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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 (568 )
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4.3 (516 )
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Performance
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  •  
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 09-25-12
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a treat"

    The abridged version was great and the unabridged one is even better. If you haven’t already, click this one into your cart and enjoy the tale of two unlikely travelers in America’s backcountry as only Bill Bryson can tell it. Packed with history and hilarity I enjoyed every minute.

    26 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debby Randolph, MA, United States 11-12-12
    Debby Randolph, MA, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great book, great narration."
    Would you listen to A Walk in the Woods again? Why?

    I've read this book several times over the years. Many years ago, during a road trip, I tried to listen to the audiobook narrated by the author, but couldn't get through the first chapter. Bryson is a wonderful writer, but he needs to leave the narration to the pros. When I saw that this had been narrated by someone else, I decided to give it a try. Rob McQuay did a fabulous job. I hope he'll read some of Bryson's other books. Bryson is a brilliant writer, but he needs a reader that can do justice to his wonderful storytelling. McQuay pulled it off. I highly recommend this audiobook.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Green Atlanta, GA 12-02-12
    J. Green Atlanta, GA 12-02-12 Member Since 2009

    LibraryJill

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    "Grab your backpack!"

    I loved Bill Bryson's guided tour of the Appalachian Trail. The story stays interesting due to the author giving us tidbits of the history of the places he is hiking through and the history of the trail itself. There are also some hilarious interactions with the denizens of Appalachia-human and otherwise. His hiking partner, Katz, not exactly a model of fitness, also provides much comic relief. Overall a greatly entertaining listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Lancaster, OH, United States 10-01-12
    Brenda Lancaster, OH, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Anyone who loves the backcountry will enjoy this."
    Would you listen to A Walk in the Woods again? Why?

    Yes, A Walk in the Woods brought back so many memories of hiking and camping the mountains.
    Offering a much needed escape from a busy,confusing world.


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

    The section devoted to the author's first trip to the outfitters reminded me of the excitement and utter confusion that go with a first time backcountry adventure.


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

    I laughed lot.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John LEHI, UT, United States 05-29-14
    John LEHI, UT, United States 05-29-14
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    "Laughed my way through the book..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    YES! I learned and laughed a lot. Bryson has a way of making you feel as though you're along for the journey.


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

    McQuay has such a boring voice. I wish more than anything that Bill Bryson narrated it himself as he does in the abridged version. I really felt like his narration did the book such an injustice.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane S Buffalo, NY 11-13-12
    Diane S Buffalo, NY 11-13-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Very entertaining"

    Loved the self-deprecating humor included in the trials and tribulations of the journey. I also enjoyed the history of the AT included in the story. I thought the narrator did a wonderful job and made me laugh out loud with some of this characterizations. Very nicely done!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 05-19-13
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 05-19-13 Member Since 2010

    Audio-addict!!

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    "Entertaining and very funny. A worthy read."

    Having read Bryson's The Short History of Nearly Everything and At Home: A History of Private Life, this book was a surprise for me. This book was written well before those two, and was a huge departure from what I expected.

    This has a little history and a little science, but it is mostly the story if Bryson and a friend walking Appalachian. While that may not sound very exciting, it is! This story is never boring and will constantly make you laugh. It demonstrates a much different side of Bill Brysonthan I knew.

    Highly recommended.

    Also, whole many reviewers say they prefer when Bill Bryson reads his own work. I do not agree. At Home was read by Bryson, and it was ok. The narrator for this book is more than ok! He is exceptional and does an amazing job with the character voices. I don't think fans of the author will be disappointed with the narration!!

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James United States 03-29-14
    James United States 03-29-14 Member Since 2014
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    perry HARRISON, AR, United States 03-24-14
    perry HARRISON, AR, United States 03-24-14 Member Since 2011
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    "not read by the Author"
    What did you like best about A Walk in the Woods? What did you like least?

    This was the first Bill Bryson book I read, and soon after went on the hunt for his others. But this unabridged version is not read by Mr Bryson, I had grown accustomed to his voice, and was disappointed to hear anther's voice, Bill does read his abridged version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love his outlook on the world, and his humorous bit of sarcasm. It lends hope to us other midlifers, that if Bill and Katz can walk a few hundred miles, then surely a couch potato like me can also.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Rob McQuay?

    Bill Bryson!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick Bloomington, WI, United States 04-14-13
    Nick Bloomington, WI, United States 04-14-13 Member Since 2007

    Retired Marine combat officer now enjoying life in Southwestern Wisconsin. With my wife, Crystal, we own and operate a portrait studio, True Lives Studio, in Bloomington, WI

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    "Great book, narration lacking"
    Would you try another book from Bill Bryson and/or Rob McQuay?

    I am a huge fan of Bill Bryson. His wit, his insights and style are amazing but this narration is disappointing. There is no depth or inflection...


    What did you like best about this story?

    The book. Read it and pass on this listen


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Basically lik ehe read the phone book....boring


    What character would you cut from A Walk in the Woods?

    None.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great opportunity to use Audible's return policy

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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