Ben'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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did not like it
bookshelves: sometimes-people-read-to-me

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 worry, you'll hear the standard inbred jokes as he hikes through the South.

Like hypocritical rants? You'll get plenty here; he eviscerates the National Park system, but that doesn't stop him from taking full advantage of all its amenities. He rips tourists who just stop by the AT to do quick hikes, eat cheeseburgers at fast-food restaurants, then hop in their cars and move on, and yet he spends much of the middle section of the book doing just that! He also rips unprepared hikers who don't know what they're doing ... much like the time later in the book when he leaves his windbreaker at home while hiking in the Presidentials; also, he sets out to hike the entire length of the AT, but gives up when he looks at a map in Gatlinburg and realizes -gasp- the AT is really long! Seriously? You didn't look at a map BEFORE you started hiking? Needless to say, he gave up immediately.

Not that there's anything wrong with giving up. I guess this writer's just not for me - he comes across as having a little more disdain for the rest of the world than he has a right to.
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Reading Progress

April 28, 2011 – Shelved
June 15, 2011 – Started Reading
June 15, 2011 –
June 17, 2011 –
60.0% "Ohgoodlord is this guy obnoxious! I'm at the point now where I'm determined to finish this audiobook, but can't stand the author's holier-than-thou attitude toward ... the entire world! He has no problem giving up hiking the AT after making fun of so many others for doing the exact same thing! He does this without an ounce of self-awareness."
June 17, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by C. (new)

C. I remember reading that he uses a lot of profanity and that he throws scads of trash along his walk! If true he sounds like a total jerk who should be ignored, not making money of such a book!

Јас Лично True, this is his worst work, a fall from grace. Although, must read 'Salt'.

message 3: by Kim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kim Bertschi Ben - Bingo.

message 4: by Art (new) - rated it 5 stars

Art Sigh..

Colin Right on.

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