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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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11,307308247 (4.01)458
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
Tags:light reading

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

Recently added byLittleGreenBookshop, private library, SueB51, rc6750, jms001, sklee, zvdaniels, amusedbybooks, Sshad

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Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A truly adventurous read…and great for those that want to vicariously go on an adventure.

I love memoirs about hiking, and I love Bill Bryson's various books. So I thought that this would be the best of both worlds. Bryson writes eloquently, and offers a find balance of personal anecdotes as well as interesting history, science, or geographical explanations. You can't go wrong with A Walk in the Woods.

The story focuses on Bryson and his friend Stephen Katz as they attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail, starting from Georgia and concluding in Maine. He offer various experiences that occur during the course of the hike, some more memorable than others. I especially loved the part with their wonderful hiking-mate, Mary Ellen. And as much as I would love to do something as thru-hiking a trail, the details Bryson offers on potential mishaps that could occur don't encourage me in the least bit. So I think I'm fine with reading about the hike.

For lovers of hiking, this is a great read. ( )
  jms001 | Aug 25, 2015 |
Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson , originally released in 1998, has been re-released as a tie in for the upcoming movie of the same title.

Even though it has been a few years since this book was originally published it is still a great memoir, and great introduction to the Appalachian Trail, which extends for over 2,000 miles up down the east coast of the United States from Maine to Georgia.

Part memoir, part educational lesson about the trail itself, the US National Parks Service, and nature and conservation, this is a good title for those looking for a humorous yet insightful book about hiking, history, and the great outdoors. It is full of details and facts, and contains quite a bit of interesting information in its 300-or-so pages. As you follow Bryson, and his friend Stephen Katz along portions of their hike, you’ll find out why hiking the Appalachian Trail is no walk in the woods.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  sklee | Aug 25, 2015 |
This funny, interesting book was an absolute listening pleasure. The narrator’s droll delivery is well suited to the writing style, which intersperses informative passages with a hefty dose of humor. While I loved learning more about the Appalachian Trail, the highlight of the book is the descriptions of the author’s hiking partner, Stephen Katz. I’m not really sure how much of Katz is an embellishment and how much is real, but I truly hope that every word is true.

Even if you have no particular interest in the Appalachian Trail, A Walk in the Woods is still a fascinating and entertaining book. I highly recommend it, no matter the format. (By the way, don’t rely on the trailers for the upcoming film adaptation to give you a sense of this book; from what I’ve seen, they’re essentially two totally different things.) ( )
  les121 | Aug 23, 2015 |
I really wanted to give this book 5 stars. At times it was so engaging I couldn't put it down. The first half of the book with the lead in to the hike and the actual telling of events of the hike up through Tennessee were really funny. Bryson and his companion, Katz, are quite a team. Hilarious at times. The third quarter of the book is slow, even boring at times. Bryson is hiking the trail on his own. There is a lot of trail history and science thrown in to lengthen the story, which is sometimes interesting, but mostly boring. I had to skip parts of this or I never would have made it through the book. There just isn't much for him to talk about when he is out on the trail alone. For the ending, Bryson and Katz team up again to take a stab at the end of the trail in Maine. Once again, Bryson's telling of the interactions between he and his friend are quite entertaining. He wraps it all up nicely, and in the end I was glad I read the book. ( )
  valorrmac | Aug 19, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson

Seventeen years after its original publication, sporting "Now a major motion picture" label, this rambling account of an attempted long hike on the Appalachian Trail came into my hands. I had been on the trail long ago. I never would have aspired to do more than sample it, and salute those who complete it.

(I was tempted to leave the above as my review but find I cannot. Like Bryson and Katz, I press on.)

Neither himself or his overweight companion had any realistic expectation of completing the journey. We marvel that they did as much as was possible against all odds, appreciate Bryson's honesty, and look forward to the film. ( )
  Esta1923 | Aug 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 302 (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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