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Skywalker: Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail | [Bill Walker]

Skywalker: Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail

Why would a middle-aged businessman who had never even spent the night outdoors, attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail? Bill Walker, a former commodities trader in Chicago and London, and an avid walker, had developed a virtual obsession to hike this historic 2,175 mile footpath in one hiking season. In the spring of 2005 he set off from his home state of Georgia, hoping to make it to Mount Katahdin in northern Maine before the arrival of winter.
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Publisher's Summary

Why would a middle-aged businessman who had never even spent the night outdoors, attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail? Bill Walker, a former commodities trader in Chicago and London, and an avid walker, had developed a virtual obsession to hike this historic 2,175 mile footpath in one hiking season. In the spring of 2005 he set off from his home state of Georgia, hoping to make it to Mount Katahdin in northern Maine before the arrival of winter. Immediately, he realized he had plunged into a whole new world. For starters, the Appalachian Trail has some ferociously difficult terrain, winding through dramatically diverse geography and covering the East's highest peaks. Walker's 6'11" height earned him the trail name, "Skywalker", and drew envious attention from his fellow hikers. However, the height made him more susceptible to weight loss, cold weather, and crushing fatigue. An elemental fear of bears and snakes, as well as getting lost, also loomed large. Skywalker was especially struck by the rich culture this jewel of a trail has developed over the years.

Included is a history of how the Appalachian Trail has become such a stunning American success story over the decades. It is a model public-private partnership. As many as 4,000,000 people hike some part of it each year. Mortals are compelled - or perhaps cursed - to relive their lifetime adventure. This is Bill Walker's unforgettable version, leavened with ruthlessly self-deprecating humor. Some have joked that the book is as much about what not to do, as what to do. Skywalker couldn't agree more!

©2008 Indigo Publishing Group (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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    E.S. Springfield, IL USA 09-01-14
    E.S. Springfield, IL USA 09-01-14 Member Since 2012

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    "Amateurish"
    Would you try another book from Bill Walker and/or Bill Walker?

    No -- I wouldn't try another book from this author. While I'm sure the story is interesting, I couldn't get past how poorly the editing was. It felt like a good "how I spent my summer vacation" essay.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I only got about 45 minutes in and then had to quit. I couldn't take the adverbs: "He said forlornly."


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator has a thick Georgia twang...which I guess is okay, except he constantly sounds as though he's lining up the punch line of a joke. I'm not sure if that's intentional or not. I kept anticipating "You might be a redneck" coming at the end of every sentence. What was more detracting, though, was that the narrator didn't have a good sense of speed or intonation. It sounded very "read" instead of performed, as I have heard excellent readers do.


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

    I love the topic, and I'm sure the writer/narrator is a great guy who did have a very memorable experience.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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