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Publisher's Summary

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT )is the perfect place for an average person to do something extraordinary. Bill Walker ("Skywalker"), who stands 6'11", might seem like anything but average. Yet in a brutally honest tone, he lays to bare all his considerable weaknesses and fears. Among these are crushing weight loss and fatigue, along with a fear of getting lost or a bear stealing his food. Nonetheless, he is bound and determined to hike the PCT which - at 2,663 miles - runs all the way from Mexico to Canada.

The PCT's calling card is its stunning beauty. It has a diversity of geography unequaled by any footpath in the world. Haunting and beckoning the PCT hiker are the implacable desert, the towering majesty of the so-called High Sierra, and the ruggedly bleak, northern Cascade range. Indeed, the PCT hiker faces much greater extremes of terrain and climate than on the famed Appalachian Trail. Completing this demanding challenge calls for overwhelming clarity of purpose.

Walker's signature characteristic as a writer is his real talent in capturing people. Obviously, he is a people person because he runs into and vividly describes a truly colorful cast of characters from seemingly all walks of American life. Among these are Uber Bitch, Shit Bag, and Serial Killer; the listener learns how these hikers ended up with their names (hint: blunders).The listener need not worry that Walker is a bully. Throughout this irreverent narrative, he turns his considerable supply of humor back on himself in ruthlessly self-deprecating fashion. It all makes for a delightful experience.

©2010 Bill Walker (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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

Okay Trail Journal Hobbled by Poor Narration

Seven foot tall Bill Walker attempts to bring a Southerner's perspective to a hike on the West's greatest trail, the PCT, but unfortunately falls short. Failing to book-end his writing or give it a goal like Bryson or Strayed or even Carrot Quinn, it becomes just another trail journal, cataloging his navigation failings, hunger and sore feet instead of becoming a real story. He doesn't spend enough time with the people he meets along the hike and never offers any insight into their character or quirks. He touches on bits of history from time to time, but they seem barely connected to the story and lack the humorous or ironic historical perspective one always gets from Bryson. The biggest drawback is, unfortunately, the author's narration. It is flat and uninteresting and he seems to have problems pronouncing many of the words and names he himself has written. And no, its not due the his Georgian accent.
I wanted to like this book, but I'm afraid I found it disappointing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good book with painful narration

Very interesting book. However author self-narrated and he pronounces big words like he's never heard them out loud before. it is very distracting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I wish Bill Bryson attempted the PCT.

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

NO. This is just a journal of his PCT thru hike. It has none the humor or insight of Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods". I plan to do the John Muir Trail so I had some interest.

Would you ever listen to anything by Bill Walker again?

NO

What three words best describe Bill Walker’s performance?

A boring blog.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One persons account

I found his experience on the PCT interesting. To get another point of view other than Cheryl Strayed's was good. I may now read his account on the AT. Appalachian Trail.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Decent Listen

Skywalker is always fun to listen to. I have listened to Close encounters on the Appalachian Trail a few times and thoroughly enjoyed. I figured I would give this a try. While this book has Skywalkers personality and enthusiasm from start to finish, the story it self seems to be disorganized. It seemed to jump all around and nothing seemed to be “connected”. Still entertaining and informational. Thanks Skywalker

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gret book

this was a very good listen didn't want it to end wanted to hear a little more details but it was very good

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  • darrin
  • BILOXI, MS, United States
  • 02-17-18

good story, decent voice

enjoyed the book as pct enthusiast. good read for any hiker and a decent length book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Informative Travelogue

I've read a lot of these travelogues over the past year as I prepare to embark on the Appalachian Trail myself this coming March. I enjoyed this one as it was more educational and thoughtful than some others. The author did a good job of explaining any major decisions about his successful thru-hike of the PCT. I enjoyed listening to this while I was doing my own training for the trail.

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

Good Story, but Narration is weird

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Dialog seems a little clunky, no one talks like this in real life.

Any additional comments?

The narration is weird.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed. Wish I could try!

Well written and read. I enjoyed the brief breaks into history, etc. There wasn't too many but there was just enough to provide perspective. I like how he writes. Less fiction like and more biography like. I will listen to his two other books and hope they are similar.

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  • Adrian
  • 04-20-14

Makes you want to put on your boots and walk!

Would you consider the audio edition of Skywalker to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, but Bill Walker telling his own story in his own inimitable way definitely adds to the story!

What other book might you compare Skywalker to, and why?

The obvious comparison is Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, which is about the Appalachian trail - it also bears similarities to Simon Armitage's Walking Home.

What does Bill Walker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

It's his story, told in his own unusual voice - his reading adds a lot to the story.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Walk from Mexico to Canada in size 15's!

Any additional comments?

Before Bill wrote this, he wrote a book covering his experiences on the Appalachian Trail. As he refers to his time on the AT a lot in this book, it would be great to have an audio version of the first book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • gareth
  • 02-12-16

poor writing style

If I hear another I said, they said I'll scream, poor story telling? no depth, some idiot gave the nod to this book..