Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Walk in the Woods” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
A Walk in the Woods
 
by
Bill Bryson
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Walk in the Woods

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  273,318 Ratings  ·  14,747 Reviews
God only knows what possessed Bill Bryson, a reluctant adventurer if ever there was one, to undertake a gruelling hike along the world's longest continuous footpath—The Appalachian Trail.

The 2,000-plus-mile trail winds through 14 states, stretching along the east coast of the United States, from Georgia to Maine. It snakes through some of the wildest and most spectacular l
...more
Audio Cassette
Published August 1st 1998 by Chivers Audio Books (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Walk in the Woods, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

thor b "Soon to be a major motion picture starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.
The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some…more
"Soon to be a major motion picture starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.
The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes."
The source(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
erin
Jan 31, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Smug jerks, misanthropes, tourists
It's been a busy couple of weeks, so I thought I'd spent the last of my holiday indulging in a witty travelogue to set my feet itching. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong book. Years of declining the advice of the Bryson-worshipers, it seems, was not in vain.

I'm halfway through, and - like the author on the daunting trail - am unsure as to whether or not I can finish my task. Bryson sounds, to put it mildly, a real jerk. He's smug and superior, and spends most of the book complaining about his co
...more
Jason
I am what some might call a pussy hiker. I do genuinely enjoy a leisurely stroll in the “mountains” of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. I like the pretty views. I always bring my conveniently-sized L.L. Bean backpack ($39.95 from the Kittery Outlets) so I have a place for my camera and cell phone. But by early afternoon, I would like to be done, please. I would like to be done and sitting at a booth in a pub with my burger and beer. Camping is certainly worthy of consideration, but here ...more
Anne
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anne by: Jeff
I kind of surprised I liked this book at all, because:
a) I read pathetically little non-fiction
b) I've never read a travelogue
AND
c)
I'm only a fan of the Great Outdoors as long as I'm safely Indoors.

description

So, color me shocked that I not only finished this, but giggled my way through quite a bit of it! Bryson really is a pretty funny writer, and the way he captured his experience on the Appalachian Trail had me in tears a few times. His fears about getting mauled by a bear (among other things) befor
...more
J.L.   Sutton
I wanted to like Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. Not sure what I was expecting from this—perhaps more about hiking on the actual AT and the reasons Bryson made this trek—but I was mostly disappointed. It read like a series of travel brochures: here’s the history of the region on this section of the trail, and now another…There was much more attention devoted to towns along the route than hiking the actual trail. It was also disappointing that Br ...more
Diane
Bill Bryson calls the Appalachian Trail "the grandaddy of long hikes," but for me, this book is the granddaddy of hiking memoirs. I first read it sometime around 1999, and I enjoyed it so much that not only have I reread this multiple times, but it also inspired me to read at least a dozen other hiking adventures. None have matched Bryson's wit.

Before he started writing long books on various aspects of history, Bryson was known for his entertaining travelogues. A Walk in the Woods was his humor
...more
Ken-ichi
Apr 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ken-ichi by: Maggi
Shelves: nature, naturalism, travel
Undoubtedly an amusing, breezy read, full of the kind of fun and hilarity all the blurbs lead you to expect. For instance, "Hunters will tell you that a moose is a wily and ferocious forest creature. Nonsense. A moose is a cow drawn by a three-year-old." That had me laughing on the train.

I can't say I liked this book quite as much as some of my friends seem to. On the one hand, I've had at least 1 semi-grueling backpacking experience with a companion who was wholly unprepared for a rigorous day
...more
Jeff
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
Going into this book, I really had no idea of what to expect from Bill Bryson. Even though I picked this book up based on Diane’s terrific review (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I had never read the author before and let’s face it - blurbs on the cover only tell you so much. You have to read and live with an author’s prose to get a feel for it. As far as travelogues go, I don’t read many: Paul Theroux, Mark Twain and Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley are the only ones that come to min ...more
Jason Koivu
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail pressed all my favorite buttons: Humor. Adventure. Danger. Storytelling. Nature. Local/personal interest. Et cetera.

I even liked that the author Bill Bryson is a American-Brit ex-pat/transplant and thus an outsider giving his opinion as a stranger in a strange land. Bryson's humorous, well-researched, yet relaxed writing is what I always hope for when embarking upon a book like this.

A trek upon the Appalachian Trail is supposed
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/



After reading A Man Called Ove last week, I was afraid nothing would compare and I’d be stuck in book hangover mode unless I picked something totally different from what I normally read. I decided to go to the library website incognito in order to not get the typical porny recommendations made “just for me” and get the generally recommended ones instead.

