In a sunburned country Discussion Guide: In a sunburned country by Bill Bryson
Other Works by Malcolm Gladwell
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?
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Suggestions for further reading
Great White Shark
The great whites are mostly in south, west and mid-east Australia.