YES! I learned and laughed a lot. Bryson has a way of making you feel as though you're along for the journey.
McQuay has such a boring voice. I wish more than anything that Bill Bryson narrated it himself as he does in the abridged version. I really felt like his narration did the book such an injustice.
I will never walk the AT, but after listening to this audio book I feel like I've been there, the narrator's voice is great and along with the adventure of walking the AT this book is very informative without being tedious.
Of course I love the two main characters Bill Bryson and Steven Katz, they are kind of opposites and the dynamic between them is amusing.
He has a great voice, enjoyable to listen to and I love the way he changes his voice for each character.
The reading would have been much better with a lot less 'acting'. Less would have been more.
This is one of my favorite books of all times, but I found the reading so distractingly bad that I had to stop listening about half way through. The first time I read the book, I literally laughed so hard it hurt on several occassions. No such moments occurred as I listened to this rendition.
The best way I can explain it is that the narrator read the story in a way that parents read bedtime stories to very young children. Overexagerated and condescending in a way that assumes the listener will miss 'the funny' unless the reader goes out of his way to point to it. It would be and, in fact, is exponentially funnier when it's played straight as Bryson himself reads it in the abridged version.
I love the book. Absolutely brilliant. I absolutely HATED this reading of it.
If you're a fan of the book, avoid this reading at all costs and buy the version where Bill Bryson reads it himself. The two readings are night and day.
This was the first Bill Bryson book I read, and soon after went on the hunt for his others. But this unabridged version is not read by Mr Bryson, I had grown accustomed to his voice, and was disappointed to hear anther's voice, Bill does read his abridged version.
I love his outlook on the world, and his humorous bit of sarcasm. It lends hope to us other midlifers, that if Bill and Katz can walk a few hundred miles, then surely a couch potato like me can also.
This was a very boring book.... I thought it was supposed to be a lot funnier. Aside from a line or two every few chapters, it was very boring.... However, I did learn a few good facts about trees and the Appalachian trail.
Bryson is a great writer and the narrator did a wonderful job of capturing the humor. I was mesmerized by his experience and his relationship with his friend Katz.
When Bryson "loses" his friend Katz in the woods.
The female hiker they ran into who asserted herself as a hiking expert (and chastised them for their amateurish methods).
I am listening to most of Bryson's books now after listening to my favorite book of 2013--One Summer, America 1927which he wrote. I am not always sure about how listening to some books would be better listened to than read, but his books are amazing audiobooks. The performances really add to the story.
No. Too many other books to read.
I'm planning to do day hikes through the AT and wanted to read about someone who had done it.
I haven't listened to him prior. At first I wasn't engaged with the narrator, however as the book progressed I really liked it. His style is engaging and he is the perfect voice for the author.
Quick and funny listen. I was sorry the author completed his walk.
So. California native, now living in Austin, TX
I read this to compare and contrast to Chery Strayed's book, "Wild" about walking the PCT. Trying to decide which trail I want to undertake in a couple years. There was so much great trail and wildlife info in this book, but craftily couched in an entertaining rendition of the time on the trail.
There were many moments I could picture myself on the trail, so well described. Loved it!
This book makes me want to hike more! I learned a lot about the history of the AT and enjoyed the stories of Bryson's travels. I really enjoyed his sometimes hiking partner (and all of his issues) and also hearing about some of the odd people they met along the trail. The AT sounds intimidating, amazing, spiritual, enlightening and beautiful. It's a good read and a great way to experience the AT a little bit without strapping on a heavy pack and getting blisters on your feet.
The reader was very enjoyable - nice tone and a few character voices. Definitely a good choice!
I've read this book many times and was pleased to find an unabridged audio version. But the narrator chose to read Katz's dialogue in a low monotone, mispronounces common words ("willy-ness" instead of wiliness, Mackinac with a hard c) and uses a long a in Appalachian (admittedly a pet peeve -- I live near the trail in Western North Carolina and it is pronounced with a short "a" by people who live in the Appalachian mountains. Using the long "a" labels you as an outsider). I couldn't finish listening to it.
I'll have to stick with the abridged version read by Bryson himself.