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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.

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  • Overall
  • Jeff
  • williston, VT, USA
  • 09-18-09

Wonderful book, but hardly abridged

I never buy abridged books but since Audible didn't have the full version and I wanted the audio book I went for it. After listening to it, I wondered what had been left out. So I purchased the book in paperback. I just finished the paperback, and honestly was hard press to find anything that wasn't in the 'abridged' audio book. At most they cut out a few pages. The fact that Bill is reading it and he's as good a reader as he is author makes it all the better. Just a wonderful, funny and informative story.

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • colleen
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, United States
  • 06-04-12

Grab your tent

"Plan B was to kill Maryanne and steal her pop tarts". Classic Bryson. This is another book that the whole family could enjoy. No words of caution, just add it to your cart.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Clay
  • Novi, MI, USA
  • 06-03-03

Warning: Trail may lead across Europe &, England

The Appalachian Trail adventure of Walk in the Woods was the first Bill Bryson book I listened to and it launched me into his other travels ("Notes from a Small Island", "Neither Here Nor There").
Bryson reading his own books adds spirit to the tales. In "Walk in the Woods", the imagery he draws of his travelling buddy, Katz, lumbering through the woods makes the inexperienced Bryson appear out to be a mix of Daniel Boone and David Letterman. Some of the best moments are the more serious history of the AT, changes/losses of nature on the trail, and foolishness of the National Parks Circus. Bryson is even, he notes the vastness and hazards of the wilderness and relatively unvisited spaces, not arguing to make the AT some kind of museum piece. Walk in the Woods doesn't have as much of the wild exaggerations of his other books. It's all done with humor that makes every cranky bear laugh out loud.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anthony
  • South Ozone Park, NY, USA
  • 11-08-04

Wonderful story, great audiobook

I love audobooks that are actually read by the author, and this one in particular was fun to listen to because the narrator actually lived through the story he is telling about. While I was at first dubious about the title, I found Bryson's delivery engaging enough and was soon imagining mysef out there in the woods with him.
This book is perfect for listening on long walks and sitting outside somewhere. I enjoyed it so much that I immediately looked to find others written by the same author, only to find that I had already owned one ("A Short History of Nearly Everything") that was in my "to listen to again" pile.
A tell-tale sign that a book is a good read is when you find it in the store and are tempted to actually purchase the hard copy for your actual bookshelf.
I look forward to reading another Bryson book as soon as this one is done.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sy
  • Albuquerque, NM, USA
  • 01-31-09

I wasn't ready for this to end

I thoroughly enjoyed Bryson's descriptiveness, descriptivosity, descriptivemania, even. Let's push it: descriptions of descriptions. Enough of that, the book was downright great and placed me smack in the middle of the AT walking with him and his companion.

Set aside the sheer fantasy of being able to do this in today's world, with mortgages and jobs, he really made the best of the time he was afforded in the woods, and that is respectable.

It's not a predictable book by any means. I didn't expect a single thing that came next. That's the beauty of Bryson's brain; it keeps you on your toes.

I found these two clowns my own companions on my long drives through New Mexico and I really felt a loss when the book was done because I wasn't ready for the adventure to end. I had pulled into a Sonic Drive-in to eat when the last track ran out, thinking, damn, no, it can't be over yet. I must have had a sour look on my face because the carhop looked in the window as if to say, "Hey, OK in there?". I don't want your damn mustard, I want another track.

I was with these guys through northern New Mexico, southern New Mexico and lots of points in between. I kinda miss them. They became familiar and I wanted to see what was going to happen next.

I often miss the days of my own outrageous adventures and this book really brought all the newness, life and brilliance back into the memories and richly added new ones for me.

VERY WORTHWHILE LISTENING.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

the unforgetable stroll....

I do not write on line reviews. In fact I dont even write my mother letters. However, I feel compelled to drop a few lines about this wonderful story...documentary...comedy...tragedy...work of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book and have even bought a copy for my 90 year old Great grandfather in law removed onceon my sister in laws side (you figure it out). Anyhow...get this one today...Ed Glynn, MD

50 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Worth Listening to Over & Over & Over...

Needless to say, I'm hooked! Not sure if it's that his voice that is so pleasant to listen to or just the fact that it's darn, good, writing, but I enjoyed every moment of this book. Now I'm getting the paperback! I am also ordering one of his other books. I can't wait to start it. It's such a wonderful way to relax after a hectic day at work.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • Lexington, KY, United States
  • 03-21-12

Very good despite abridgement

Other reviewers have covered this ground so I will make my review brief. I normally eschew abridged audiobooks but this one is fine. That out of the way, I found "A Walk In the Woods" to be at once educational, thought-provoking, and often very funny in that delightfully droll, British way. Bryson narrates his own work here and he does a great job. I thoroughly enjoyed the work and I was sorry when it was over. This was my first Bryson work and it has definitely whet my appetite for more.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ella
  • toronto,, Ontario, Canada
  • 06-11-06

Funny beginning

I enjoyed the humourous way this writer reviewed his experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail. Being a wannabe hiker, I was able to enjoy his trials and tribulations through his entire journey, from the start of buying his equipment to the end when it was all over. The book began to drag when Bryson put in all kinds of environmental facts. These facts were interesting at first, but then I found it a bit "preachy". It seemed to go downhill about half way through. Not a bad listen, kind of different from the usual books I listen to.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A fun relaxing book

I never listened to any of Mr Bryson's bookd before. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It provided a wonderful escape, through imagery, humor and vivid descriptions. I highly encourage anyone to get this book for a fun, light and relaxing escape from life's daily grind.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful