Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson

We selected this audiobook based on our success with a previous audiobook, Lost Continent, by Bill Bryson.

Summary: This is an autobiographical story about the time Bryson hiked the Appalachian Trail (and no, that is not a euphemistic reference to Mark Sanford). Bryson decided to start in Georgia and walk his way up to Maine. He talks about preparing for his trip, shopping for gear and foodstuffs. Worried about being alone in the middle of the forest, he recruited his friend Katz to come with. They overcome a variety of obstacles,  but physical and mental. They fight all kinds of weather, make mistakes and come to moments of realization. The whole book is littered with interesting analysis regarding the management of the National Forest Service and the Appalachian Trail Conference. He describes the trail, its amenities and the scenic points. He recounts the history and construction of the trail and how it has shaped the region. This edition was read by the author, who happens to do a very good job of it.

What I Liked: Personally, it reminded me of my two teenage trips to Philmont Scout Ranch where I hiked two weeks at a time in the Rockies of New Mexico. I remembered what it was like to carry your life on you back and wonder if you really needed all that food or a sleeping bag. Also, Bryson has a fantastic sense of humor typically found in Britain, which I love.

What I Didn't Like: They don't accomplish everything they had hoped for, and I felt sad for them.

Rating: Wonderful! Totally worth the read. 

Published: 1998

Also Read By This Author: Lost Continent.

Reviewed By: Nick

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