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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
A Walk in the Woods Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail Author:Bill Bryson The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaing guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the... more » history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).« less
I'm a backpacker; the kind of person who packs up a pack with a tent and food and disappears for long periods of time in the woods on marked trails. When not in the woods, I'm frequently on a backpacking discussion forum. From time to time, Bryson's name comes up as the ultimate definition of "not a backpacker". When this happens, half of the posters defend him, stating that even though he did not hike the entire Appalachian Trail, his text is inspiring enough that it has led others to the trail. The other half of the posters call him a sniveler and a whiner.
I had to see for myself, so I ordered a copy of his book. Okay, so Bryson is not a trail legend like Jack Tarlin or Minnesota Smith (the latter being someone who is known to overpack toilet paper to the tune of six rolls for a week long hike). But while Bryson cannot contribute an expert's account of a difficult sport, he can provide a humorous tale of two average folks who are ill equipped for the rigors of backpacking. Furthermore, he does it while incorporating a good deal of interesting trail history.
So to those who would quibble about whether the mileage Bryson has logged qualifies him to write a book, I say: "Put down your argument and pick up this book!"
Karin H. (AuntieK) reviewed A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail on
Helpful Score: 20
We read this book aloud to each other on a long car trip, and what a great choice it was! It lent itself well to being shared, and was incredibly funny. Mr Bryson provides a delicious account his personal trip on the Appalachian Trail, adding information about the history of the Appalachian Trail, some of the flora and fauna, and some information about the National Parks Service, of which he most definitely has an opinion. Don't let the information bits put you off reading the book; you need the breaks from laughing.
This was a great read! I am basically a fiction reader, but this book got me from the first page. The author really makes hiking the Appalachian Trail sound very interesting...lots of facts, humor (and opinions) about the trail, the locales and the people you meet along the way.
Bill Bryson is a wonderful story teller. The book is about his adventure hiking the Appalachian Trail, the people he meets along the way, facts, figures and history about the forests, the trail, and spots along the way. Just as several of his other travel books, this one is filled with wit, wisdom and a story like few are able to tell.
I liked this book better than "AWOL On The Appalachian Trail"; aside from some brief politicizing (all of which I agreed with and I understand why the author included it), it doesn't have the same feel as "AWOL" but presents the experience with more wit. The single greatest difference is the authors' perspective on FOOD: "AWOL" focuses a great deal on the need to obtain more and more nutrition at every possible place (off the trail) while "A Walk..." focuses more on the things I would most likely notice: surroundings and the ever present thought, "Why the HECK am I doing this?" Why, indeed.