“Some genuinely laugh out loud moments, in this story of hiking and survival. The notes on the loss of trees and extinction of animals, in contrast, were very sobering.
Interesting - 3/5 ”
“Being a westerner familiar only with the Rocky Mountains, this was an enlightening portrayal of the Appalachian Trail. Hard to imagine highways and motels, towns and restaurants in the midst. Still grueling hike, I suppose.”weradi wrote this review Monday, November 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An entertaining glimpse into hiking the Appalachian Trail from the point of view of somebody who is not a hardcore hiker. As such, it provides a perspective that can informative to all since there are no airs of experience. Aa this with the humor of Bill Bryson. Also, I must add, that it does not provide a picture that encourages one to considering hiking it all. ”Russell K wrote this review Wednesday, October 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I recently saw a piece of entertainment news that said that Robert Redford was going to make a movie out of Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods'. I thought that was very interesting - and immediately sought to read this book. I have no qualms because Bryson is already one of my favourite authors (for "A Short History of Everything" and "At Home"), and if Hollywood is going to make a movie out of one of Bryson's books, then that book must be worth reading.
And indeed, "A Walk in the Woods" is fantastic! It is extremely funny! But it is also very educational - in the same vein that Bryson has employed in "History" and "Home".
The book hits home because we can all empathise with the unfit Bryson and his hapless friend Stephen Katz attempting to hike through 2000 miles of woods, forests, mountains and rivers. The Katz character is truly the star of the narrative (all the funny parts). Without the Katz character, there wouldn't be any laugh out loud segments in this book.
I was actually quite surprised to learn that Katz is actually a pseudonym. On the internet however, I learnt that the Katz character is actually Bryson's friend Matthew Angerer. I hope Angerer got some remuneration from Bryson, because I think it is his Katz character that makes this book extremely memorable and entertaining.
The one thing that I missed from this book is some actual maps/illustrations of the places that was described in the book. I have to search Wikipedia for a map of the Appalachian Trail to see exactly where all the places that Bryson describes are actually located. As I am not American, I do not really have a good idea whether a famous state is in the Northern or in the Southern part of the US, so an accompanying map in the book would have been really helpful. I mean, even the Lord of the Rings has a map of Middle Earth and the route taken by the hobbits from the Shire to Mordor. I am surprised that a book about hiking the Appalachian Trail doesn't! What a shocker :-) ”
“Bill Bryson is one of those authors who is very, very hit-and-miss with me, I must admit. I wanted to throw "A Short History of Nearly Everything" at someone within the first few sentences and it didn't get any better as it went on. "A Walk in the Woods" is wonderful, though. Bryson's self-mockery, his keen sense of honesty and his skill at explaining the meaning behind the most seemingly mundane human experience (e.g. walking up a big hill) all converge to create one of the best travel books I have read. Towering over all in this book (or rather, dragging his feet on the trail far behind, swearing and complaining all the while) is the larger-than-life character of Steve Katz, Bryson's companion on the hike. You couldn't invent a better companion for a bumbling travel story than Katz (although again..."better" is not really the word...). A must read.”Trevor Kew wrote this review Monday, October 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“You know, I've always like Bill Bryson - liked his insights and clever conclusions. However, this was the first time I listened to him read his own book. The man really needs to get a professional reader. I know the author grew up in Iowa and spent 20 years in England, and his accent has been altered in some way - or maybe he's always spoken like this. But he seems to have the worst of both - a nasal, prissy affectation. I found it really distracting. Still, I got a taste of the Appalachian Trail - and I am quite convinced I would not last more than a day”Jennifer S wrote this review Friday, October 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail which stretches from Georgia to Maine. His gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa went along on the walk. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. I enjoyed this book but I didn't care at all for some of the language. ”Madelyn wrote this review Tuesday, October 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Terrifically funny book about hiking and people. And bears. Bryson is perfect company in a crowded world.”Dave Holmes wrote this review Sunday, October 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I've recently become obsessed with hiking/mountain climbing memoirs - and Bryson's book was not a disappointment. While at times it felt like he was trying to fill pages, giving history and information that sometimes slogged on for too many pages, Bryson's wit and humor made this book incredibly enjoyable. And, it made Bryson an author I can't wait to revisit. ”HemingwayHeroine wrote this review Saturday, September 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No