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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

by Bill Bryson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,329441290 (4.01)612
Traces the author's adventurous trek along the Appalachian Trail past its natural pleasures, human eccentrics, and offbeat comforts.
  1. 70
    Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (ominogue)
  2. 30
    The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King (Phlox72)
    Phlox72: Although this is fiction it concerns the same woods, and it's a captivating read.
  3. 21
    The Appalachian Trail Reader by David Emblidge (Othemts)
  4. 10
    The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner (LAKobow)
  5. 00
    As Far as the Eye Can See by David Brill (Sandydog1)
  6. 00
    River-Horse by William Least Heat-Moon (yonderjack)
  7. 00
    Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery (Othemts)
  8. 00
    A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby (suniru)
  9. 22
    Two Shadows: The Inspirational Story of One Man's Triumph over Adversity by Charlie Winger (coclimber)
    coclimber: Two Shadows is a fascinating book that goes from tragic to funny to shocking to thrilling and back to funny again. The climbing and travel stories range from dramatic to hilarious.
  10. 11
    Call of the Wild: My Escape to Alaska by Guy Grieve (Playr4JC)
  11. 11
    A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins (PaulBerauer)
  12. 11
    A Supremely Bad Idea: Three Mad Birders and Their Quest to See It All by Luke Dempsey (clamairy)
  13. 11
    Dances With Marmots - A Pacific Crest Trail Adventure by George G. Spearing (clif_hiker)
  14. 12
    The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind - and Almost Found Myself - on the Pacific Crest Trail (P.S.) by Dan White (clif_hiker)
  15. 01
    Cordelia Underwood: or The Marvelous Beginnings of the Moosepath League by Van Reid (wvlibrarydude)
  16. 01
    Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Pharr Davis (booklove2)
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» See also 612 mentions

English (437)  German (3)  Dutch (3)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (446)
Showing 1-5 of 437 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book - I didn't realize I hadn't closed this off earlier. It has lots of humor, history of the area and the trail, and gave me an appreciation of the wildness of it. I really thought most of the natural landscape in the U.S. had disappeared. It is nice to hear that some of it has been at least somewhat preserved and can be appreciated and seen by anyone who really wants to - and I mean you really have to want to! Sometimes I wish I were younger... ( )
  Wren73 | Mar 4, 2022 |
First I thought this book was hysterical. Then it became hard to complete even a chapter at a time. Took me a long time to force myself to finish this tale. ( )
1 vote swbesecker | Feb 28, 2022 |
I enjoyed the parts of the book that were about the actual hike, but there were a lot of rabbit trails along the way about the history of the trail...and other things. While some of the rabbit trails were interesting, many just went on for too long & wondered if we were going to find our way back to the main story. ( )
  kla809 | Feb 25, 2022 |
This was hilarious along with being interesting. Rob and I enjoy hiking. My family is from the Appalachian area in Kentucky, his in Georgia. So we knew this book was a good fit for us. What we didn’t realize was how fun it would be listening to it. We would have listened to it in less days, (we meaning me), except every day Rob would tell me do not listen to that book until I’m home. It was so hard to not cheat! I can’t recommend this recoding, (and the book, which I did read years ago. Listening was actually more fun), enough! I can’t believe how long we had it on the audio tbr. Armchair travel at its best! We had no blisters. Haha. ( )
  Wulfwyn907 | Jan 30, 2022 |
It makes me want to go off and hike the Appalachian Trail one year. But the time hasn't been right yet. ( )
  stevepilsner | Jan 3, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 437 (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 (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bryson, Billprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chaunac, KarineTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cook, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goddijn, ServaasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
/
Dedication
To Katz,
of course.
First words
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.
Quotations
But always the wandering trail ran on.
“You all right?” I said. “Oh, peachy,” he replied. “Just peachy. I don’t know why they couldn’t have put some crocodiles in here and made a real adventure of it.”
The book to which I refer is Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance by a Canadian academic named Stephen Herrero. If this is not the last word on the subject, the I really, really, really do not wish to hear the last word. [Chapter 2]
Black bears rarely attack. But here's the thing. Sometimes they do. All bears are agile, cunning, and immensely strong, and they are always hungry. If they want to kill you and eat you, they can, and pretty much whenever they want. That doesn't happen often, but -- and here is the absolutely salient point -- once would be enough. [Chapter 2]
I wanted very much to be calmed by these assurances but could never quite manage the necessary leap of faith. After noting that just 500 people were attacked and hurt by black bears between 1960 and 1980 -- twenty-five attacks from a resident population of at least half a million bears -- Herrero adds that most of these injuries were not severe. "The typical black bear-inflicted injury," he writes blandly, "is minor and usually involves only a few scratches or light bites." Pardon me, but what exactly is a light bite? Are we talking a playful wrestle and gummy nips? I think not. And is 500 certified attacks really such a modest number, considering how few people go into the North American woods? And how foolish must one be to be reassured by the information that no bear has killed a human being in Vermont or New Hampshire in 200 years? That's not because the bears have signed a treaty, you know. There's nothing to say they won't start a modest rampage tomorrow. [Chapter 2]
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
ISBNs 0552152153 (or 978055152150) and 0553455923 (or 9780553455922) refer to abridged versions. Please do not combine those with this, the record for unabridged works.
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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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