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A Walk in the Woods | [Bill Bryson]

A Walk in the Woods

After 20 years in Britain, Bryson returned to the U.S. and decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. This is his humorous, inspiring account.
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Publisher's Summary

"Not long after I moved with my family to a small town in New Hampshire, I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town." So begins Bill Bryson's hilarious book, A Walk in the Woods. Following his return to America after 20 years in Britain, Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The AT, as it's affectionately known to thousands of hikers, offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes - and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to test his own powers of ineptitude, and to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this fragile and beautiful trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, a lament, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is destined to become a modern classic of travel literature.

©1998 Bill Bryson; (P)1998 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2525 )
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  •  
    Derek Union, KY, United States 04-09-07
    Derek Union, KY, United States 04-09-07 Member Since 2009
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    "A good friend on a long drive"

    Bryson as always paints a picture in your mind that is complete down to the shape of the bootprints left on the trail. I felt as if I was hiking along with them. It was a great companion on my every day long drives.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik John Nelson 03-09-07 Member Since 2006
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    "Lucky to have made it through"

    Being an avid outdoorsman and survivalist, I found this book to be the story of a man who had no business being on the AT. If you a planning to hike the AT this would be a good book to read so you know what not to do while on the trail. Bryson was lucky to have made it through as much of the trail as he did. This is the kind of individual that wastes our tax dollars being rescued every year.

    Having read some of Bryson's other books, frankly I expected a bit more out of this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Delray Beach, FL, USA 09-19-06
    Lori Delray Beach, FL, USA 09-19-06
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    "The Snobs Guide to Trail Hiking"

    Although humorous at times, I found the author to be a know-it-all and a snob. He seemed to find fault in everyone he came across on the trail and appeared to think himself a master of trail-hiking. Some of the topics he went into in regards to the education of hiking were interesting, but tended to go on a bit too long. Overall, I found it hard to enjoy the book due to my dislike of the author and his ever evolving snobbish undertones.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John R. Brown 02-28-05

    Perry Mason Fan

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    "The Worst of Bryson is Still Wonderful"

    This isn't as good as The Sunburned Country (Australia) or Notes from a Small Island (the U.K.) or A Short History of Nearly Everything (The Universe, Time, Science, Biology, History, Physics, and almost everything else). It isn't even as good as The Lost Continent (Bryson's other book about returning to America after a 20 year sojourn in England). But as they say about sex, even the worst is still wonderful. The same can be said about this book. It is funny. It is insightful. It is well-written. It is a joy to read and a joy to hear. I've listen to it five times, which is five times less than the number of times I listened to his other audio books.
    So when is MOTHER TONGUE coming out as a audiobook?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Charleston, SC, USA 12-07-04
    Ron Charleston, SC, USA 12-07-04
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    "A Walk in the Woods"

    Enjoyable book. Author does good job on keeping book interesting with history on the AT and other information helpful to those thinking about hiking the trail someday. All will enjoy hiking the AT from their recliners while listening to this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua 06-13-08
    Joshua 06-13-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Funny at times, overall deflating..."

    I chuckled several times while reading this book, but it did not inspire me at all to hike the Appalachian Trail. If anything, I felt turned off from hiking. Luckily however, there were many more trail journals and other information sources online that were more inspirational, and I just completed an 856.2 mile section hike. Which brings me to another point: Bryson complains about the National Park Service (NPS) doing nothing to combat the gypsy moth, however I personally walked through areas where they had sprayed, and saw many other notices posted about past/future spraying. A small point, I know, however for me it was indicative of a overall sensationalistic writing style and a negative attitude towards the NPS and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ople Bisbee, AZ, USA 01-26-04
    Ople Bisbee, AZ, USA 01-26-04
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    "A WALK IN THE WOODS"

    After reading the reviews I was excited to hear the book and downloaded it. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! No excitement and the reading was just plain boring. My eleven year old grandson puts more into his oral reading. I am not opposed to setting background for reading with facts as James Mitchner had a talent for doing, but Bryson comes off as environmental preaching. Sorry I wasted my choice.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Raleigh, NC, USA 03-24-05
    David Raleigh, NC, USA 03-24-05
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    "Tongue in Cheek"

    I like authors with self deprecating humor. Unfortunatley much of Bryson's humor is at the expense of those unlucky enough to cross his path. The driver who takes him to the trailhead, his hiking partner, or the inhabitants of Gatlinburg Tn. Neither funny nor illuminating.

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Goodlife 06-11-10
    Goodlife 06-11-10
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    "A Native of the Locals"

    This book portrays the natives as ignorant, unintelligent, simple, and a backward group of people. Offensive. Not to be mocked. Not to belittle. Not to underestimate.

    Only a fool would believe himself superior due to formal education. Some knowledge is not taught in school.

    This book toots the author's own horn. The dangers in the Appalachians are real. Dramatized dangers of the author was under-rated.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Bokeelia, FL, USA 07-24-09
    Sandra Bokeelia, FL, USA 07-24-09 Member Since 2014
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    "partner -- WHY?"

    I enjoyed the book and picked it because I have done some AT hiking and plan to do more, but partners really make a difference so . . .Sandy

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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