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A Walk in the Woods Audiobook

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

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Publisher's Summary

The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America - majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaing guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way - and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

©1999 Bill Bryson (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Short of doing it yourself, the best way of escaping into nature is to read a book like A Walk in the Woods." (The New York Times)

"A terribly misguided, and terribly funny tale of adventure.... The yarn is choke-on-your-coffee funny." (The Washington Post)

"Bill Bryson could write an essay about dryer lint or fever reducers and still make us laugh out loud." (Chicago Sun-Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3854 )
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4.4 (3462 )
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Performance
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  •  
    James United States 03-29-14
    James United States 03-29-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Less would have been more."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The reading would have been much better with a lot less 'acting'. Less would have been more.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Walk in the Woods?

    This is one of my favorite books of all times, but I found the reading so distractingly bad that I had to stop listening about half way through. The first time I read the book, I literally laughed so hard it hurt on several occassions. No such moments occurred as I listened to this rendition.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The best way I can explain it is that the narrator read the story in a way that parents read bedtime stories to very young children. Overexagerated and condescending in a way that assumes the listener will miss 'the funny' unless the reader goes out of his way to point to it. It would be and, in fact, is exponentially funnier when it's played straight as Bryson himself reads it in the abridged version.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I love the book. Absolutely brilliant. I absolutely HATED this reading of it.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're a fan of the book, avoid this reading at all costs and buy the version where Bill Bryson reads it himself. The two readings are night and day.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Settle 08-17-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Comsi comsa"

    At times, amusing, at times, boring, and steeped in information about the Appalachian Trail and the portion of America it spans. The reader does a very credible job, but it is mostly first person and with few voices, it isn't a demanding read. I bought the book looking for humor and found very little. I listened from beginning to end because I was fascinated with the author's experience and reactions, as well as the lessons in natural history. Knowing what I know now, would I buy it again? Maybe, maybe not.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stacey ann lippert 06-29-16 Member Since 2011
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    "amazing"

    Whilst Bryson is a horrid liberal this is one fanciful tale. A must read or listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 04-25-16
    James 04-25-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Okay."

    I thought Cherly Strayed's "Wild" was better. This guy seems pretty self-absorbed. Not bad though, an ok way to pass some time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles E. 04-11-16
    Charles E. 04-11-16
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    "Wouldn't recommend to someone thinking about hiking"

    This book was not at all what I suspected. To much complaining for me.. They to characters sound like a bunch of sissys. Not a good read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Kelly California 01-23-16
    Karen Kelly California 01-23-16
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    "For once, the movie is better than the book"
    What did you like best about A Walk in the Woods? What did you like least?

    The story is great. But - the author goes off on long lectures about the environment and global warming and past bad Forest Services practices. The problem is that this takes you away from a great story. The movie leaves out the lectures, and you're left with a great story. There's just one scene where the environment is discussed, which was good. When I want to read about depressing environmental stories, I'll go read one. When I want an entertaining story about two old guys in the woods, that's what I want. I don't think the two can be blended without putting a major damper on an otherwise good story. I am returning the book. I didn't finish it. I watched the movie instead hoping they filtered out the lectures, and they did. I've never said a movie was better than the book before. But, in this case, it was.


    Which character – as performed by Rob McQuay – was your favorite?

    Enjoyed them all.


    Could you see A Walk in the Woods being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Has been done. Movie is great. Better than the book, because it leaves out all the lectures.


    Any additional comments?

    Watch the movie instead. I'm returning the book unfinished. Got sick of getting a lecture when I just wanted to know what happens next.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Neebel Meier 01-20-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Hmmmmm ???"

    There were some good things, but they were overshadowed by the pessimism. I would love to witness this story told from the point of view of an optimist.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Clark 01-05-16
    David Clark 01-05-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Both versions are great ."

    I like both versions, the abridged one read bt Bill Bryson is funnier. It's not boring. As the author says , it makes me want to throw a loaf of bread and a tin of tea in a pack and head out .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ken 12-31-15
    ken 12-31-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Had high expectations, but not"

    Had high expectations, but "it was what I expected." I enjoyed the tales, accounts, and descriptions of the Trail, and his encounters. The author complains a lot, and that is tiresome. He didn't have much good to say about the South; if you ever wonder why Southerners dislike New England Yankees, he is a good example of why.
    The narrator, was also disappointing. He made Katz seem to be a dimwit. I wish more narrators would just read the darn book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Idaho Trojan 12-17-15
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    "Two goofballs getting lost and found ..."
    What did you love best about A Walk in the Woods?

    Very entertaining story of a personal journey against the backdrop of an incredible physical accomplishment. I loved the interaction between the two main characters and could see myself in one then the other and then back again, over and over. It almost felt like a conversation all within the author's head at times (which happens to me often on the trail).


    What other book might you compare A Walk in the Woods to and why?

    It has some similarities but just as many differences to Into the Wild (more personal demons), Wild (more personal demons, less about hiking), Kindness of Strangers (less wilderness), The Pilgrimage (way more spiritual), AWOL on the Appalachian Trail (much more about hiking and from experienced perspective),


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Definitely laughed from time to time and other times I definitely relived the pain of my very first backpacking trip!


    Any additional comments?

    This "hiking" story is much more of a story versus a trail journal. So as long as you go into it looking for a story and not a recounting of what gear he used or mileage covered daily, then you'll enjoy it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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