I wish I had discovered Bill Bryson's writing much earlier. I already have another of his books on order (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail). Bryson's writing is witty and at times hysterical, as he takes us across the mysterious, engrossing and never ending source of gripping, tragic, tragic-comic, and comic stories that are Australia's history, people, land and unimaginable numbers of flaura and fauna. He is self-effacing but is willing to "efface" others when justified, not holding back when his encounters leave something to be desired.
He explores the Australian character via anecdotes of personal experience and history, and gives a comprehensive perspective and understading of this most unusual and mostly ignored continent/country. If you are interested in a voyeuristic experience that goes beyond the standard American's knowledge about Australia of kangaroos, Steve Irwin and the Bee Gees, and want to be laughing and enthralled at the same time, read this book.