A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

A rather predictable review of a book I really, really liked. Bill Bryson just continues to be an incredible story teller and I suppose it’s no secret that I have a bit of a literary crush on him. In A Walk in the Woods, Bill decides to walk the length of the Appalachian trail in the US because he stumbled upon it one day. Don’t you just love how his books can easily be described in one line?

Of course, Bryson brings a certain quirkiness and his world view in everything, from buying supplies for the excursion to actually walking the trail. As in all his books, Bill shares a lot of interesting facts about the trail, as well as his observations on nature preservation and the impact of progress on the environment. I liked the addition of his friend Katz as a walking companion. Katz was is no ray of sunshine, even though he volunteered to hike the trail with Bryson he never actually acted like he wanted to do it, and he was often rude to the people they met. So you can imagine that the two of them find themselves in ridiculous, weird situations.

Through all the hilarity however, it was clear just how beautiful this trail must be, crossing so many states from south to north, going through ancient and younger forests, with a multitude of very special and rare plants and animals. And of course, it was evident how much Bryson enjoyed the actual walking. He may be grumpy and he certainly complains a lot, but it looks like he definitely enjoyed the wonderful peace and calm that comes when hiking. That is, except when he was sharing worrisome statistics about murders on the trail.

So, this book was definitely a good choice for the Readathon. (During the Readathon I shared one of Bill’s thoughts on bear attacks, and I also tried to stage a picture as an interpretation of the book for a challenge.)

Are you as obsessed with Bill Bryson’s books as I am? Which one of his books is your favourite? Did you like A Walk in the Woods?


8 thoughts on “A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

  1. Alley says:

    This book almost makes me want to hike the AT. Almost. It’s just so funny and the situations they find themselves in are ridiculous. Especially with Katz being there.

    As for a fav Bryson, it’s hard to choose! But Neither Here Nor There, A Short History of Nearly Everything, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, and Made in America are all great.

    • bookworm says:

      I would like to hike the AT too, if it wasn’t for all the ways one could get killed while there… Thanks for the book recommendations, I believe I already have Made in America on my shelves so I will make that my next Bryson book!

  2. agonyandecstacy says:

    I absolutely love Bill Bryson… I love the gentle humour… I just finished reading “At Home”. It’s really fascinating… I love “The Mother Tongue” too

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