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In 2003, software engineer David Miller left his job, family, and friends to hike 2,172 miles of the Appalachian Trail. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is Miller’s account of this thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. Listeners are treated to rich descriptions of the Appalachian Mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the rewards of taking a less conventional path through life. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about hiking gear and planning. This is not merely a travel guide; it is a beautifully written and highly personal view into one man’s journey and the insights gained by abandoning what is comfortable and routine.
Who was your favorite character and why?
AWOL's experience allows the reader to feel like they are traveling step-by-step with him on his journey.
Would you be willing to try another one of Christopher Lane’s performances?
The narrator did not seem like the correct choice for this story. He had little-to-no inflection about any of the experiences on the Trail.
Any additional comments?
Any readers/listeners who liked Bill Bryson's "Walk in the Woods" might want to check out this book, but they should also be aware that this is a serious Trail journal. There are humorous moments in the book, but that's not the point of this book. Anyone who is serious about hiking the AT should probably check this book out, it is quite helpful.
42 of 43 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
As an avid hiker / backpacker who lives in the Appalachian mountains I found this book to be an enjoyable account of hiking the AT but I was constantly aware of the author's lack of descriptions about the natural world around him. It was just odd. These mountains are incredibly beautiful and, at times, simply awe inspiring. It would have been far more enjoyable if the author had told us more about the landscape he was traveling through. This book is more about the act of hiking and the people he encountered than it is about the trail or the beautiful mountains it passes through. This made the book seem a bit one dimensional to me. I do not intend for this review to be a slam or to take away from the positive reviews the book has rightfully earned. I guess I could say it's like reading a book about trout fishing without any meaningful descriptions of the trout. Enjoyable.....but leaves too much to the imagination.
Would you be willing to try another book from David Miller? Why or why not?
What aspect of Christopher Lane’s performance would you have changed?
Was AWOL on the Appalachian Trail worth the listening time?
55 of 57 people found this review helpful
As an experienced hiker I enjoyed this as a factual trail journal, but wanted to hear much more about the psyhcological / mental / self discovery component. If you want facts, this is great if you a story I'd recommend A Walk in The Woods, Kindness of Strangers, Into the Wild or something similar.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful
If you want to learn about what it's like to hike the Appalachian Trail, you might really like this book. If you want to get into the mind of the hiker, read Cheryl Strayed "Wild" instead. David Miller, in AWOL, steered clear of most of his personal thoughts. He played it safe, and I don't really feel I know him after listening to this book. He wrote a diary of his daily experiences and published it as a book. I enjoy the outdoors and enjoyed comparing his hike with my cross country bike tours (you eat better bike touring). I ended out skipping a few parts in the middle because it was too repetitive. At the end, the author says he'd like to do the hike again, but I never gathered that from his daily entries. By the way, AWOL is his trail name. It's not about getting lost. Finally, the wrong narrator read this. His smooth voice never matched the character writing those words.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful
I was inspired to walk the ATLANTIC after watching a walk in the woods, but now it is sealed. This book never portrays a glamorous, easy, life changing event, but accurately depicts the test of courage , physical, mental and even spiritual challenge of doing such a monumental event. it was a bit dry at times but so will the hike be from time to time.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
A trope of many hiking books is how I hiked the Big Trail even though I'd never hiked before and was out of shape, started out with a pack full of useless stuff that I could hardly carry, and made a lot of other really stupid mistakes, until I gradually became competent and learned to love the trail. This theme gets old after a few books--no one, after all, can quite come up to Bill Bryson's level of incompetence or hilarity--so I was delighted to begin a hiking book in which the author was fit for the trail and knew what he was doing. And I continued to enjoy it. The author is one of those guys who regularly puts in 20-mile days--after all, he's there to hike--and doesn't seem to be a jerk to boot. I recommend this piece of hiking literature; it'll give you a feel for hiking the AT without having to hear some of the usual hiker neuroses.
51 of 56 people found this review helpful
Almost felt like I was there ..... without the hardships. Well written. Well narrated. Thanks
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up AWOL on the Appalachian Trail in three words, what would they be?
With pretty solid writing skills, this author tells a straightforward account of a long-distance trail hike. There is less content spent on the personal growth aspect of his journey than some related authors like Cheryl Strayed (Wild), however the author's limited reflections on personal growth, politics, and relationships are thoughtful and interesting. This book is informative for aspiring AT hikers and entertaining for armchair hiking enthusiasts.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful
I love the book I have had hiked for years and after being diagnosed with MS spent too much time trying to figure out my forward path. mow I'm getting back to the things that I enjoy instead of thinking too much about treatment. This book inspired me to start taking as many day hikes as possible as I prepare to hike the AT in some way.
I love Christopher Lane but would not have chosen him for this book. For me personally he's more of a third person and I think a little of the humor of David Miller was lost because of the most excellent, refined voice of Mr. Lane.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I saw this book in a used paperback book section at the library, came home and purchased it and began listening to it right away. A good friend of mine had hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail in 1981, I immediately thought of him and how he must have endured many of the hardships that are explained in this sojourn from South to North. David Miller is is a very gifted writer, and talented with witticism and able to explain without too much detail the little things that hampered his comfort on a daily basis while trekking the 2000+ miles, through 13 states. I immediately wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail but probably thought that I might be too old to do that, however the trail has been hiked by many geriatrics over the years so age or age gender has nothing to do with it. This is a must read book for anyone who enjoys hiking of any kind and can relate to the worn-out tennis shoes, mosquito bites and insects, wet clothes and the odd assortment of characters that can be met on the trail, as well as off the trail in the towns where the trail passes through.
23 of 26 people found this review helpful
excellent story, easy to listen to. hard to put down! The narrator is superb and a thrill to listen to throughout.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
liked is so much, i was sorry it finished.
beautiful journey before sleep every night.
Well worth a listen .
What made the experience of listening to AWOL on the Appalachian Trail the most enjoyable?
It's funny, well-written, engaging and really informative. I'd love to walk the AT but listening to David Miller's experience has made me realise that I've been romanticising the notion a bit.
What did you like best about this story?
The detail and information in this audio book is fantastic, any expectations of walking the AT after listening to it are realistic.
What about Christopher Lane’s performance did you like?
It's easy listening...come to think of it, I wasn't so much aware of the narration but the book, so on that basis I'd have to rate Christopher's performance pretty high.