubleday in 2000 . 4th impression .
The book is signed by the author - I met Bill at a recent signing for the release of his book , One Summer : America 1927 .
A book by the author of A Walk In The Woods and Notes From A Big Country .
" ' It was as if I had privately discovered life on another planet , or a parallel universe where life was at once recognizably similar but entirely different . I can’t tell you how exciting it was . Insofar as I had accumulated my expectations of Australia at all in the intervening years , I had thought of it as a kind of alternative southern California , a place of constant sunshine and the cheerful vapidity of a beach lifestyle , but with a slightly British bent - a sort of Baywatch with cricket ... '
" Of course , what greeted Bill Bryson was something rather different . Australia is a country that exists on a vast scale . It is the world’s sixth largest country and its largest island . It is the only island that is also a continent and the only continent that is also a country . It is the driest , flattest , hottest , most desiccated , infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents and still it teems with life - a large proportion of it quite deadly .
" In fact , Australia has more things that can kill you in a very nasty way than anywhere else . This is a country where even the fluffiest of caterpillars can lay you out with a toxic nip , where seashells will not just sting you but actually sometimes go for you . If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner , you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles , or carried helplessly out to sea by irresistable currents , or left to stagger to an unhappy death in the baking outback .
" Ignoring such dangers - yet curiously obsessed by them - Bill Bryson journeyed to Australia and promptly fell in love with the country . And who can blame him ? The people are cheerful , extrovert , quick-witted and unfailingly obliging ; their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water ; the food is excellent ; the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines . Life doesn’t get much better than this . "
About Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson’s bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent , A Walk in the Woods and Notes from a Small Island , which in a national poll was voted the book that best represents Britain .
His acclaimed book on the history of science , A Short History of Nearly Everything , won the Royal Society’s Aventis Prize as well as the Descartes Prize , the European Union’s highest literary award .
He has written books on language , on Shakespeare , and on his own childhood in the hilarious memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid .
His last critically lauded bestseller was At Home : a Short History of Private Life and his most recent critically lauded book , One Summer : America 1927 chronicles a forgotten summer when America came of age and changed the world for ever .
He was born in the American Midwest , and lives in the UK .
Very good condition - some creasing to the dust jacket and some slight discolouration , mainly to the top and edges of the pages - quite a decent copy .
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