Your audiobook is waiting…

A Walk in the Woods

Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
Narrated by: Rob McQuay
Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7,229 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,060
  • 4 Stars
    2,193
  • 3 Stars
    732
  • 2 Stars
    159
  • 1 Stars
    85

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,095
  • 4 Stars
    1,769
  • 3 Stars
    501
  • 2 Stars
    91
  • 1 Stars
    63

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,587
  • 4 Stars
    1,936
  • 3 Stars
    740
  • 2 Stars
    178
  • 1 Stars
    90
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Debby
  • Randolph, MA, United States
  • 11-12-12

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.

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brenda
  • Lancaster, OH, United States
  • 10-01-12

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.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Informational

I have mixed feelings about this book. I like the performance of Rob McQuay. I enjoyed the history and facts about the landscape and the AT. You hear a lot of that. Half the book, I'd say, is history and facts. That surprised me so I had to adjust my expectations. The read is humorous and entertaining in stride. I will put this out there for the benefit of readers who care: There is a lot of cursing. I always wish there was a rating system like movies for books. I appreciate knowing what I'm getting into with a book and I hope that helps other possible readers/listeners.

91 of 98 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • colleen
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, United States
  • 09-25-12

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.

52 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved it...but I loved the movie too!

I bought this after I saw the movie, which is available on Amazon Prime BTW, for free! I've missed Bryson's travel writings for some reason, so it looks like I have a 'new to me' author to dive into! Since I no longer travel alone, due to age and the unfortunate fact that I have a tendency to fall and break bones it was fun to read about the old codgers out on the Appalachian Trail..a trail I always wanted to walk, after I finished the Pacific Crest in my 30s.

The narrator added to my enjoyment of the book.

A fun listen and worth your credit if you enjoy hiking or even dream of enjoying it!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Reminded me of my half-way hike

Where does A Walk in the Woods rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a light 'read' that brought back vivid memories of some of my fondest vacations.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The smelly, querky people you meet on the trail and in the towns, may seem like fiction to to people who have not hiked, but are very true to live. After a few weeks they are all your family.

Any additional comments?

I will probably pull this one back up in a few years and relive the adventure and enjoy the laughs all over again.... Thanks Bill for keeping the memories alive.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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!!

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Ugh.

If you’re into hiking at all or looking for a good trail memoir I don’t think this is for you. I can’t believe this book is so popular! Bryson is smarmy, negative, elitist, sexist, & pessimistic... he delights in and even brags about hurting the feelings of other hikers, calls almost everyone he comes into contact with fat or stupid, and has no concept of trail etiquette or culture. Besides all that, he doesn’t even finish the trail. A good portion (maybe even fifty percent) of the book is very textbook-ish info about history of random towns along the trail and some criticism of the parks system and other such things that feel like a lot of filler to me. I’ve read a bunch of trail memoirs (I like them okay) and the humble nature, optimism, and gratitude that characterizes the people involved in most of them is something I really enjoy. This book was not like that, it made me feel on edge and kind of angry. But the narrator was very good, so that’s something. The book itself just wasn’t my cup of tea.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The Protagonist is Entirely Unlikable

The author came across as a jerk constantly and it was hard to like him.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful