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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America…
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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail… (original 1997; edition 1999)

by Bill Bryson

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14,314424286 (4.01)588
In the company of his friend Stephen Katz (last seen in the bestselling Neither Here nor There), Bill Bryson set off to hike the Appalachian Trail, the longest continuous footpath in the world. Ahead lay almost 2,200 miles of remote mountain wilderness filled with bears, moose, bobcats, rattlesnakes, poisonous plants, disease-bearing tics, the occasional chuckling murderer and - perhaps most alarming of all - people whose favourite pastime is discussing the relative merits of the external-frame backpack. Facing savage weather, merciless insects, unreliable maps and a fickle companion whose profoundest wish was to go to a motel and watch The X-Files, Bryson gamely struggled through the wilderness to achieve a lifetime's ambition - not to die outdoors.… (more)
Member:mschlot1
Title:A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail)
Authors:Bill Bryson
Info:Broadway (1999), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson (1997)

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» See also 588 mentions

English (415)  German (3)  Dutch (3)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (424)
Showing 1-5 of 415 (next | show all)
With a lot of humour, Bryson walks us through his Appalachian Trail adventures. I loved his honesty, observations and comments about the social, political, economic and geological events that shaped the trail through the decades. It was a good mix of personal and factual accounts with a solid dose of mixed emotions as he fell into pain, boredom, exaltation and much more. I can't say the book gave me the desire to try the trail but definitely it gave me the encouragement to put my hiking boots on again. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Aug 19, 2020 |
I echo the sentiments that this book was much better at the beginning than at the end. I love Bryson's ability to make non-fiction sound like fiction (and maybe some of his recollections are) and I find some of his stories truly hilarious. Admittedly he comes across as a bit of a judgmental ass at times and the smattering of facts throughout the book would have held more weight if he'd included citations. I was dissapointed that after talking extensively about how he missed the trail when he wasn't on it the book ends with not much more than a "do you want to go home?". I think Bryson could have benefited from some deeper reflection at this point so the ending felt more satisfactory to the reader. ( )
  mackinsquash | Aug 15, 2020 |
00015396
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
The best Bryson, and the best trail narrative, that I have yet read. ( )
  ibazel | Aug 7, 2020 |
Laugh out loud, make people on the train uncomfortable funny! The book works because of his hilarious backpacking buddy Katz. Between them they play a improv comedy duet on the trail. People complain Bryson is egotistical, but I find he's thoughtful and thorough; he's just so good with words that he twists, turns, and exaggerates in an almost British way. If you want a good chuckle about inept hiking, this is it! ( )
  bsmashers | Aug 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 415 (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
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.
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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ISBNs 0552152153 and 0553455923 (or 9780553455922) refer to abridged versions. Please do not combine with unabridged works.
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In the company of his friend Stephen Katz (last seen in the bestselling Neither Here nor There), Bill Bryson set off to hike the Appalachian Trail, the longest continuous footpath in the world. Ahead lay almost 2,200 miles of remote mountain wilderness filled with bears, moose, bobcats, rattlesnakes, poisonous plants, disease-bearing tics, the occasional chuckling murderer and - perhaps most alarming of all - people whose favourite pastime is discussing the relative merits of the external-frame backpack. Facing savage weather, merciless insects, unreliable maps and a fickle companion whose profoundest wish was to go to a motel and watch The X-Files, Bryson gamely struggled through the wilderness to achieve a lifetime's ambition - not to die outdoors.

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