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After tales from the USA and Britain, Bill Bryson turns his roving eye to Australia, the only island that is also a continent and the only continent that is also a country. It is the driest, flattest, most desiccated, infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents. It has more things that can kill you in a very nasty way that anywhere else. Yet when Bill Bryson travelled to Australia he promptly fell in love with the country. And who can blame him? The people are cheerful, the cities safe and clean, the food is excellent, the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines. He tries to find out why Aussies are so cool, digging up a past that reveals convicts, explorers, gold diggers and outlaws.
Bill Bryson's bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent, Neither Here Nor There 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. Bryson 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 bestsellers were on history - At Home: a Short History of Private Life, and One Summer: America 1927. Another travel book, A Walk in the Woods, has now become a major film starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. Bryson's new book is The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island. Bill Bryson was born in the American Mid-West, and is now living back in the UK. A former Chancellor of Durham University, he was President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England for five years, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society.
Winner of WH Smith Book Awards (Travel Writing) 2001 and WH Smith Book Awards: Travel 2001.