Dolly's Reviews > A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
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May 01, 08

bookshelves: nonfiction, thought-provoking
Recommended to Dolly by: A. B.
Recommended for: non-hikers who've romanticized the wilderness
Read in April, 2008

** spoiler alert ** The first half is pretty freakin hilarious. (Katz, although based on a real person, is whoa funny. I'd totally take him hiking with me, Snickers bars and laundromat-panty jokes, and all.) The narrative stalls a bit after Katz departs (temporarily, thank goodness), but it picks back up for the last push. Interspersed throughout are these poignant little bits about how human beings have mucked up the Environment. It does give one pangs of eek, but it didn't make me want to flagellate myself. As a preachy environmental book, this one is fairly low-impact. You take what you get from it.

It's true that Bryson, the narrator, is a little hoity and condescending. At some points, he's even a bit of a jerk (the whole incident with the security guard was sort of uncomfortable, made more so by the fact that he obviously thought himself terribly superior and clever). However, that doesn't often distract from the charm. Besides, I thought Katz was the real hero of this romance.

In sum: It didn't make me want to go hiking, but it did make me actually read multiple-hundreds of pages about someone else hiking, and that was quite a feat.
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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen I forgot about that book. I read it years ago and really really enjoyed it.


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