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)
This is a pretty basic hiking journal about the Appalachian Trail that would be much better in book form with pictures. There are not many descriptive passages about the terrain and scenery that can be expressed in pictures. The narrator is what kills this audio book, the guy's voice sounds like a proper English butler that has no business reading a hiking book. I turned it off a few times and contemplated not even finishing but I pushed myself through his annoying voice and lip smacking/heavy breaths much like the writer pushing himself on the trail... Do yourself a favor and just read the book.
I was drawn to this book not as a hiker but as someone who is in a similar station in life as the author when he decided to hike the AT. I found the account engrossing and exciting and feel I got a real sense of the highs and lows as his adventure unfolded over the hike. I'm so glad I read this book.
I thought Lane's smooth delivery was a good compliment to the author's story sequence, wit and pace.
It's very satisfying to read about another person's experience during a prolonged physical and mental challenge, in this case hiking the Appalachian Trail. Aside from being quite an accomplishment, this author's "hike" affected his life in multiple positive ways. Made me want to start training, quit my job, buy some gear and hit the trail!
I found this book inspiring, and never boring. I don't want to make a big thing of it, but like other commenters, I sometimes wanted to know more about what was going on inside of his head. It's quite a feat walking the entire trail like he did, and I couldn't help but be very curious about his mind-set. But still, he is forthcoming enough, and in general, he seems to know what the reader would want to hear about. The narrator didn't seem quite right (a tad stodgy?), but it didn't get in my way.
Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
AWOL tells the story of a budding through hiker who take a break from the cube life of Suburbia to take on a through hike of the Appalachian trail. It is full of stories of physical pain and endurance as he battles though with a purest mentality to walk every step of the trail. The characters AWOL meets along the trail, the battle against himself as well as the elements, and the communing with nature stories make for a very interesting 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.
Special thanks to Sasha, Stacy and Stef for sharing the Audible experience with me and being the best of company during my recovery.
David Miller's story of his hike along the AT compares favorably with Bill Bryson's rendition of his. It's different in that Miller wasn't a novice hiker or someone who's terribly out of shape in the beginning of the hike but slowly becomes accustomed to the grind as it goes on. He is in shape and is good with the pace almost from the beginning. I enjoyed the depiction of the other through hikers he meets along the way including the dreaded Steve O.His asides concerning both the changes in his life due to the loss of his job and the fact that the hike is taking him away from his wife and his daughters. He writes convincingly about the physical hardships of the trail and the joys of things like showers, clean clothes, and hot food. Relating the triumph he feels as he's finishing the last mile of the trail is inspiring. The narrator does a fine job with the material; an excellent five star listen.
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