In 2003, software engineer David Miller left his job, family, and friends to hike 2,172 miles of the Appalachian Trail. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is Miller’s account of this thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. Listeners are treated to rich descriptions of the Appalachian Mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the rewards of taking a less conventional path through life. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about hiking gear and planning. This is not merely a travel guide; it is a beautifully written and highly personal view into one man’s journey and the insights gained by abandoning what is comfortable and routine.
©2011 David Miller (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"David Miller’s AWOL makes you feel the pain and joy of an Appalachian Trail thru-hike.... In vivid colors, David paints a picture of his memorable journey." (Larry Luxenberg Director of the Appalachian Trail Museum)
AWOL's experience allows the reader to feel like they are traveling step-by-step with him on his journey.
The narrator did not seem like the correct choice for this story. He had little-to-no inflection about any of the experiences on the Trail.
Any readers/listeners who liked Bill Bryson's "Walk in the Woods" might want to check out this book, but they should also be aware that this is a serious Trail journal. There are humorous moments in the book, but that's not the point of this book. Anyone who is serious about hiking the AT should probably check this book out, it is quite helpful.
A trope of many hiking books is how I hiked the Big Trail even though I'd never hiked before and was out of shape, started out with a pack full of useless stuff that I could hardly carry, and made a lot of other really stupid mistakes, until I gradually became competent and learned to love the trail. This theme gets old after a few books--no one, after all, can quite come up to Bill Bryson's level of incompetence or hilarity--so I was delighted to begin a hiking book in which the author was fit for the trail and knew what he was doing. And I continued to enjoy it. The author is one of those guys who regularly puts in 20-mile days--after all, he's there to hike--and doesn't seem to be a jerk to boot. I recommend this piece of hiking literature; it'll give you a feel for hiking the AT without having to hear some of the usual hiker neuroses.
As an avid hiker / backpacker who lives in the Appalachian mountains I found this book to be an enjoyable account of hiking the AT but I was constantly aware of the author's lack of descriptions about the natural world around him. It was just odd. These mountains are incredibly beautiful and, at times, simply awe inspiring. It would have been far more enjoyable if the author had told us more about the landscape he was traveling through. This book is more about the act of hiking and the people he encountered than it is about the trail or the beautiful mountains it passes through. This made the book seem a bit one dimensional to me. I do not intend for this review to be a slam or to take away from the positive reviews the book has rightfully earned. I guess I could say it's like reading a book about trout fishing without any meaningful descriptions of the trout. Enjoyable.....but leaves too much to the imagination.
With pretty solid writing skills, this author tells a straightforward account of a long-distance trail hike. There is less content spent on the personal growth aspect of his journey than some related authors like Cheryl Strayed (Wild), however the author's limited reflections on personal growth, politics, and relationships are thoughtful and interesting. This book is informative for aspiring AT hikers and entertaining for armchair hiking enthusiasts.
I enjoyed listening to the authors trials, tribulations and triumphs while taking some time away from his conventional life. Something I feel many long for but few actually do. I was surprised by how insightful the author is and felt myself wanting more of that inner voice. While the narration was acceptable, I felt it had too much of a melancholy tone that seemed a little off from what I envision the author's true persona to be.
I saw this book in a used paperback book section at the library, came home and purchased it and began listening to it right away. A good friend of mine had hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail in 1981, I immediately thought of him and how he must have endured many of the hardships that are explained in this sojourn from South to North. David Miller is is a very gifted writer, and talented with witticism and able to explain without too much detail the little things that hampered his comfort on a daily basis while trekking the 2000+ miles, through 13 states. I immediately wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail but probably thought that I might be too old to do that, however the trail has been hiked by many geriatrics over the years so age or age gender has nothing to do with it. This is a must read book for anyone who enjoys hiking of any kind and can relate to the worn-out tennis shoes, mosquito bites and insects, wet clothes and the odd assortment of characters that can be met on the trail, as well as off the trail in the towns where the trail passes through.
it has been a dream of mine to hike the entire trail... i appreciated being able to experience it through another hiker's writing. the good, the tough, the ugly.
the author~ he is carries the story
the author~ he is carries the story
you can't fool mother nature!
if you're an avid outdoors person, or dream of being one, this book is a wonderful read :-)
I will (and already have) recommend this book to others. Hiking the Appalachian Trail has been one of those "bucket list" desires for me and listening to this book just reinforced that desire. Wasn't sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this. I was hoping David Miller might give a little more technical explanation of his equipment, but then that wasn't the purpose of this kind of book. I found him to be a great story teller with a dry sense of humor. What probably made this such an enjoyable listen was David's description of his meetings and interactions with the other thru-hikers. Until listening to this book I never gave much thought to the fact that there would be a fraternity (of sorts) within the thru-hiking community.
Running With the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn. Both books were about men who chose to pursue a desire/dream even though it may have seemed to others to have been an irresponsible decision at a time in life when they "should" have been more dedicated to their careers.
I do not recall listening to Christopher Lane prior to this book, but I found his narrating to be most enjoyable and relaxed. Throughout the book I kept thinking how much I enjoyed his reading. A perfect narrator for this kind of book.
No particular moving moments; just general enjoyment throughout.
Former Waitress, Chargeback clerk, Clown, Florist owner, Clergy. Love series, humor, twists, history, mysteries, not into witches/bondage.
Yes, I think I missed a lot the first time. Plus I would have and atlas handy.
There were too many to count.
There are many moving parts in this book. If you have or are a hiker your feet hurt, you get thirsty, you are scared, You enjoy the triumphs as well as the challenges.
I have read many other accounts of walking the trail and this has been the very best one so far. Enjoy the hike!
Avid fan of sci-fi and James Marsters, I use audio books to inspire me to exercise, taking them on morning walks. It's a perfect combo!
From time to time I've toyed with the idea of hiking the AT, but have never done any serious research on it. This book gave some great insight into the trail, the hardships and friendships and adventure of it. It was an enjoyable listen and I was sad when it was over. After listening to this book do I still think I'd like to hike the AT? ... ... probably not, at least not as a Through-hiker, perhaps a Section-hiker would be more my level of commitment.
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