“A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, narrated by Rob McQuay
This is the of Bill Bryson's attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail which stretches from Georgia to Maine. I read his book Notes From a Small Island which was his walking England. I liked that one quite a bit. This one a little less. Mr Bryson provides besides a commentary about his experience, history of the trail, ecology and political commentary. Bill can be funny but some of his humor is a little edgy at times. I did like it more than his The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and a lot more than his A Short History of Nearly Everything. The narrator was okay. He tried to give different voices to the different people but I thought he mixed them up once in awhile and if you weren't paying attention you could end up wondering, who said that? I like travel books and I give it 4 stars but just barely.”
“Very funny and very informative book about the Appalachian trial. Most enjoyable read. Had no trouble reading the whole thing and learned a new respect for those who hike these incredible trails. ”Wendy J wrote this review Thursday, April 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Easy read and very funny.”MF McGarry wrote this review Wednesday, April 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bill Bryson and a friend, Stephen Katz, decided to hike the Appalachian Trail in the Eastern United States. It is over 2000 miles of wilderness, stretching from Georgia in the south, all the way to Maine in the north.
I really enjoyed this one. It ranks right up there as one of my favourites by Bryson (of the ones I've read so far), the other one being Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. I think I enjoyed it so much because it takes place outside, in nature. Bryson goes off on plenty of tangents – history, science, or events (often crimes) that happened along the trail – and I found most of it quite interesting. Some of the history was where I lost a little bit of interest (though I'm sure it would probably have been more interesting to me if I was American).
“Read by Ron McLarty - a wide ranging and often humorous retelling of the author's attempt to 'hike the AT.' He and his partner only covered 1/3 of the total distance but had many adventures and met many interesting characters. Very well read - the reader's ability to give life to Bryson's hiking companion (Katz) was especially well done.”Blaine Strickland wrote this review Friday, April 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Over all this was a great book and my favorite part is I could connect to the book because I have hiked part of the Appalachian Trail and know it can be very rough out there. This book was not that easy for me to read but I could comprehend it very well. It was interesting but hard to get into. I would only recommend the book for people who want to earn about hiking and the Appalachian Trail. ”will b wrote this review Monday, April 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Fantastic write-up with plenty of Bill Bryson's characteristic humor. It's as much about the towns and areas that the trail goes through as it is about the trail itself, and whoever reads it will find themselves wanting to go for a similar hike. Excellent for a weekend read.”Brian R wrote this review Sunday, March 31, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I chose this book for a bit of a "getaway" and I got just what I needed. It's a lovely story of Bryson's quest to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to New Hampshire, with a rather interesting buddy. Along the way, they acquaint us with the history, topography and ecological significance of the Trail. Portions of the book are downright hilarious, while all of it is somewhat enticing....maybe enough to drag me from my office and hit the trail some day. Well, maybe tomorrow...or the next day, or.....”Jerome Jewell wrote this review Tuesday, March 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bill and his friend Katz decide they are going to walk the 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail and to say that they bit off more than they could chew is an understatement of majestic proportion. From Bill's first experience with a sporting goods outfitter (way too much stuff for way too much money) to the last steps he took on the AT, I was entertained. Bryson is quick to poke fun at himself and his, at times, woeful attempts to be one with nature. I enjoyed the stories of the people he met along the trail; the constantly lost 'Chicken George', a pack of inept boy scouts, a group of partying young people who take over the sleeping lodge. Along the way Bryson and Katz learn a lot about themselves, one being that they are not AT hikers. When they look at a scale map of the trail and realize that after walking for weeks they had only covered about 2" of the map they rethink their hiking strategy and start picking and choosing different parts of the trail to visit. No, they did not complete the trail but Bryson managed well over 800 miles and was justifiably proud of that.
Bryson gives a lot of history and well researched information about the Trail, famous hikers and the areas the trail crosses. Growing up in Eastern Massachusetts I am well acquainted with some of the mountains he mentions. Mount Washington in New Hampshire is exactly how Bryson describes it with the wind at hurricane speed and temperatures that can drop treacherously within a matter of minutes. And how beautiful it is to look out over a forest of trees that were many shades of green and are now blazing reds, oranges, yellows and golds.
This was my first experience with Bryson and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm so glad that there are several more that I can delve into.
“My friend Peter Hackett recommended that I read this book and it was fun. Since I live in NH and love hiking, this seemed appropriate. Bill Bryson decides after returning from 20 years in Europe to hike the Appalachian Trail (AT) from Georgia to Maine; just 'cause. He has done walking tours in Europe so is not a novice, but he quickly discovers that hiking in the US is very different. An old friend, Stephen Katz, joins him and the comedy adventure begins. Bryson has a way of making even normal circumstances seem very funny. They have a plan and before they know it the plans get scuttled because of circumstances. They meet up with a lot of interesting characters, from the grizzled old hikers to a crazy woman who is all bluster. They get snowed on, rained on, pitch their tents in the worst places, get hungry, cranky, scared and every emotion you can imagine. The times they get near a town are heaven, since they go off the trail and opt for a night in a real bed with a real shower. The tale is very funny and Bryson peppers the story with local history, including how the AT came to be. He chronicles some of the major changes in flora, fauna and the environment over the years, which is both intereresting and heartbreaking. The story takes a noticeable turn when the two hikers finish stage 1 of their trip. The subsequent sections of the book let me down a bit, until Bryson hooks back up with Katz in Maine. This final trip is where they decide that even though they wanted to hike the 2000+ miles of the AT, they are happy with what they did and that's OK. The book ends on an upbeat note and makes me want to go on the trail immediately.”Ron Arden wrote this review Monday, March 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No