“Two middle-aged, out-of-shape guys decide to hike from Georgia to Maine on the Applachian Trail. I was a bit piqued when they skipped my entire neck of the woods, taking a taxi from Gatlinburg, TN to Roanoke, VA. Then they quit at Fort Royal, Virginia and skip the middle two-thirds, picking up in Maine again, and cannot manage the last leg of trail in Maine either. Bryson gets much further than Katz, by going back and hitting Vermont and New Hampshire for day hikes, and he doesn't even make 400 miles total out of over 2,000 miles of trail. Even though they cheat and don't exactly "rough it"--they face their fair share of hardships, including copious mud, knee-deep snow, a surly car-impounding security guard, Beulah's jealous (armed) husband, and the dense and mouthy Mary Ellen. They manage to ditch Mary Ellen by leaving the trail and hitchhiking to Hiawassee, TN. By the time Bryson and Katz hit North Carolina, they would happily kill for a Twinkie. This might just be the best humorous male travelogue since "Three Men in a Boat." Bryson writes with delicious comedic timing. The book also swerves into AT history, geography, and topography without losing its stride. It packs an ecological punch as a bonus, doubling as critique of the U. S. Forest Service and the indifference of most of America toward the natural world. Everything a memoir should be.”
Wow...just finished the book and you hit every point right on the nailhead. Good review. I loved the book.
Completely agree with both of you! A great laugh-out-loud book, packed with tons on interesting info.
Hey, maybe this is a great recap (I wouldn't call it a review) for someone who's read it... but try not to give away the entire plot to those who haven't read it yet. When I started reading it, I came across your "review" and had to stop after about 10 words and look away when I saw that you were just going to summarize. I've finished it now, and yes, you've accurately summarized wonderfully. Please be considerate to others and summarize in a Discussion page, not the Review section. Thanks!