Obviously A Walk In The Woods was a book that appeared on the list and I remember
...more
Jack
May 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone still breathing
Imagine a grueling, four-month wilderness trek along the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Your guide: an intellectual, who lived half his life in England, well versed in geology, zoology, ecology and pretty much all of the other ‘ologies.’ Yet, this far from ordinary guide summons the sparkle of Twain, and of Billy Crystal. Picture all of this for a sense of what can be found inside the covers of Bill Bryson’s "A Walk in the Woods." Bryson, a self-deprecating intellectual of the first or ...more
Julie
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm no city mouse. I'm a country mouse who lives in jeans and who often has a thick layer of soil under her nails from gardening. But, when compared to my brother, I seem like Zsa Zsa Gabor or Beyoncé.

My brother is like. . . Inman, from Cold Mountain. A man who walks and walks and walks, all over Appalachia.

He knows how to forage for food and how to identify what is good and what is bad, out in nature. I can point to anything within the plant kingdom, and he knows its name. He composts all of hi
...more
Ben
Apr 28, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bill Bryson is extremely annoying. I started out liking this book, but the further I went along, the more obnoxious I found the author's smarter-than-thou attitude. And that's a shame, too, because I was very interested in the subject matter and had the impression that Bryson wrote with a comedic edge. However, his sense of humor turns out to be quite bland, and consists mostly of making fun of everyone he meets. Get ready for adjectives like "stupid" and "fat" ... very high-brow. And don't worr ...more
Mischenko
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely read the book if you're a fan of the outdoors and hiking. I learned about the book after watching the movie, and let me say, the book to me was much better.
Dylan
Sep 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I have read most of Bill Bryson's books and they are all good-- excellent even. His gift is in his ability to detect the humor in any situation. Where you or I might see a man walking down the street he sees something, and articulates it so well, packed with humor. But this book is his best. The reason, I think, is that it takes him out of his element. His natural writing style is this so-called "travel writing" genre-- the idea that someone goes somewhere and writes about it and their time ther ...more
Chrissie
When I chose this book I failed to understand the author’s intention. Look at the subtitle! I hadn't noted the words "Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail". This book is not for people who love hiking; it is not intended to increase love of the sport. It scarcely shows the pleasure one can derive from hiking. It is instead a commentary on America with some details about the Appalachian Trail. I have to admit my own fault in not carefully reading the complete title. I still must rate ac ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I am terribly disappointed by the fact that I did not fall in love with this book. When I was choosing a book to read, I took one look at the ratings for this book on Goodreads and knew that I had to read this book right away. Seriously, every single one of my friends on Goodreads gave this book either a 4 or 5 star rating. And they said it was funny. I love funny. I knew that I would just love this book.

I didn't love it. I was actually bored
...more
Paul
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me just get this out of the way first: Sorry, Trish! I couldn't help myself! I have no willpower! I am officially the world's worst buddy reader!

Right, as for the book... I enjoyed it. The only Bryson I've read before this was his book about hiking in my native UK and, perhaps because this book deals with territory I'm a lot less familiar with, I preferred this one. I enjoyed Bryson's wry, despairing sense of humour. I enjoyed his interactions with his walking-buddy, Katz (not sure of the sp
...more
Jan-Maat
Sometimes I wonder if I have been too judgemental with a book, I returned and reread a good chunk of this and feel if anything I was too generous. The problem I feel is that Bryson's humour is all about people. The odd people he meets and the funny things they say. On a footpath, in a forest, there are not many people and the interactions between Bryson and his sidekick Katz don't carry the weight of my expectations. The other ingredient in Bryson's style is a general attitude that the world is ...more
David
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Bill Bryson's books, and this one is no exception. Bryson tells the story of his hiking up the Appalachian Trail (AT for short) with his friend, Stephen Katz. His friend is quite a character, and I sort of wonder if he is a real person, or if he is "invented". But--Katz is such a wonderful character, he is probably real, because "inventing" him would be nearly impossible. He is a recovering alcoholic, overweight sort of slob who throws out his irreplaceable supplies when the going gets to ...more
Ben Williams
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i always tell people that they will either love this (and most of his other) books to death, or that they will find them utterly unamusing. i find them hilarious. i have never laughed so hard while reading a book as with Bryson's books. Give it a go--you'll know after the first few chapters whether you share his witty, tasteful sense of humor or not:)
Guy Austin
This is a book I had always thought to read, but never had. I am very pleased that I finally got round to it. If you’re wanting something funny and absorbing for the flight home, to sit on the patio with a cup of coffee, or you’re your favorite chair staring out the window you have found it in A Walk in the Woods. I’m intrigued by stories of people who take to challenging adventures… I'll never be one of them. Bill Bryson and Katz kept me laughing and entertained for hours. I latterly was laugh ...more
Don
Dec 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I have had 4-5 people tell me over the years that I ought to read this book, so after Jean read it I kept it around the house. And one evening when I had finished a book and wasn't all that sleepy, I picked this up.

