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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America…

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (original 1998; edition 2006)

by Bill Bryson

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11,478331234 (4.01)473
Title:A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
Authors:Bill Bryson
Info:Anchor (2006), Edition: 2nd, Mass Market Paperback, 397 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012, pre-2007
Tags:non-fiction, 20th century, travel, appalachian trail, hiking, mmp, 3.5

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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson (1998)


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Showing 1-5 of 325 (next | show all)
Mixture of amusing observation and confidently wrong opinions (i.e. dismissing the ferocity of the moose as nonsense). What leaves a bad taste in the mouth, however, is the fact that there is not a single sympathetic woman in the book, other than two who had their throats cut by a maniac on the AT and the vague figure of Bryson's wife. The rest are ugly stereotypes: obnoxious harridans, horny diner waitresses, vapid college women, etc. But for all its bluster and misogyny, it occasionally made me laugh and it did make me want to go for a walk. ( )
  middlemarchhare | Nov 25, 2015 |
Re-read December 2013. Originally read September 2011. I wanted to re-read this book after seeing Bryson speak in person in October. This book was just as informative and hilarious the second time around. Still made me want to get out there and start hiking and see what adventures I could have. As an added bonus, I convinced my boy to read along with me!

Originally read September 23-26, 2011. This is only my second Bryson, but I'm incredibly eager to read all he's written. He takes the reader on an intimate adventure - I felt like I was alongside him for all of his journey hiking the Appalachian Trail. He's very honest, never makes himself out to sound more intelligent or fit than he actually is, and always admits his mistakes so others may learn from him... or laugh at him. Actually, I think he invites readers to laugh with him, because he has an excellent sense of humor and makes even the most mundane days on the trail seem like an exciting experience. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
Bill Bryson enlists his buddy and former hiking partner Steven Katz to join him in an attempt to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail . Starting from Georgia and proceeding north to Maine, Bryson shares many of his experiences on the trail--the people he meets, the dangers he encounters, the frustrations, and the ecstasies. After Bryson and Katz cover some of the more challenging stretches of the trail, the two reconsider whether they’d, in fact, like to hike it in its entirety. Even though I was disappointed to learn that Bryson ended up by hiking the trail in fragments (and partially without Katz,), I was quickly cheered by the entertaining story Bryson told.

A Walk in the Woods is truly an amusing romp in the woods. If not for Bryson and Katz, it certainly is for the reader. It is especially worthwhile listening to the story on audio tape, as the notes of anguish and others of hilarity come out so well in McLarty’s narration. The book is not only fun, but educational as well. Bryson loves to throw in tidbits of information on all aspects of his trail environment. Katz is an incredibly funny individual (although I’m not sure I’d choose him as a hiking partner if I had a strenuous trail to hike and needed a dependable partner). For some light-hearted, yet interesting reading, grab this book. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Oct 23, 2015 |
I actually listened to the Audible edition of this book. I'm interested in the Appalachian Trail and enjoy Bryson's writing, so I really enjoyed it. ( )
  Auj | Oct 9, 2015 |
DNF'd at 85% just couldn't get past the info dumps, or maybe I just don't like books about hiking. Narration was well done although I wanted it to be Mark Bramhall I think his voice would have fit the age of the characters better. ( )
  susiesharp | Oct 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 325 (next | show all)
Bryson's breezy, self-mocking tone may turn off readers who hanker for another ''Into Thin Air'' or ''Seven Years in Tibet.'' Others, however, may find themselves turning the pages with increasing amusement and anticipation as they discover that they're in the hands of a satirist of the first rank, one who writes (and walks) with Chaucerian brio.
[Bryson] was often exhausted, his ''brain like a balloon tethered with string, accompanying but not actually part of the body below.'' The reader, by contrast, is rarely anything but exhilarated. And you don't have to take a step.

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bill Brysonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goddijn, ServaasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Katz,
of course.
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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.
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Disambiguation notice
ISBN 0552152153 refers to the abridged version. Please do not combine with unabridged works.
ISBN 0-553-45592-3 and 978-0-553-45592-2 refer to the abridged audiobook version. Please do not combine with unabridged works.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307279464, Mass Market Paperback)

Your initial reaction to Bill Bryson's reading of A Walk in the Woods may well be "Egads! What a bore!" But by sentence three or four, his clearly articulated, slightly adenoidal, British/American-accented speech pattern begins to grow on you and becomes quite engaging. You immediately get a hint of the humor that lies ahead, such as one of the innumerable reasons he longed to walk as many of the 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail as he could. "It would get me fit after years of waddlesome sloth" is delivered with glorious deadpan flair. By the time our storyteller recounts his trip to the Dartmouth Co-op, suffering serious sticker shock over equipment prices, you'll be hooked.

When Bryson speaks for the many Americans he encounters along the way--in various shops, restaurants, airports, and along the trail--he launches into his American accent, which is whiny and full of hard r's. And his southern intonations are a hoot. He's even got a special voice used exclusively when speaking for his somewhat surprising trail partner, Katz. In the 25 years since their school days together, Katz has put on quite a bit of weight. In fact, "he brought to mind Orson Welles after a very bad night. He was limping a little and breathing harder than one ought to after a walk of 20 yards." Katz often speaks in monosyllables, and Bryson brings his limited vocabulary humorously to life. One of Katz's more memorable utterings is "flung," as in flung most of his provisions over the cliff because they were too heavy to carry any farther.

The author has thoroughly researched the history and the making of the Appalachian Trail. Bryson describes the destruction of many parts of the forest and warns of the continuing perils (both natural and man-made) the Trail faces. He speaks of the natural beauty and splendor as he and Katz pass through, and he recalls clearly the serious dangers the two face during their time together on the trail. So, A Walk in the Woods is not simply an out-of-shape, middle-aged man's desire to prove that he can still accomplish a major physical task; it's also a plea for the conservation of America's last wilderness. Bryson's telling is a knee-slapping, laugh-out-loud funny trek through the woods, with a touch of science and history thrown in for good measure. (Running time: 360 minutes, four cassettes) --Colleen Preston

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:30 -0400)

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Traces the author's adventurous trek along the Appalachian Trail past its natural pleasures, human eccentrics, and offbeat comforts.

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