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A Walk in the Woods Audiobook

A Walk in the Woods

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Publisher's Summary

"Not long after I moved with my family to a small town in New Hampshire, I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town." So begins Bill Bryson's hilarious book, A Walk in the Woods. Following his return to America after 20 years in Britain, Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The AT, as it's affectionately known to thousands of hikers, offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes - and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to test his own powers of ineptitude, and to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this fragile and beautiful trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, a lament, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is destined to become a modern classic of travel literature.

©1998 Bill Bryson; (P)1998 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3146 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 01-04-03
    Amazon Customer United States 01-04-03 Listener Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I laughed so hard ..."

    ... I shook the bed and woke my husband! If you need a giggle download this book! The story of a couch-potato writer who decided to "discover" America by hiking the Appalachian Trail. I've got all the other Bryson books on my audible wish list.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
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    Choong Chicago, IL, USA 07-06-05
    Choong Chicago, IL, USA 07-06-05
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    "a unique Bryson experience"

    This is my favorite work by Bill Bryson, not because it is the best written or because it is the most interesting story, but because it feels the most personal out of all his works. Where as in other books, he is a witty and cool oberver of the places he sets out to explore (albeit with very keen insights and appreciation for history, local folklore and compelling statistics), in A Walk in the Woods, he is neck deep in it all: the sufferings in harsh conditions, the hopelessness and bleakness he faces at times, the mesmerizing beauty of the Appalachians and heartfelt appreciation for the little things that one can only gain after being through the rough. It is deeply personal. Remember in the movie, "Castaway" how devastated Tom Hanks was when he lost Wilson? There's a similar moment in A Walk in the Woods, and you've never seen Bill Bryson so vulnerable and so personal. Also, Stephen Catz, Bryson's bumbling companion during this trip, is the most humorous partner Bryson had in any of his adventures in all of his travel narratives; yet even in this, there's a deep sense of companionship that I've never seen in Bryson's other works.

    Yes, as a reviewer noted, one of the drawbacks of this whole adventure is that Bill Bryson lacks a strong sense of purpose on why he has embarked on this endeavor and this results in a frustrating stretch of half-hearted day hikes that, for me, was the most unsatisfying part of the whole adventure. Other than this, however, I highly recommend this unique listening experience for fans of Bill Bryson.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Oakland, CA, USA 11-13-03
    Tyler Oakland, CA, USA 11-13-03 Member Since 2014
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    "All around good reading for a wide audience"

    After having already 50 books from audible.com, this book still stand out as my best read to date. Bryson not only make you laugh out loud about his Appalachian backpacking experiences, he also includes a quite a bit of political history and environmental insight. Bryson's reading of his own work rivals that of a stand-up comedian and makes this book especially enjoyable in audio format.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 05-07-12
    Richard 05-07-12

    Likes intelligent mysteries, spy thrillers, world history, most anything Ancient Roman. Hates bad writing

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    "Story runs out of steam"

    Bill Bryson fans, please don't hate me. I'm actually one of yours. However, I grew as weary of this book as Bill must have felt slogging across the Appalachian Trail. The story starts out strong, as Bill prepares for the adventure by a hilarious visit to his local sporting goods store. It builds nicely in momentum as he and his less than stalwart companion travel to the hinterlands of Georgia and embark on the Trail. They immediately encounter the eccentrics that populate Bryson's books, and Bill makes the most of his raw material. But all too soon the narrative deteriorates into the usual "man against mountain" (or ocean, jungle, outer space, or whatever) story, with the usual overwhelming circumstances, narrow escapes from the jaws of death, etc. Some people like reading about this kind of thing. I do not. As the book loses its strength (along with the hikers' resolve), and similar scenes seem to reoccur (bad weather, impossible terrain, psychological weariness), Bill interrupts his trip to take a break. He should have realized there and then there wasn't a complete book to be had from the experience. It's always a pleasure to hear Bill Bryson read his books. I imagine he's the kind of guy you'd like to hang out with for a beer or two (or three), soaking up his quirky sense of humor and basking in his overall bonhommie. But not this book, for this reader/listener, at least not after the first few chapters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Lisa Clover, SC, USA 10-20-09
    Lisa Clover, SC, USA 10-20-09
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    "Bryson doesn't disappoint"

    This is actually my 2nd listen of A Walk In the Woods. I read the book the first time but it had been awhile decided to give it another listen. Funny as I remember. Lots of factual information about the AT and it's history.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    David Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 08-06-09
    David Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 08-06-09
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    "A great trip"

    Vintage Bryson, loaded with laugh out loud moments and crisp writing from one of the best in the business.

    Easily one of my favorite audible purchases of all time. You will NOT be disappointed.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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    Franklin Poland, OH, USA 01-02-04
    Franklin Poland, OH, USA 01-02-04 Member Since 2017
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    "A chuckle here and there"

    Several friends raved about the book, so I was really looking forward to listening to it. I'm not sure whether something was lost in the abridgment, or the choppy editing, but I was somewhat disappointed in the listen. The author's narration of his book is ok, but I agree with other reviewers that his whiny brit affectation grows weary. If you've got a monthly subscription to burn, and you're looking for a short change of pace from fiction, history and/or news, this book is a pleasant diversion.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    David T. Hogan 11-22-03
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    "The MOST enjoyable book I have ever purchased"

    Take away the fact I am an avid camper and desire to walk the trail, and it still is a delightfully ejoyable adventure from start to finish! The author holds your attention with witty, thought provoking descriptions of his adventure. In addition it is packed with knowledge and facts. His adventure is also full of first rate and real life humour. Finally the author has a pleasant voice, which always makes an audio book more enjoyable.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    T. Sims 08-23-03
    T. Sims 08-23-03
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    "A Walk in the Woods"

    Magnificient. An excellent listen for hikers or those who thing they want to be.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Moire Linden, VA, United States 05-05-03
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 05-05-03 Member Since 2002

    Life long fan of the mystery story. I like books where something actually happens, so history and biography are favorites of mine also. I also think that even good books are improved tremendously when an actor performs the narration.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dead Tree was better"

    A wonderfully funny adventure of the middle-aged and the restless, but Bryson's humor translates better on the written page, or when a professional does the reading. His soft slightly British, slightly midwestern voice lacked the punch of the written word. Also, the abridgement left out way too many funny adventures along the way.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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