And it made me very sleepy. Lots of sleepy nights with this selection.

Yes, and he's a good writer and this has a few nice little anecdotes.

But jeez, it's just not a very interesting or very good book, that's all. Let's see, it's by a guy who doesn't really like to hike (he'd rather be
...more
Brandice
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed A Walk in the Woods, the first book I've read by Bill Bryson. I enjoyed Part 1, where Katz was Bryson's trail companion, more than Part 2 but still liked all of it. The book has a very good balance of story, humor (including plenty of sarcasm), and Appalachian Trail history and information.

Hiking the AT (or anything similar really) is something I more than likely would never do. I am a day-nature-r, enjoying outdoorsy activities for the day, usually one day at a time, and if an
...more
PirateSteve
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book in hopes it would rekindle my appetite for hiking. The book easily did that.

I also found this to be such a pleasurable read. I looked forward at every stolen opportunity to read another chapter. It delivered each time.
Donna
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, book-club
"We trudged through a cold, silent world of bare trees, beneath pewter skies, on ground like iron."

The events in this book took place in 1996 when Bill Bryson was living in New Hampshire and noticed a disappearing trail going through the region. He wondered where it led. It was the Appalachian Trail which in its entirety was more than 2,100 miles in length, snaking along the eastern seaboard, crossing 14 states, from Georgia to Maine. Bryson thought it might be a good idea to walk the trail. Wha
...more
Jasmin
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Bryson has a great sense of humor, and does a good job of capturing the quirkiness of backwood folk. However, I was sometimes frustrated by his viewpoints, which dampened my opinion and enjoyment of this book. For instance, Bryson says on page 199:

"To tell you the truth I was getting a little wearied of this [remote wilderness]. I know the Apalachian Trail is suposed to be a wilderness experience, and I accept that there are countless places where it would be a tragedy for it to be otherwise, bu
...more
Riku Sayuj
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Riku by: Ashish Korde
Shelves: favorites
Probably only the second non-fiction book that has made me sit up thrilled through an entire night reading and feel terribly disappointed as it ended almost without my noticing it. Full review to be put up soon.
LINDA
Nov 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nature Lovers
At the recomendation of one of my bosses I took this book along on a strenuous 10 mile backcountry hike in Shenandoah that was full of amazing mountain-top vistas, stream crossings, and beautiful rocky trails framed with fall folliage.

It is a hilarious book that recounts Byson's aventure of preparing for and hiking the entire length of the Appalachian Trail- which actually passes through Shenandoah just miles from where we were camping.

I had started reading the book in the tent by the light of
...more
Elyse
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the first half of the book more!



Michael
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know the amount of reviews I'm promising to write are really stacking up, but I will try to get to writing full comments soon. I've just been so busy with editing The First Empire, that's been consuming a huge amount of my time.

But...Once again I really enjoyed this book. Bryson is always entertaining and I've moved on to yet another one.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Long Overdue ...: Second Book! 6 10 Dec 02, 2017 05:51AM  
Carmel Clay Publi...: Read Between the Wines: A Walk in the Woods 1 6 Oct 13, 2017 12:26PM  
AP Language SHS: Jackson Chambers Summer Reading 5 10 Oct 10, 2017 01:19PM  
Around the Year i...: A Walk in the Woods: Resdiscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, by Bill Bryson 13 66 Sep 10, 2017 06:32PM  
Bill Bryson 87 655 Aug 07, 2017 06:48PM  
Walking in the woods is fun! 47 302 Mar 02, 2017 01:36PM  
Play Book Tag: A Walk in the Woods 14 24 Feb 26, 2017 07:16AM  
  • Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu
  • The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession
  • Pass the Butterworms: Remote Journeys Oddly Rendered
  • The Walk West: A Walk Across America 2
  • Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
  • You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons: The World on One Cartoon a Day
  • Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales Of A Botswana Safari Guide
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
  • Blue Highways
  • Sahara
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
  • My First Summer in the Sierra
  • Last Chance to See
  • Running the Amazon
  • Never Cry Wolf
  • Travels With Myself and Another
  • Desert Solitaire
  • In Trouble Again: A Journey Between the Orinoco and the Amazon
7
William McGuire "Bill" Bryson, OBE, FRS

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. He settled in England in 1977, and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer. He lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire. He and his family then moved to New Hampshire in America for a few years, but they have now returned to live in the UK.

In The Lost Con
...more
More about Bill Bryson...
“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.” 181 likes
“That's the trouble with losing your mind; by the time it's gone, it's too late to get it back.” 99 likes
More quotes…