A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail) Paperback – 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
But, if you love the outdoors, if current threats to wilderness get you up in arms, and if you've ever had a *bad* experience with food, getting lost, or your partner being annoying, you may like this book as much as I did -- which was an extraordinary and suprised amount. It is not always funny, not always historical, and not always a sheer and grand disgrace to the art of backpacking. But I enjoyed the mix so much that after I read it, I took it with me and read it aloud to my hiking partners over the 90 miles of the Wonderland trail. Go figure.
"A Walk in the Woods" is an extraordinary, entertaining travelogue on both the AT - the Appalachian Trail - and the people and places of small town America that dot the trail's path along the eastern seaboard from Georgia to Maine. At the same time, it is much, much more. Bryson is scathing in his political commentary and almost enraged criticism of the ongoing state of mismanagement and the sadly misguided policies of both the Parks and Forest Services of the US government. "A Walk in the Woods" is also a deeply moving introspective examination on the nature of friendship, family, perseverance, joy and despondency.Read more ›
As you may already know, the book is about the author's trek through the woods on the Appalachian Trail with a male friend in the mid-1990's. This famous trail, the author informs us in Chapter 1, is over 2100 miles long stretching from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine. It is also NO walk in the park as walking the trail holds very potential dangers of not only being seriously injured but also possibly being killed. In the early chapters of the book the author describes these dangers in very specific ways including, but not being limited to, the possibility of being eaten by bears, bitten by poisonous snakes, struck by lightning, getting lost and dying from hypothermia or even being murdered by someone of the human species. At this early juncture you begin to wonder, under those circumstances, why anyone, in their right mind, would choose to walk this perilous trail.
Continuing on, however, the book evolves into a real adventure story. Like his friend, the author admits to being middle-aged, somewhat overweight, even rather shamed by a similar aged, overweight but very annoying woman they encounter early on. At first he doesn't appear to much like his own walking companion either but then realizes, despite his faults, he, like the author, holds a spirit of adventure in him that keeps propelling the two forward.Read more ›
I read two of Bryson's books (Mother Tongue and A Short History of Nearly Everything, Illustrated Edition) and decided I wanted to read more of this author. I ordered from Amazon, and this was one of the four Bryson titles I selected. Eventually, and for no other reason than I expected that this book would be the best, I decided to save 'A Walk in the Woods' for last. Well, as it happened, the books I ended up reading before it are now favorites, while this book is still reckoned as a disappointment. It may possibly be that, by saving this book for last I had invested it with unwarranted expectations, but, it in the end I could only conclude that this book is not Bryson at his best...
There is lots of typical Bryson humor here (I love the gadget buying stuff, for example) but the fact remains that when I saw that this was about an Appalachian Trail book, I assumed we would get an account of a trail traversal. Not so. Bill and his companion last only a few weeks on the trail and then quit about a quarter way through. That shouldn't matter perhaps, if journalistic truth is the ultimate goal, but the fact is that an 'adventure' book like this needed a good story with closure; The style, I felt, demanded that there be a successful finish somewhere... As it stands the book disappoints fundamentally.... after the failure to conclude the trail, the chapters that discuss subsequent hikes are just superfluous.
Bill .... walk the trail. Get back to us after-wards.....
Most recent customer reviews
Next to his book "In a sunburnt country", this is the best of all of Bill Bryson's books I have read so far. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Alfhard Brandl
Loved every step of it, will probably read it again too! I will carry part of this book on every trail.Published 3 months ago by Mountain forest nymph
Impeccable condition. First Edition and signed by the author as advertised by The Bookbarn International team. Very pleased with the service rendered. Read morePublished 3 months ago by maria forster
A fascinating story. Interesting reading about the trail I knew very little until now. The only way I would hike the trail!Published 3 months ago by Lucyluck
Love Bill Bryson's humour, good nature and all the bits of information, history and all, that he inserts. Enjoyable and informative.Published 3 months ago by Tonya Kaye
An absolutely great movie and the acting is fantastic but the book is even better. Bill Bryson is witty most of the time and when he's not he's hilarious! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I purchased this book for my husband. He couldn't put it down. As with all other Bill Bryson books--if you like adventure with humor you will enjoy this book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Courtney
Beginning strong, but, in the middle it get slow, going nowhere, and it seems at the end a last small burst of inspiration; overall, ok , but not the book you would read from the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer