In a sunburned country Discussion Guide: In a sunburned country by Bill Bryson
Other Works by Malcolm Gladwell
- One SummerISBN: 0767919416The summer of 1927 began with Charles Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Babe Ruth was closing in on the home run record. In Newark, New Jersey, Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly sat atop a flagpole for twelve days, and in Chicago, the gangster Al Capone was tightening his grip on bootlegging. The first true "talking picture," Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer, was filmed, forever changing the motion picture industry. All this and much, much more transpired in the one year.
- At HomeISBN: 0767919394With his signature wit, charm, and seemingly limitless knowledge, Bill Bryson takes us on a room-by-room tour through his own house, using each room as a jumping off point into the vast history of the domestic artifacts.
- I'm a Stranger Here MyselfISBN: 076790382XAfter living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States. He was greeted by a new and improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, twenty-four-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item.
Box Jellyfish/Sea Wasp
The venom of the sea wasp is the second most powerful of any animal (the geographic sea cone is first) and the sting can on occasion prove fatal. It is estimated that each animal contains enough venom to kill 60 adult humans. In extreme cases death by cardiac arrest has occurred in less than five minutes after being stung.
TMS Summer Series: Bill Bryson - Australia
Interview with Malcolm Gladwell
Possible topics of discussion
Discuss the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne. How has the Olympics affected this rivalry?
Small town Australia seems stuck in the 1950s. Give examples of this phenomenon from Bryson's travels.
Give some examples of Australia's toxic fauna. Discuss the irony with which Australians deal with their many potentially lethal critters.
Discuss the plight of the Aborigines. Give examples from other parts of the world where indigenous peoples came into conflict with colonizers. How is the plight of the Aborigine similar to these examples? How is it different?
Bryson relates the stories of multiple expeditions to find a convenient path through the country's interior. Discuss these missions, their successes and failures.
Does Bill Bryson's sarcastic humor undermine his sense of awe? Does his self-deprecation help to mitigate this?
Reserve a copy
- In a Sunburned CountryAustralia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance.
Suggestions for further reading
- My Life in France byISBN: 0307277690Julia Child was not always a master chef. Indeed, when she first arrived in France in 1948. She spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever with her new-found passion for cooking and teaching.
- All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes byISBN: 067973404XIn 1962 the poet, musician, and performer Maya Angelou claimed another piece of her identity by moving to Ghana, joining a community of "Revolutionist Returnees" inspired by the promise of pan-Africanism. All God's Children Need Walking Shoes is her lyrical and acutely perceptive exploration of what it means to be an African American on the mother continent, where color no longer matters.
- The Places in Between byISBN: 0156031566In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers.
- Italian Ways byISBN: 0393348822Now, in his first Italian travelogue in a decade, he delivers a charming and funny portrait of Italian ways by riding its trains from Verona to Milan, Rome to Palermo, and right down to the heel of Italy.
Great White Shark
The great whites are mostly in south, west and mid-east Australia.