I thought I’d slip in some non-fiction as a change of pace. This is another deja vu review, but I wanted to add a note to the beginning, which is I have a horrible memory for titles and authors. It’s probably related to how much I can read at times, but the stories stay strong in my head. In this case, Bryson is such an active narrator that his name stuck along with the book itself. I’d recommend this book to anyone considering a multi-day hike. Experienced hikers can laugh and nod, but newer hikers should find gems of wisdom among the tangled experiences without feeling like they’re reading a how-to book.
And one last note: I acquired this through Bookcrossing and have since picked up my own copy. That says something, as does how much I’m able to add when I read this years ago. But on to my on the spot review:
Does the fact that I’m craving hiking more than ever, that I want to walk the Appalachian Trail myself, offer any clue? This book is a cross between an irreverent look at the hiking culture and a history/environmental lesson. Harsh, no holds barred descriptions of both the people he met and his own reactions are interspersed with descriptions both of the history of the trail (including politics, bureaucracy, and environmental decision making) and of the trail itself. This book reveals just how difficult this trip is and how easy the concept, and the reality, can suck someone in.