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  • A Walk in the Woods

  • Written by: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (180 ratings)

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A Walk in the Woods

Written by: Bill Bryson
Narrated by: Bill Bryson
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Publisher's Summary

The Appalachian Trail covers 14 states, and over 2,000 miles. It stretches along the East Coast of the United States, from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. It is famous for being the longest continuous footpath in the world. (Compare this with the Pennine Way, which is a mere 250 miles long.) It snakes through some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes in America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas - 'redneck' country - Moonshine, Lil’ Abner, 'There’s bears in them thar hills.' Remember the film Deliverance?

God only knows what possessed Bill Bryson, a reluctant adventurer if ever there was one, to undertake this gruelling hike. Perhaps it was just a long-held ambition to lose weight: he has lost two stone so far. As he recently wrote from the trail to his publisher: ‘Speaking of vigorous exercise, boy have I just had some. Maine was a bitch. I want you to come back and walk it with me so that when you die if you go to hell you will be able to say: “Call this hell? Try walking across Maine in August.'"

Reared in the tradition of Mark Twain, James Thurber, and S.J. Perelman, Bryson used his many years in Britain to soak up a peculiarly English sense of irony and humour and to hone a laugh-out-loud style that is uniquely, hilariously, his own.

©2004 Bill Bryson (P)2004 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about A Walk in the Woods

Average Customer Ratings
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Very enjoyable!

870 miles is indeed more than a respectable distance! A great adventure, well written and well read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story

Type of a mid life thing best appreciated by people of that age. Funny in true Bill Bryson style.

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3 people found this helpful

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Entertaining and inspiring

I listened to this audiobook on a solo road trip across central Canada. It made me laugh out loud and was kind of like having Bryson along with me on the road telling me stories about his adventure on the Appalachian trail. Made me start planning my big hike as well for next summer.
Great listen.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Very funny and thought-provoking

Loved this story and the images it conjured up in my mind. Great narration by Bill Bryson.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Missing 3 hrs compared to William Roberts version

This is great, but abridged. The original audiobook is 9 hrs and 43 mins - narrated by William Roberts. While this is available on other Audible sites (US and UK) it doesn't seem to be here. Bill Bryson's narration is amazing. But it doesn't flow as well without all the other funny details and background.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Two paths diverged in a yellow wood

Bill Bryson walks through a gigantic wilderness as a way of re-connecting with his native country after a long time away, and discovers amusing things about himself, his fellow citizens and an old friend from Des Moines. Appreciate his self-awareness, and fear of bears; glad he didnt decide to just go see a few baseball games.

I know that "walking the Appalachian Trail" is now a euphemism for conducting an affair, but this book suggests that actually taking the hike is a better way of knowing the country, and yourself.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Makes me want to go walk in the woods

Loved it. I enjoy hiking and camping, but have never desired to hike the AT. But this has made me want to explore the woods around me.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Unlikely Adventure

The two guys are so mismatched, but they grew emotionally for themselves and each other. Good story and well written.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Introduction to hiking

Great story narrated by Bill Bryson. Always wanted to hike the AT but realized it was not for me but enjoyed his experience. I do hike elsewhere because of this book.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

it was an ok listen

the writing was decent but I wasn't all that impressed with his story. He did a very lame version of the trail that made it not as interesting and a also a lot of the same over the book

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