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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail) [Paperback]

Bill Bryson
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (656 customer reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great adventure story but so much more..., Jan. 22 2012
By Cynthia Danute Cekauskas, LCSW TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book is SO GOOD you feel compelled to comment about it and encourage others (especially those who like to take long walks in the woods) to READ it. I bought my copy at the Unicoi State Park gift shop in Helen, Georgia during a recent trip there. It is great to know that the book is also available on www.amazon.ca.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly disappointing Sept. 8 2010
By C. J. Thompson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A brief history of my acquaintance with this book is in order, I think ...

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.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars memories of times past Jan. 16 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Several decades ago I met a wonderful young lady from Maine and we hiked the AT near Katahdin Iron Works and Mt. Katahdin on many occasions. As we approach 44 years of marriage, I stumbled across "A Walk In the Woods "and all those great memories came rushing back thanks to a great storyteller. Thanks Bill!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Dec 27 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
good reading.very well done as are all his books should be a must read fro anybody with a sense of adventure
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5.0 out of 5 stars My boyfriend love it Dec 24 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I gave it to my boyfriend for his birthday and he laughed a lot throughout the reading. Didn't even had to ask if he liked it. :D
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3.0 out of 5 stars Long Book Sept. 12 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have not quite finished it. I got tired of reading it but will finish is at some point. I enjoyed the humourous parts and also found the history parts quite interesting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great vacation read July 15 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As we travelled to another hiking area, the adirondacks, I purchased this book. We have hiked one small portion of the Appalachians, and bill mentions sunfish lake specifically.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read March 7 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bryson is magic - don't read in a public place or before sleep it will have you giggling out loud
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