The Appalachian Trail adventure of Walk in the Woods was the first Bill Bryson book I listened to and it launched me into his other travels ("Notes from a Small Island", "Neither Here Nor There").
Bryson reading his own books adds spirit to the tales. In "Walk in the Woods", the imagery he draws of his travelling buddy, Katz, lumbering through the woods makes the inexperienced Bryson appear out to be a mix of Daniel Boone and David Letterman. Some of the best moments are the more serious history of the AT, changes/losses of nature on the trail, and foolishness of the National Parks Circus. Bryson is even, he notes the vastness and hazards of the wilderness and relatively unvisited spaces, not arguing to make the AT some kind of museum piece. Walk in the Woods doesn't have as much of the wild exaggerations of his other books. It's all done with humor that makes every cranky bear laugh out loud.
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