18 February 2011
Book Review: A Walk in the Woods
Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher/Year: Broadway / 1999
Date Finished: 18 February 2011
Source/Format: Grandpa / Print
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
Challenges: TBR Dare, Reading Buddies,
The Short and Sweet of It
Bryon reflects on his experiences on a trip along the Appalachian Trail and the history of it while simultaneously getting in quite a few shots on the importance of environmentalism.
A Bit of a Ramble
I read this as part of Erin's Reading Buddies project which is an informal readalong of sorts where people with the same books languishing on the TBR shelves can motivate each other and discuss together. I have had this one on my shelves since my grandfather finished reading it (after I gave it to him as a Christmas present - it's great buying books for someone you know is going to give them back to you).
I thought I had never read it, but a few sections seemed really familiar...so there is a definite possibility that I've picked it up before. So what are my thoughts on my first (or second) reading? Meh. At first I was really into it. I enjoyed Bryson's voice, intellectual with humor thrown in and a rather down-to-earth honesty about the experience. I thought I would be bored, hearing nothing but blah blah blah about walking walking walking, but Bryson includes much more than just a travelogue. And honestly, I liked the blah blah blah about the walking.
He discusses the history of the trail, towns along the trail, and people associated with the trail. Short historical snippets like this are so enjoyable to me. But sprinkled rather liberally throughout are soapboxish rants about the environment - how we need to save the trees and the such not. For the most part, I'm a tree hugger, but it did grate on the nerves a bit. I don't think I can fully articulate why. Perhaps it's because I was much more interested in the trail and the cultural/historical information than I was in this giant reminder that we, as humans, totally are sucking it up in taking care of the planet.
But back to my enjoyment of the story. As I said, I was pretty into it in the beginning, but a little after halfway through, my interest waned. I got bored. It felt like a bunch of the same old, same old. So giving this a real rating is difficult: First half of the book would get an A- and the second half would get a C.
This Book Around the Web
If I've missed your review, let me know!
Check out the other reviews which were part of the Reading Buddies project! Quite a few other people have read this one, so be sure to check out the Book Blogs Search Engine!
Question: Have you ever wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail?