Marleen's Reviews > A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
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May 25, 11

Read in May, 2011

Read for Book Club discussion.

In the past I have listened to one or two Bill Bryson books on audio, and I really enjoyed them. I do most of my listening in the car, and it must have been strange for people in oncoming cars to see this woman driving along on her own, laughing out loud.
This time I went for the paper version of one of his books, and once again Bryson had my smiling and laughing at different times during the story.
In this book Bryson tells about the time he decided to take one summer to walk the Appalachian Trail with a friend he had not seen in years.
The Appalachian Trail runs through 14 states on the east coast of the USA and is over 2100 miles long. For most of this distance the trail is uncultivated wilderness, with all the dangers that implies.
To say that Bryson and his friend, Stephen Katz, were ill prepared for the ordeal that lay ahead of them in an understatement. A fact that makes it all the more remarkable they made it as far as they did without either of them getting seriously injured or worse.
Overall I enjoyed this book. Bill Bryson is very good at humourous writing and gives great descriptions of people and their quirks. It has to be said though that at times his comments border on being cruel to the person in question.
I mostly liked the descriptions of the trail, it's environment and history although there were times where it went on too long for my liking and I found myself wishing Bryson would get back to the hiking already.
I'm glad I didn't let those moments of impatience put me off finishing the book though, since the last part of the book was by far the best for me. In the last 43 pages the reader will find most of the action, and those were also the pages were I found myself laughing and smiling the most.
The overall verdict on this book for me is therefore that this was an enjoyable read that could possibly have been a bit shorter. I enjoyed it enough though to want to try and squeez in another book by Bryson before the book club meeting 6 days from today.
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