Tuesday, April 20, 2010

where I am transported

I'm visiting Australia. Not physically, more's the pity.

With a few minutes between appointments, I wandered into a small charity shop. Perusing the bookshelves, I spied a copy of In a Sunburned Country. I have been meaning to read this book for years, but somehow kept forgetting. Now was my chance. A perfect antidote to The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo.

After my appointment I settled into one of those comfy chairs by the window with a coffee and my new book. What happened next was not elegant. But if you have ever read Bill Bryson, you will understand.

I soon found myself making indelicate snorting noises. I was almost choking with the effort to keep from laughing out loud. Soon, I knew my face was red. And wet from the tears streaming down my cheeks. I stared out the window and composed myself and started again. My body was involuntarily shaking. Those leather chairs proved to be of little use in supporting me as I crumpled helplessly. I surreptitiously reached into my bag for a bottle of water as a distraction. But it was useless. I should have known better.

A couple minutes later, a man passed by me on his way out. "Must be a rip snorter", he said, with a wink.


  1. I hate when that happens!! Sounds like a great read! I have yet to get into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It is on my list of books TBR. My list is growing exponentially. Yikes!

  2. I love "rip-snorters" and I love Bill Bryson, so I'll have to check it out. I've never heard of it, so thanks for the cool review! Are you composed yet?

  3. I loved that book. Actually, I love anything by Bryson. His "The Mother Tongue - English and How It Got that Way" is brilliant.

  4. I've never read this, but I'll put it on my list of books to read on the bus!!

  5. I read this book and also laughed through it. Have you read "A Walk in the Woods?" Good stuff.

  6. SueAnn: it is a little embarrassing, to say the least!

    Susan: I was shocked to see that this is a 10 year old book! get it.
    and, yes, I'm fine. until the next chapter...

    Jazz: there are few authors who can consistently give you a good belly laugh seemingly from out of nowhere.

    XUP: well, that would be one way to get the two seater for yourself.

    SAW: yes, and Notes from an Island, and Neither Here nor There...

  7. ohmigosh. I have GOT to read this book. LOL

  8. Sanna, yeah I could use some laughs right now - with or without the snorting:)

  9. Brill Bryson is a very funny writer; this one of his has got away so far. After your post it is definitely on my list.

  10. Annie: if you haven't read any of his books, you are in for a real treat!

    Jeannette: oh dear. we all need a diversion from life every now and then, so why not find someone with a humurous take on life.

    Friko: and I found out that he has a new book coming out in October. yay!

  11. Bill Bryson is a master of the art of making the reader lose all control at laughing out loud.What fun!

  12. Meggie: and with his new book, he travels to every room in his house and writes about it... what fun, indeed!

  13. I found myself doing this recently. All alone with a book and convulsed with laughter.
    I think I will blog about it soon.

    Nuts in May

  14. Maggie: and then hours later, as the scene replays in your head, the laughter erupts all over again! instant happy.

  15. ...the only time I laughed...er snorted...out loud in public was in a doctors waiting room while reading David Sedaris. Now I have got to read Bryson:)

  16. I love him too and I loved that book. He does make you snort.

  17. ohhh i got excited thinking your were here lol

    p.s i moved my blog i can't remember if i emailed you the details(?)

  18. Some blokes would do anything for a rip-snorter beer........?

    I love most things Australian (although I'd have to visit during the summer when it's winter), especially Chris Lilley.

  19. Oliag: even if you haven't travelled to the places he writes about he is very, very funny.

    Nora: next time I will remember to read him in a less public place.

    Chloe: oh how I wish! I will give you fair warning when I visit again (and yes, you did send your new link and I like your new look)

    Lena: after I came back from Australia, I spent years pining to go back (and would watch any drivel on TV just to hear the accent)

  20. Embarrassing but rather wonderful too. i remember Bridget Jones' Diary reducing me to a similar state while I was commuting on the London Underground years ago. Of course, in London, nobody winks; everyone just avoids eye contact with the snorting nutter...

  21. DancingBeastie: oh yes, that was another one...
    all in all, it wasn't an unwelcome encounter!


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