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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
15,871452299 (4)622
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 622 mentions

English (448)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  French (2)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (458)
Showing 1-5 of 448 (next | show all)
Se amate la montagna, passeggiare nei boschi, la natura, oppure se volete semplicemente leggere un bel libro, simpatico e molto, molto divertente non fatevi scappare questo. Anni fa è stato il mio primo incontro, del tutto fortuito e casuale, con Bill Bryson e da allora ho letto molti altri suoi libri, ma questo conserva un posto particolare, perché ridere fino alle lacrime con un bellissimo racconto tra paesaggi incomparabili non è di tutti i giorni. Una lettura facile, veloce e molto piacevole, ma anche molto interessante e avvincente che riuscirà a trasportarvi in posti di incomparabile bellezza. ( )
  Raffaella10 | Jan 28, 2023 |
Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes--and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is destined to become a modern classic of travel literature.
  DSH-M-Library | Jan 4, 2023 |
This was the first Bryson I've read, ever, though I've known for a while that I would like him. I had been in a bit of a reading slump, picking up a book and losing interest in the first few chapters. But I knew I would finish this one after I started laughing on the train, thanks to Bryson's potty humor regarding bear encounters and how he would "shit himself lifeless." While I never laughed as much again while reading the rest of the book, I found Bryson's writing style engaging and interesting, whether he was recounting walking through blizzard conditions or some history related the AT.

Oddly enough, the book made me want to hike the AT, but at the same time run away screaming at the very thought. ( )
  wisemetis | Dec 28, 2022 |
Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods was filled with some humorous moments. The author told his story about his attempt to walk the 2,200 miles Appalachian Trail. He was accompanied by an Iowan friend Stephen Katz, who wasn’t in greatest physical shape. Initially, Bryson discussed what it was like preparing for this trip by reading books, purchasing food, and all the necessary equipment.
Bryson and Katz set out on foot from Georgia. As they walked the trail they encountered cold weather, but kept on going. Their going was tough. Along the way they stopped at rest stops, inns, and pitched their tents. They soon reached the Smokies but plodded along. Occasionally, they would meet someone on the trail, and camped with them. Later they hitched rides to reach Virginia, where the first leg of their journey ended. From here Katz departed for his apartment in Iowa, and Bryson decided to return home to New Hampshire.
As Bryson waited for Katz to join him for the second leg of the trip, he decided to walk the trail and drive his car. He therefore went to West Virginia at Harper’s Ferry. From there he ventured to Pennsylvania where he described how coal mining had transformed a city’s landscape. Bryson with his car made it to New York and New Jersey. While on the trail he commented on New York’s excellent Appalachian maps.
Later Bryson drove home to New Hampshire. After some time, he connected with Katz, who had returned for them to walk the trail in Maine. After preparations they set out on the more difficult part of the Appalachian Trail. They were confronted with towering mountain ranges, crossed creeks, and camped in the wild. For a while Katz was lost until Bryson found him. Their going was quite challenging, and they decided to call it quits, so they hitched a ride, and left for home. Bryson later calculated that he had covered about 40 percent of the trail, and that was good enough. ( )
  erwinkennythomas | Dec 28, 2022 |
Another fun book by Mr. Bryson. His language is a little salty but I laughed out loud a few times. I like how he includes science in his account now and then. His friend Katz reminds me of someone. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 448 (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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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.
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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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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