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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail | [Bill Bryson]

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

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).
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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

4.2 (846 )
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4.3 (762 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Janet 01-01-15
    Janet 01-01-15

    book hog

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "VERY INTERESTING"

    I liked it better than the similar "Wild". more like true story. I'd listen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fred greensboro nc 11-17-14
    fred greensboro nc 11-17-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great on a road trip and other times too"

    This is a great book for a road trip. Aw heck, it's probably a great book for anytime. Bryson has a tremendous whit and lots of information. Spoiler alert...you will find out that bears sometimes eat people and in Bryson dry sense of humor, all the ways that bears eat people. An interesting combination of struggle, triumph, understanding, science, politics and environmentalism, all rolled up in a Brysonesque package for consumption on whatever trail you are taking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Tokarski 11-09-14 Member Since 2013
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    9
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    "Preachy, 12 hour rant"

    If you are interested in a book about the adventures of hiking the APT, it's safe pass this one up. If you want a preachy, 12 hour rant about how bad the government is ruining the world, this book is for you! I was completely disappointed in this book. I picked up this book to here about adventures hiking the Appalachian Trail. What I got was a lot of complaining about the Forest Service while hiking. On the positive side, Bill Bryson does provide a good history lesson about the trail. He also wonderfully describes the constant changing of the trail, poor quality of maps available, and a bit about the importance of selecting the proper gear. The tales he tells of hiking the trail and the feelings he has through his adventures kept me listening. However, the constant rants about the forest service drew me away. Unfortunately, the rants soon turn into preaching, and at that point I could hear no more. I couldn't even finish this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Simpson Placerville, CA 11-02-14
    Roy Simpson Placerville, CA 11-02-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This was a good read, but not what I was wanting."
    What made the experience of listening to A Walk in the Woods the most enjoyable?

    I really enjoyed the panoramic descriptions that Bryson delivers.


    If you’ve listened to books by Bill Bryson before, how does this one compare?

    N/A


    What three words best describe Rob McQuay’s voice?

    Level, engaging, dry


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I had to push my way through certain parts.


    Any additional comments?

    Although I found this book somewhat enjoyable, it was also a slight "let-down". I wanted more of a through-hiker's depiction of the hike, but there were too many times the author decided to "fill pages" with historical content and environmental position statements. While I may agree, and sympathize, with the author's point of view, I just wanted more of a journey book. I loved the character, Katz.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 08-28-14
    Daniel 08-28-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Least favorite Bryson book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    1) Bill Bryson reading it
    2) More history and information


    Has A Walk in the Woods turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Rob McQuay’s performance?

    He was perfectly fine, but it should have been Bryson himself, and the story was not that interesting.


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

    Yes, there were some funny moments and the info about the department of forestry was interesting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron A. Davis 08-21-14
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    "Excellent book, terrible narration"

    This is one of my favorite books of all time, however the narration of this unabridged version is a wet blanket that puts out all of the humor, and spirit of Bill Bryson's excellent writing. It is unlistenable.

    There are at least two other recordings of A Walk In The Woods- an abridged version read by Bryson himself which is good but abbreviated. Then there is the expert performance by Ron McLarty which should be considered the authoritative reading of the book. His performance is excellent, and captures the weight and humor of the story, and matches the care that Bryson obviously put into writing it. I still laugh out loud when I listen to it, about once a year.

    This is not that recording.

    Go find a copy of McLarty's performance used on CD and you will thank me, or petition Audible to acquire the rights to that performance to make available for purchase here. It really makes all of the difference.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dee South MS 07-06-14
    Dee South MS 07-06-14

    bookie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great for Walking or Travel Fans"
    What did you love best about A Walk in the Woods?

    The descriptions of the AT.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was entertaining and funny. Even the things that were uncomfortable were funny.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Everything with Katz in it. I sure would hate to have him as my walking buddy.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely.


    Any additional comments?

    Bill Bryson can bring a fresh outlook to any subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacqueline 05-11-14
    Jacqueline 05-11-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved it!"
    What did you love best about A Walk in the Woods?

    I will never walk the AT, but after listening to this audio book I feel like I've been there, the narrator's voice is great and along with the adventure of walking the AT this book is very informative without being tedious.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Of course I love the two main characters Bill Bryson and Steven Katz, they are kind of opposites and the dynamic between them is amusing.


    What about Rob McQuay’s performance did you like?

    He has a great voice, enjoyable to listen to and I love the way he changes his voice for each character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara patterson, NY, United States 03-18-14
    Sara patterson, NY, United States 03-18-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Disappointing"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a very boring book.... I thought it was supposed to be a lot funnier. Aside from a line or two every few chapters, it was very boring.... However, I did learn a few good facts about trees and the Appalachian trail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Santa Barbara, CA, United States 03-07-14
    Kate Santa Barbara, CA, United States 03-07-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved this book--unexpected story"
    What made the experience of listening to A Walk in the Woods the most enjoyable?

    Bryson is a great writer and the narrator did a wonderful job of capturing the humor. I was mesmerized by his experience and his relationship with his friend Katz.


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

    When Bryson "loses" his friend Katz in the woods.


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

    The female hiker they ran into who asserted herself as a hiking expert (and chastised them for their amateurish methods).


    Any additional comments?

    I am listening to most of Bryson's books now after listening to my favorite book of 2013--One Summer, America 1927which he wrote. I am not always sure about how listening to some books would be better listened to than read, but his books are amazing audiobooks. The performances really add to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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