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
"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)
The events in the story were not amazing or inspiring - just one mans story about his trip. I laughed a few times and listened to the entire book, but I wouldn't recommend it or listen to it again.
You can't change his experience - there just wasn't very much to maintain my interest. I kept listening hoping something amazing would happen...
This is the first of his books I've listened to.
No, not really.
I've wanted to read this for a while. Glad I listened rather than read it because Bryson's lengthy descriptions of statistics and history of the AT may have caused me to doze if reading - but listening, I was able to stay with him and also know that if I got distracted, I didn't miss too much. That isn't to say his historical data wasn't wonderful, it was. Enjoyed the narrator as well. loved his voice for the friend of Bill.
Read this with Wild - a very different type of book about walking the Pacific Coast Trail.
I have listened to this over 5 times now. There is always something you have missed before. Its my go to listen again when I am waiting on another credit for my account!
Being a current Boy Scout leader and Having hiked the AT many times myself, I can so relate to this book. It encompasses just about every situation that you would run into on a hike. Its forays into facts about the AT is very informative as well...
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in anything! However, if you're a hiker or you've ever considered striking out on the AT, this book will be of great interest and entertainment. More than a memoir of Bryson's adventures along the AT, his wit and sense of humor come through as his topics wander into history, philosophy, science, and conservation.As an avid day hiker, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book. I have heard others say that reading this made them re-think their desire to hike the AT, but I found it made me want to start planning some section hikes. A through hike is probably not in my future, but who knows?
My favorite character was Bryson himself. I found his views informative, and his tales of travel and adventure as an author inspiring.
The narration is excellent. McQuay takes on each character with distinct personality, so that you feel you are right there listening to the conversation rather than hearing a second hand account. If I ever met 'Katz', I would be surprised if he didn't talk just as he does in McQuay's narration!
It's "what we do".
Only have listened to 3 book, so it is in the top 3!
1491, because of information, history and story telling
Different character voices are done well, it adds texture.
A journey begins with a single step, the other 3 million is the hard part.
Just a great story. Helped me take my mind off school and the election.
Bryson's account of his journey on the Appalachian Trail is light on the hiking and heavy on the history. "Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail" is a fitting title for a book that will introduce people to the AT and also to interesting bits of uncommon American history. This book is well-placed in the travel writing section of a bookstore rather than in the nature or hiking section. I found it to be both lightly entertaining and sometimes funny. Definitely a pleasant, light read. In terms of recommending it to a friend, I would be likely to shrug and say: "Sure, go for it. It's not bad."
Bryson's recounting of his visit to Centralia was arresting. The story of a long-evacuated American town still wreathed in the smoke of a decades-long underground coal fire was remarkable.
It was okay.
I rate this book overall as a 3. It's a bit like pop music. Catchy and entertaining, but not too deep. If you're looking for a light read on a lazy afternoon, Bryson's A Walk in the Woods would be a decent pick.
This book has long been a favorite of mine, its a funny and informative look a the American wild.
I didn't think it was possible but Rob McQuay made the book even funnier by the slight changes in his voice.
Buyer Alert: If you are shopping for an informative, comprehensive journal type account of Appalachian Trail hiking, this is NOT your book. It's more a Reader's Digest version of the time the author spent on the AT.
I listened to this book while doing yard work, so my listening time was not exactly wasted, but I would choose a different story if I had a do-over here. The beginning of the book held my interest and seem to promise an interesting account of walking the AT and those details in the book are good, informative to someone like myself who has no expectations of ever "doing the AT". But, the story wanders too often off the tale of the trail to rail against the Park Service, poke condescending jibs at small towns and local folks met along the way, and do a little ecological preaching.
I did enjoy the narration. Mr. McQuay was very easy to listen to.
I think I wanted more from this, though, I most certainly learned some things. There are several truly funny parts. Overall, a decent read.
The story telling is good. If you are reading this to get a feel for how it will be thru-hiking the AT then read AWOL instead. Bill Bryson is great at telling a story and through his memory of hiking he did just that. For me though, I am a Bill Bryson hater....
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