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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

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,625
  • 4 Stars
    1,590
  • 3 Stars
    520
  • 2 Stars
    101
  • 1 Stars
    54

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,639
  • 4 Stars
    1,278
  • 3 Stars
    371
  • 2 Stars
    63
  • 1 Stars
    44

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,312
  • 4 Stars
    1,393
  • 3 Stars
    542
  • 2 Stars
    116
  • 1 Stars
    60
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Couldn't stop laughing!

What made the experience of listening to A Walk in the Woods the most enjoyable?

The humor was both subtle and outright! Awesome.

Which character – as performed by Rob McQuay – was your favorite?

He did a fabulous job on all the characters! So funny!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Humorous tale mixed with useful knowledge.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would absolutely. It was laugh out loud funny, but had interesting information at the same time. I pulled up a map of the AT that is divided into parts so each part can be looked at in detail and fiollowed along the story with the map.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the humour the best. But the ability to following with his hike with a map was fun too.

What does Rob McQuay bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He did a great job of reading this book. The perfect voice for the content. Some books and narrators just make a perfect combo. This was one of them.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did. I listened to it all in one day. Made meals, cleaned out a room, picked up a few things at the store, all well listening (and breaking out in laughs) to this book. Made the entire day great, despite whatever chore I was doing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

very entertaining!

What did you love best about A Walk in the Woods?

I loved the authors wry sense of humor about the difficulties of taking on such an adventure and the preparations involved with doing so.

What did you like best about this story?

Had me smiling and recalling similar experiences on one of many of my own hikes.

Which character – as performed by Rob McQuay – was your favorite?

katz

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

made me laugh a lot.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • James
  • United States
  • 03-29-14

Less would have been more.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The reading would have been much better with a lot less 'acting'. Less would have been more.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Walk in the Woods?

This is one of my favorite books of all times, but I found the reading so distractingly bad that I had to stop listening about half way through. The first time I read the book, I literally laughed so hard it hurt on several occassions. No such moments occurred as I listened to this rendition.

How could the performance have been better?

The best way I can explain it is that the narrator read the story in a way that parents read bedtime stories to very young children. Overexagerated and condescending in a way that assumes the listener will miss 'the funny' unless the reader goes out of his way to point to it. It would be and, in fact, is exponentially funnier when it's played straight as Bryson himself reads it in the abridged version.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I love the book. Absolutely brilliant. I absolutely HATED this reading of it.

Any additional comments?

If you're a fan of the book, avoid this reading at all costs and buy the version where Bill Bryson reads it himself. The two readings are night and day.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Took a chance, lost

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The book was ok. Other people told me it was humorous and interesting. I didn't find it to be either to be honest. Bryson seemed like a jackass to me. Like he had some sort of perception of intellectual superiority over the people that he encountered and spoke with. He constantly complained of man screwing up the environment, all the while his partner seemed to be littering all over the AT. Complained of the Forest Service, complained of other hikers, complained of towns he decided to stop in. If you want a book on the AT, there are better ones to be had. That's the most interesting part of this book, just the general preparations and descriptions of the places he stopped on the AT.

If you’ve listened to books by Bill Bryson before, how does this one compare?

Never read another one

Would you listen to another book narrated by Rob McQuay?

Yes

Did A Walk in the Woods inspire you to do anything?

I do plan on hiking the AT some day

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

humorous, educational, and fun all together!!

great reader who truly makes the characters come alive . a true classic for anyone that enjoys the outdoors

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic and fun

It was poignant on self discovery and realizing what is important, funny , recalling the scrapes and adventures of the author and his overweight recovering alcoholic buddy who accompanied him on the hike, and informative on our disappearing wilderness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ed
  • 03-15-17

Great book!!

The speaker did a great job and the book was really interesting. Dragged on a little in the middle, but got more captivating at the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Plodding rendition of an enjoyable read

Like the subject of the book, A Walk in the Woods plodson and on. Narrator Rob McQuay renders most of the characters with uninspired cliche impressions, but his narration captures most of Bryson sardonic wit. I didn't notice this when I first read the book, but Bryson seems a little more annoying and nitpicky as a narrator here in the dialogue. His first person accounts and observations fall somewhere between the well-researched and introspective writings of William Least Heat-Moon and the humor of outdoor writer Pat McManus, but falls short of rivaling either. Bryson captures a lot of humor in his writing, but sometimes derails into diatribes against the very type of culture this book in particular helped to create. I would definitely recommend actually reading the book over listening to the audio version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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amazing

Whilst Bryson is a horrid liberal this is one fanciful tale. A must read or listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful