AE 332 – WWP: In A Sunburned Country Book Review

Learn Australian English in this WWP episode of Aussie English where I review the book IN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY by Bill Bryson.

Subscribe to the podcast: iTunes | Android | RSS


Download the PDF + MP3


AE 332 – WWP:

In A Sunburned Country Book Review

What’s going on guys? Welcome to this episode of Walking With Pete. I’m out here.

Just crossed the road from my house. Walking across Flemington Road and up into the park. Just felt like going for a little late-night walk.

I think it’s about 9:20, maybe 9:30, in the evening.

And it’s pretty cold. It’s pretty cold. I thought oh yeah I’ll only need one jumper.

And I walked outside, let the door shut behind me, and instantly it was like, ah…

Totally, should’ve gotten another one, but I’m sure I’ll get warm as soon as I start walking, I thought.

So, we’ll see how we go. But, I tell you what I’m so glad that I have grown a beard this year.

The beard was totally underrated by me. And I didn’t appreciate just how cold my chin used to always be.

So, for men listening to the podcast, if you’re somewhere cold think about growing a beard.

And, for women, I guess, get a really thick scarf.

Unless you can, you know, grow a beard. In which case, power to you. Go for it.

So yeah, I thought I would go out here for a walk tonight and just have a chat to you guys.

Come up with some topics to chat about. I hadn’t really thought of any.

So, I’ll just keep chatting away until I come up with some. I guess one thing I can do is sort of review the Bill Bryson book that I recently read or, rather, listened to.

So, I listened to this as an audio book. This was amazing. So, Bill Bryson’s an author.

I believe he’s from the US. I think he’s from Dartmouth College, actually. So, a University over in the US.

And he wrote a book called, I think it’s either Down Under or In A Sunburned Country. I’ve seen both titles.

So, I think it depends on if you get it and it’s the British version, which is probably going to be In A Sunburnt Country, and I think that he made the US version of the book just Down Under, or something like that.

Anyway, I should’ve reviewed it straight after having read it, but I only just remembered now that I hadn’t.

So, I really recommend reading it. This guy’s great. He’s a really good writer.

Very high level of English that he uses, although you will definitely understand it even if you’re at intermediate, upper intermediate, and getting into advanced with regards to your Australian English.

I think if you can understand me and the kind of language that I use, he’s obviously a lot more advanced, but I think you’ll be fine.

Anyway, he’s really funny. He’s kind of Australian with regards to his humour, because he takes the piss out of himself.

He takes the mickey out of himself. Meaning that he makes fun of himself. He pokes fun at himself.

He makes himself the centre of a lot of his jokes.

And so, he came over to Australia, and I think this book was in the late 90s.

It was probably… I think it was ’97 or ’98 that he was out here. And he toured the country.

So, he went to… all over the place. He was in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide.

He went to Perth, and then drove up the coast there. He also goes to Alice Springs, Darwin, Brisbane, and I think even Cairns.

So, he really hits all the big major cities in Australia, and sort of… you get to see Australia through his eyes, ’cause he describes what the locals are like.

What the local people are like. He describes what the places are like that he goes to.

He talks constantly about our culture, our politics, our history, our language.

And so, I think if you guys get this book, if you download it from Audible or something online whether it’s an audio book or the physical book or a PDF of the book, whatever it is, I think you guys’ll get a lot out of it.

Aside from the fact that he will have. Really good English for you guys to be reading and practicing, and also obviously listening too, but that you’ll get to see Australia through his eyes as an American.

And so, despite myself obviously being an Australian, it was really interesting to read his book, because I got to see my own country through the eyes of a foreigner, through the eyes of an American.

And I’ve just seen a fox run in front of me. That was interesting. Little dog.

So, we have Red Foxes in Australia that are a pest species, and I’m just walking through the park at the moment.

And yeah, he’s obviously out hunting, looking for food. He just ran right in front of me about five metres away.

I was like, is that a rabbit? And then, I realised it’s a lot bigger than a rabbit. It’s a little dog.

So, anyway yeah, red foxes. They were introduced to Australia I think in the 1800s by the British, by the English.

I don’t know if it was for hunting or if it was more to do with just trying to make Australia more like Britain, which is the reason they introduced a lot of pest species here in Australia.

But yeah, when you get here you might be surprised, especially if you’re from Western Europe, I think, where they have red foxes, you’ll be surprised to see these guys running around Australia.

Anyway, back to this book. I think it’s absolutely brilliant. He writes really well.

He’s really funny. He’s really witty.

He’s very in-depth with his analysis of things as well, and there’s a lot of pop culture in there too.

Like, he talks about current affairs, or at least it makes jokes that are a bit “pop culture-y”.

So, in the realm of pop culture.

That sort of happens when we put the “-y” sound on the end of it, the Y on it.

But, that’s me playing with the English language there, guys.

But yeah, so I would definitely read it again. I reckon you guys should definitely check it out.

His name is Bill Bryson, and I will double check, but I believe it’s called In A Sunburnt Country.

And Australia has that name because we have the ozone layer above us, or the hole in the ozone layer just above us, directly above us.

And so, a lot of UV gets through and sunburns as a result of being exposed to sunlight and receiving, you know, quite a high dose of UV radiation, sunburns in Australia are very common.

And so, Australia quite often as well, I assume, because of the aridity, the dryness, the heat, it has been referred to throughout our history by a lot of different names, but one of them is “The Sunburnt Country”.

So, I think it’s called In Sunburnt Country, or it’ll be called Down Under.

Either way, his name is Bill Bryson, B I L L, and then, his surname which is B R Y S O N. I think it is BrySON.

I think you guys really like it. So, definitely check it out.

And I might leave it at that for this Walking With Pete episode.

I hope you guys enjoyed it and I’ll see you soon.

Peace out guys.


Download the PDF + MP3