- Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Seal Books (Dec 26 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400025117
- ISBN-13: 978-1400025114
- Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.8 x 17.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 204 g
- Average Customer Review: 840 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America Along the Appalachian Trail Mass Market Paperback – Dec 26 2006
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“A comic tour de force.”
—The Globe and Mail
“A Walk in the Woods is just the thing to take on vacation. Bryson does all the work … while the reader only has to worry about falling out bed, hammock or deck chair laughing.”
—The Gazette (Montreal)
“Bryson is a terrific stylist. You can’t help but enjoy his writing for its cheer and buoyancy, and for the frequent demonstration of his peculiar, engaging turn of mind.”
—Bill Richardson in The Ottawa Citizen
“Short of doing it yourself, the best way of escaping into nature is to read a book like A Walk in the Woods.”
—The New York Times
--The Washington Post Book World
"Bryson is . . . great company right from the start--a lumbering, droll, neatnik intellectual who comes off as equal parts Garrison Keillor, Michael Kinsley, and . . . Dave Barry."
--The New York Times Book Review
"A Walk in the Woods is an almost perfect travel book."
--The Boston Globe
About the Author
Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa. He settled in England in 1977 and lived for many years with his wife and four children in North Yorkshire. He recently returned to the US and now lives in New Hampshire. Bryson's first bestseller was The Lost Continent, a journey through the USA by car. Notes from a Small Island was a #1 bestseller in Canada and spent 43 weeks on the trade paperback list in the UK.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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The book is made entertaining through the portrayal of its two main characters. Take two old guys who couldn't be any more different and watch them to hike, voluntarily, hundreds and hundreds of miles through the American wilderness, and you have a recipe for a great read. The interactions between Bryson and his bumbling compatriot Katz reflect the very real camaraderie that emerges from shared toil and punishment. These guys bicker, fight, disagree, and ultimately find their peace between one another through comical scenario after comical scenario.
This is truly where the book shines the most. Bryson, caring deeply about the history and long-term survivability of the Appalachian Trail, veers off from the two character's main story towards long side-rants detailing his admiration for the trail and how it came to be. These sections seem to fill in fairly long chapters, and anyone not so much interested in the history of the trail could find their interest waning as they try to get through those sections, much like Bryson and Katz as they climbed over numerous hills.
Personally I found them well researched, if a bit dry. I always hoped to come back to the sections depicting the two men's efforts, and their interactions between themselves and the cast of interesting characters they'd encountered along the way. The thing is, you can't have a book full of these interactions when your book is based around walking through the forest. Only so many things can happy when you're with the same person, day in, day out, and surrounded by trees. This makes the historical sections tend to feel like filler, necessary chapters to help add heft to an otherwise interesting, if sparse, tale about two companions facing off against nature (and occasionally each other).
I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys hiking or is interested in hiking the Appalachian Trail. There are a lot of great, in direct tips and pieces of advice that could help the less experienced better prepare for their own buddy adventures in the great American wilderness. Just be prepared to have to trudge along a few chapters in order to get to the good stuff.
Also he is a through researcher and gives you a different angel of looking at things, I can buy all sorts of travel books that keeps praising a destination and telling you how great it is, but I think Bill is not trying to convince you to go somewhere, he says it as it is
Having hiked on and near Appalachian Trail myself in North Carolina, Shenandoah National Park, and Berkshires in Massachusetts, I could relate to the ordeal of our two adventurers. Being a day or section hiker, I am not able to comprehend the amount of courage and determination it takes for 'through hikers' for being that. So I can rise up on my feet and salute Bill Bryson and all those 'through hikers' any time.
This book will make you laugh and will make you weep at least in your heart. It was published in mid-90s, but is still useful and an excellent read.
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