Now that the book is over, I miss Cheryl Strayed. I loved having her in my life for 13 hours. She is so honest. She shares her dirty laundry and the good times too for the world to judge. I have a ton of respect for her. I was so impressed with every aspect of this book. I laughed and cried and gasped from shock.
Not everyone will love this book. It's very raw and without the fluff and floweryness of something like "Eat, Pray, Love."
Too often, books written based on a true story include too much hyperbole in turning the main character into a hero that did nothing wrong. This story is raw, and honest, and believable, and really well told.
The best part about this story is that it's true. No really, it's true. As you join Simpson in this tale, you'll find yourself saying "no way," but wow, it really happened.
The end of this story wrapped it up so well for me. I won't spoil anything in case you don't already know what happens, but I'll say, that any questions I had were answered by the end.
Whether you are a skier, a hiker, a mountaineer, or just love a great story about human strength and endurance, you'll love this story.
I discovered this book when I attended the traveling version of the Banff Film Festival, which is all about "outdoor" themed films and literature. This book won several awards, and it deserved them.
Tim Cope is a writer who takes this journey, not a dude who stumbles through the desert and then writes about it. The fact that he is a writer makes this book good. The fact that it is such a personal story makes it great.
This story is raw. Cope is super passionate about the nomads and the countries he visits. He really puts everything on the line for this experience.
I loved how he writes about the people he meets, his relationships with his animals, and his personal life. He also throws in a lot of historical facts about the regions he visits. The great thing is how they all work together. Some of the topics, like what the horses eat every day, could get dry, but he mixes it up with the other topics and it all just comes together so fluidly.
The narrator only gets three stars because he's way too dry. Cope's passion, and fears, and joys were sometimes lost in this reading. I think I would have enjoyed this story more if I'd read it instead of listening to it.
I love stories about epic journeys on foot, and the A.T is one of the most epic.
Really enjoyed Jeff's good natured, upbeat, steady-paced telling of his journey, could totally visualise being on the trail and it was engaging from beginning to end. Loved hearing about the landscape and terrain, the psychological ups and downs, the hiking strategies, the fellow through hikers, the shelters and the towns along the way, all very entertaining. For a non-professional writer, Jeff writes very well.
I'd already read Bill Bryson's Walk In The Woods, and if you want lots of reseach, history and hilariousness I highly recommend that - but it was great to hear this story knowing that Jeff had made it all the way to the end. In fact there was barely a moment when he doubted he would, which I imagine is pretty rare on the A.T.
As for tears and laughter - quite a few gentle laughs and just a few tears at the incredible acheivement of completion. If you like hearing about heroically long hikes over mountains and through forests, you should DEFINITELY get this.