Skip to main content
PBS logo

Book Reviews of A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods
A Walk in the Woods
Author: Bill Bryson
ISBN-13: 9780767902519
ISBN-10: 0767902513
Publication Date: 5/4/1998
Pages: 288
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 119 ratings
Publisher: Broadway
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

13 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

Page5 avatar reviewed A Walk in the Woods on
Helpful Score: 4
Great book! I loved all of the facts and information about the Appalachian Trail and the task of completing the journey. Many humorous asides about the shopping for the trek and the "what ifs" that could happen along the trail. His companion for much of the hike, Katz, was a total crack up! I have to admit that the book lagged for me a little about 2/3 of the way through but overall it was very good.

I've become a fan of Bryson's - I like his humor :-)
booksquirrel avatar reviewed A Walk in the Woods on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Refreshing. Hilarious! Very informative. Makes me want to hike the Appalachian Trail myself, but I feel like I did mostly because Bill Bryson writes in such crisp detail.

I picked this up and was instantly hooked. I love non-fiction travel accounts, and this was top notch. Not only is it filled with so much information that I feel confident I could brave the AT now, but the witty banter between Bryson and his cohort, Stephen Katz, is so freaking funny. The hilarity that ensues the whole time they are together, the mixture of friends they make along the way, the facts, the stories Bryson tells within the story, his cleverly pitched campaigns to the reader about better treatment of America's natural and historic legends are just a few more reasons why this book is so entertaining. Bryson's writing is so genuine and heartfelt. Very pleasant to read!

I think I will get the audio book for fun. I really loved this book, and I think I'll appreciate it even more hearing it told by the author himself. I'll probably laugh till I burst while I'm listening. I can't wait!
scarymary avatar reviewed A Walk in the Woods on
Helpful Score: 2
As a hiker and a lover of humorous writing, this is my all time favorite non-fiction book!! Absolutely gut busting funny and informative at the same time. I will never hike the AP trail (I have this annoying thing called a JOB that I need to keep and make money to pay bills) it is still a very eye - opening book about the trail, it's history, and some of it's highlights.
reviewed A Walk in the Woods on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
loved it
icesk8tr avatar reviewed A Walk in the Woods on + 363 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
VEry good story about the author walking the Appalation trail. Really brings the task into perspective.
reviewed A Walk in the Woods on
Helpful Score: 1
Appalacian trail adventure. Great!
reviewed A Walk in the Woods on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Returning to the U.S. after 20 years in England, Iowa native Bryson decided to reconnect with his mother country by hiking the length of the 2100-mile Appalachian Trail. Awed by merely the camping section of his local sporting goods store, he nevertheless plunges into the wilderness and emerges with a consistently comical account of a neophyte woodsman learning hard lessons about self-reliance. Bryson (The Lost Continent) carries himself in an irresistibly bewildered manner, accepting each new calamity with wonder and hilarity. He reviews the characters of the AT (as the trail is called), from a pack of incompetent Boy Scouts to a perpetually lost geezer named Chicken John. Most amusing is his cranky, crude and inestimable companion, Katz, a reformed substance abuser who once had single-handedly "become, in effect, Iowa's drug culture." The uneasy but always entertaining relationship between Bryson and Katz keeps their walk interesting, even during the flat stretches. Bryson completes the trail as planned, and he records the misadventure with insight and elegance. He is a popular author in Britain and his impeccably graceful and witty style deserves a large American audience as well.
reviewed A Walk in the Woods on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i want to walk the trail with bill and katz. i read this book about twice a year, and wanderlust and daydreams consume me and call me to grab a backpack and venture into the woods. sometimes i do. what a pleasure this book has been to me.
reviewed A Walk in the Woods on + 4 more book reviews
Hilarious! And informative. Some good examples of what NOT to do. Presents a real view of life on the trail.
reviewed A Walk in the Woods on + 3 more book reviews
My partner and I have just started to enjoy hiking. We haven't tackled anything like the Appalachian Trail, nor do we anticipate doing so anytime in the near future. Perhaps something more like the Camino to start with.

Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed A Walk in the Woods. Bill Bryson pivots from hiking experiences, to trends and historical data, to comedic episodes with Katz, his partner, and other characters along the way. Making the whole read most enjoyable.

I found myself taking passages and rereading them to the family, and us all having a chuckle together. His portrayal of the mind of the Moose from page 241 being a great example.

I loved the book and recommend it, to all but the hardened hikers.
reviewed A Walk in the Woods on
A little slow in places, but still a very funny Bryson book!
PabloRafael avatar reviewed A Walk in the Woods on + 19 more book reviews
Though the writing style of Bill Bryson is quite enjoyable, the book was a disappointment for me. He did not hike all of the Appalachian trail. He only hiked the southern end and then just bits and pieces of the rest. The New Jersey and New York section were skipped, and he totally gave up on the section in Maine after a few days. I was looking forward to experiencing a complete hike of the Appalachian trail.
reviewed A Walk in the Woods on
Great book! Plenty of information, and also funny.