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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… (edition 1999)

by Bill Bryson (Author)

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15,589449297 (4)614
Traces the author's adventurous trek along the Appalachian Trail past its natural pleasures, human eccentrics, and offbeat comforts.
Member:kmize128
Title:A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail)
Authors:Bill Bryson (Author)
Info:Crown (1999), Edition: Reprint, 276 pages
Collections:Your library
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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

  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 614 mentions

English (442)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  French (2)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (452)
Showing 1-5 of 442 (next | show all)
As always, I enjoyed the story and the bits of history that Bill Bryson throws in randomly. I learned a lot and I have a new appreciation and fascination with the Appalachian Trail. However I thought that Bill was unusually negative in this book. He did not have much of anything good to say about anyone he met on the trip and he seems to be complaining most of the time. I understand that it is a very difficult thing (I'm not saying I wouldn't whine about having to deal with the lack of comforts on the trail), but I almost feel like he just walked the trail to get a book about it.

Now Bill Bryson is a wonderful author, and I would highly recommend his other books, however I probably wouldn't recommend this one. It didn't make me laugh out loud like his other books do and that is why I pick up a Bill Bryson book. To laugh and learn. ( )
  ArcherKel | Aug 17, 2022 |
Funny
  yramberg | Aug 15, 2022 |
I read this book around the time it first came out; and just re-read it when it was given to me as a gift after I slack-packed the Georgia portion of the AT. My gut reaction to the book hasn't changed, which is that Katz is too convenient a sidekick/doppelganger to be real. Too much of the content of the book is dependent on his ready quips and constant foibles; and his character isn' t even consistent, sometimes he's wise, sometimes he's a fool. And no way did he make a date with a fat woman he met at a laundromat and then get stalked by her fat husband. It's ridiculous. And so is it all made up? Mary Ellen, the couple on their honeymoon, the wisecracking cab driver, the officious security guard, the park ranger at Shenandoah National Park who had never seen the AT? None of it seems real.
And did our heroes really start through the Hundred Mile Wilderness without ever talking to anyone about what they would face there? Without realizing they'd be fording rivers? (Isn't the author supposed to be all about researching? If so does he ever pick up a phone?) And why would they attempt the Hundred Mile Wilderness when they couldn't even manage North Carolina?
So it's either a fictionalized memoir, or a fiction presented as a memoir, which would be fine, I guess, if as fiction it told a tighter story. Or if as a memoir, I felt the author communicated any motivation for hiking stronger than the need to write this book.

Also, this is just a quibble, but every time the author mentions Emma "Grandma" Gatewood, it's to demean and disparage her. She was the first woman to thru-hike the AT, and the first person to hike the AT three times, and she did it when the AT was much less easy to navigate than it is now. I mean, show some respect! She is amazing. ( )
  read.to.live | Jul 2, 2022 |
Delightful and hilarious. ( )
  mindatlarge | Jun 28, 2022 |
I didn't like this book that much. Normally I like Bill Bryson but there was just too much of the same over and over here. Crap, they didn't even walk hardly a fraction of the trail. There was precious little rediscovering America as well. Instead we get a sort of rambling monologue about how dreadful and dreary and uncomfortable things are, the typical Deliverance and redneck jokes, and how screwed up his trail mate is. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 442 (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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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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