This is a fantastic book of perspective and in an odd way, filters stress from everyday life, leaving a seeping cup of tea that you can't wait to continue drinking.
Dregs, though! How much I've forgotten from school! This book is a ghastly reminder of all the facts and figures that somehow leaked out of the follicles of my scalp and into oblivion. On the other hand, much information in this book has been obtained since my school days long ago, and therefore, this book is chock full of very interesting and usable morsels of human history.
I keep trying to choose my favorite Bryson book, and he keeps making it increasingly difficult to do so, but maybe this little take on it will help you decide whether or not to buy it: you'll be the life of the party with all this stuff knocking around in your head waiting for the right moment in which to spring up and scck it to 'em (whoever 'em may be)! And, inevitably, it will come rolling out at just the right moment. Go ahead, get out the dusty punch bowl and give 'er a test spin.
When you do begin the book, just make sure that every time you hear a date or a name, mentally pin it up on the board with a big imaginary red thumb tack, because it's probably something you'll want to remember. I hate admitting having to do this, but it is, afterall, an audio book, which means presumbaly, you'll be doing other things besides reading when absorbing the information therein.
So thumb-tack away, because it's really, honestly, worth every penny and more. Enjoy, and share the information you've learned with 100 of your closest friends. It will give you all an awful lot to talk about. Just remember to warn then that they may end up exchanging their current favorite author for this one, so be prepared.
I thoroughly enjoyed Bryson's descriptiveness, descriptivosity, descriptivemania, even. Let's push it: descriptions of descriptions. Enough of that, the book was downright great and placed me smack in the middle of the AT walking with him and his companion.
Set aside the sheer fantasy of being able to do this in today's world, with mortgages and jobs, he really made the best of the time he was afforded in the woods, and that is respectable.
It's not a predictable book by any means. I didn't expect a single thing that came next. That's the beauty of Bryson's brain; it keeps you on your toes.
I found these two clowns my own companions on my long drives through New Mexico and I really felt a loss when the book was done because I wasn't ready for the adventure to end. I had pulled into a Sonic Drive-in to eat when the last track ran out, thinking, damn, no, it can't be over yet. I must have had a sour look on my face because the carhop looked in the window as if to say, "Hey, OK in there?". I don't want your damn mustard, I want another track.
I was with these guys through northern New Mexico, southern New Mexico and lots of points in between. I kinda miss them. They became familiar and I wanted to see what was going to happen next.
I often miss the days of my own outrageous adventures and this book really brought all the newness, life and brilliance back into the memories and richly added new ones for me.
VERY WORTHWHILE LISTENING.
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