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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail) by [Bryson, Bill]
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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 401 customer reviews

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Length: 305 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon Review

Bill Bryson has made a living out of travelling and then writing about it. In The Lost Continent he re-created the road trips of his childhood; in Neither Here nor There he retraced the route he followed as a young backpacker traversing Europe. When this American transplant to Britain decided to return home, he made a farewell walking tour of the British countryside and produced Notes from a Small Island. Once back on American soil and safely settled in New Hampshire, Bryson once again hears the siren call of the open road--only this time it's a trail. The Appalachian Trail, to be exact. In A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson tackles what is, for him, an entirely new subject: the American wilderness. Accompanied only by his old college friend Stephen Katz, Bryson starts out one March morning in north Georgia, intending to walk the entire 2,100 miles to the trail's end atop Maine's Mount Katahdin.

If nothing else, A Walk in the Woods is proof positive that the journey is the destination. As Bryson and Katz haul their out-of-shape, middle-aged bodies over hill and dale, the reader is treated to both a very funny personal memoir and a delightful chronicle of the trail, the people who created it, and the places it passes through. Whether you plan to make a trip like this one yourself one day or only care to read about it, A Walk in the Woods is a great way to spend an afternoon. --Alix Wilber

Review

"'Entertaining and often illuminating'" (Paul Johnson Sunday Telegraph)

"'This is a seriously funny book'" (Sue Townsend The Sunday Times)

"'Irreverent, wildly funny, crowded with anecdotes and observation'" (Fanny Blake Ideal Home)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4147 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (8 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000S1LSAM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 401 customer reviews
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having read all of Bill Bryson's travel books, this was the last one left. I hadn't read this because I had been told it was one of his weaker novels but I decided, through no other reason that I needed a hit of Bryson, to read it. People couldn't have been more wrong. From the very initiation of assesing the feasibility, to arranging for Katz to accompany him to the purchasing of his equipment (the careful selection process and how easy it is for us to get blinded by science - ie ripped off) and the purchase of 'a large knife for killing bears and hillibillies.' Bryson is at his absolute best. His encounters along the trail and Katz anti-social, childish antics make the first 150 pages more than laugh out loud funny. I couldn't have been more suprised. The encounter with the, erm... 'bear' and Katz' reaction compared to the wimpy Bryson is simply classic.
And then halfway through it stops.
They leave the trail to take some time off and from then on, I tried hard but it never seemed to pick up again, it was funny but you no longer felt you were joining you old mate Bill on this adventure, but just reading a somewhat disjointed collection of tales. Also, after they leave the trail, the book becomes bogged down in history which some may like, but personally, I was more interested in the humor which in the second half is often lacking. However, halfway through this book, I can guarantee theat you will have contemplated at least once, trying to walk the trail - even just a part of it! If flabby, smoking, unhealthy eating Billy boy can do it, I'll bet you I can!
Still, Bryson is and always will be in my mind, a pure genius and this book is well worth the money even just for the first 150 pages and maybe it was just me, no-one else seems to have found this a problem - maybe I'm just thick!
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By A Customer on 16 July 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
This book made me chuckle within the first ten minutes (and that is an unusual sight believe me as I'm usually a miserable person). Bryson bares all of himself for the world to see. His attitude, sense of humour, determination and stamina accompanies his every step across the longest continuous footpath in the world. His honesty is breath of fresh air which many forty somethings who want to be fitter and younger will identify with.
I listened to this on a long train journey, shut my eyes and I was there.... in his sleeping bag, itching at the thought of the insects.... smiling at the thought of his mad travel companion and chuckling at his sarcastic comments, which are sharp, witty and ones you would want to remember. The characters he meets on his journey are just great. A real insight into other people's alternative lifestyles. I enjoyed this more than the Australian 'Down Under' one which has put me off ever visititng the place. Bryson seems to be at his best when stressed.
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Format: Paperback
Two chracteristics that are fantastic to have are humour and wit and Bill Bryson has them in abundance. To write humour with such a comanding voice is an admirable quality indeed. The book is well written, planned, informative and funny.

My only comment is that towards the end the geographical, historical and geological information became a bit repetitive and I did find my interest waning. Aside from this it is another solid effort from a fantastic author.
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By A Customer on 11 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a great Bill Bryson fan, and I loved reading this book.
Although, to tell the truth, it was so realistic that I felt I was camping out with him. I felt so relieved when he finally reached a decent place to spend the night, or when he found a supermarket where he stocked up on mostly junk food.
My heart went out to Katz, who stoically brought up the rear (and sometimes the front).
I tell you, I felt as if I walked every inch of that way with them and I was very happy when it finally got to the end. I was exhausted.
I felt I had to go the whole way with him, otherwise he might never make it!
If you don't want to get exhausted, worried about being attacked by bears, poisoned by mice dung or just plain lose your way or starve, go for some lighter Bryson reading where he gets in a car and travels somewhere relatively safe (like Britain).
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By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Sept. 2015
Format: Audio CD
Bill Bryson, the author, used to be a fairly close neighbor. His rendering of this book is so close to the man. It is one book filled with humor and this is a man that is filled with humor. What we need to know at the outset is that Bryson is not taking this hike to ease his inner turmoil,
Oh, no, he wants to lose weight. He is a middle aged man, a little doughy and a good hike will be great for him. Little dies he know.

Bryson and his friend, Stephen Katz start their hike in Georgis. What they discover is that they are in deep woods, way over their heads, carting too much stuff, and probably not meant for this hike. They do not finish the Appalachian Trail, but Bryson does finish in bits and pieces. Stephen Katz falls off the ladder, but before he goes, it is an often hilarious trek. When I first read this book. It was one of the best books of the year for me. It helped that I knew the author, not well, but knew him. I gave copies to my family and friends for Christmas that year, and they all agreed with me.

Some people were upset with Bryson's take of the trail. At that time, not many people could survive the grueling ordeal. Now, it is a must for many people. But,Bryson picked fun at the government and organizations at that time who supported and maintained the trail. Many people started the trail after reading this book, much better prepared, and in much better shape. As we know the film starring Robert Redford is in theaters now. It has mixed reviews, Redford is really too old, but there you have it. The book is superb, if you have not read it, please do.

Recommended. prisrob 09-06-15

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