Monday, 16 March 2009

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson Review:

In A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson tackles what is, for him, an entirely new subject: the American wilderness. Accompanied only by his old college buddy Stephen Katz, Bryson starts out one March morning in north Georgia, intending to walk the entire 2,100 miles to trail's end atop Maine's Mount Katahdin.

If nothing else, A Walk in the Woods is proof positive that the journey is the destination. As Bryson and Katz haul their out-of-shape, middle-aged butts over hill and dale, the reader is treated to both a very funny personal memoir and a delightful chronicle of the trail, the people who created it, and the places it passes through. Whether you plan to make a trip like this one yourself one day or only care to read about it, A Walk in the Woods is a great way to spend an afternoon.
I've been telling my students to try reading a book you wouldn't normally read. Try something a bit different. I'm doing that myself.
Right after I finished Bryson's Made In America I picked up this book. Once more, I thought, "There is no way I'm going to read this. How boring could this be?" And once again I read the first few pages and before I knew it I had read the whole book. It's so weird.
Anyway, the characters in this book are really funny. I've met crazy people like the ones described by Bryson and I've had weird experiences like he has. I've done a tiny bit of mountain hiking and a little hiking in the woods so I can kind of relate to what he is talking about.
Bill made me laugh. His hiking partner Katz had me rolling on the floor.
Once again, there are parts of the book that will put you to sleep. I probably won't make it hiking on the path he describes in the Eastern United States so some of the detail gets to be a bit too much. That said, I read about 75% of the book and I quite enjoyed it.
You may want to take a quick flick through this book and see if something interests you. Read the first chapter and see if Bryson can get your attention. He just might.
3/5 Stars

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