A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The classic chronicle of a “terribly misguided and terribly funny” (The Washington Post) hike of the Appalachian Trail, from the author of A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Body
“The best way of escaping into nature.”—The New York Times 
Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes—and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. 
For a start there’s the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson’s acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America’s last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is a modern classic of travel literature.

Book Reviews

John H B.

Bill Bryson keeps it real…4 star

For the Everyman who thinks or dreams about doing something completely out of the ordinary, A Walk in Woods does just that. The stories are funny and genuine, his research is meticulous and interesting. And what happens to him versus what he wanted to have happen is what would happen to most of us. Great read.45


Just can’t go wrong5 star

So, Bill Bryson writes books of his travels. His wonderful humorous sarcastic opinion all along the way. This was my first and I’ve read almost everything else he wrote. Step into the world as Bill sees it. You won’t regret the step.55

Polar Z

Entertaining Read5 star

I thoroughly enjoyed Bryson’s humor while chronicling his hike on the Appalachian trail. His descriptions and historical references make this book very interesting as well.55

Arthur Xing

Highly recommended5 star

Can’t stop till the end, and start to do it again.55


Enjoyable and funny5 star

My favorite book of all time. I could read it again and again. After reading, I made a trip to the AT from Florida and walked a small portion in NC.55

sparticus Norticus

Laugh out loud reading5 star

The only other author who I have read who makes me laugh out loud is the late great political satirist Art Buchwald. Bill Bryson is a great storyteller. His interweaving of fact fantasy and fiction makes for truly enjoyable times. I find his and Katzs' quips to repeatedly cause bouts of gut busting laughter. Read this book near people who need cheering up. Do not read this book while drinking beverages unless you want to spray a mouthful or worse a nose full at your nearby surroundings.55


Disappointed1 star

Very disappointed. I agree with another reviewer in saying that it was difficult to finish after you realize he gave up. Not worth my money.15


The Best Book You Will Ever Read5 star

I am still laughing at Bryson's witty, hilarious description of moose!!!! Best book ever. Period. As always, Bryson always writes the most informative, fact filled, entertaining book on the market.55


Waste of time1 star

You wouldn't let a stranger speak to you for an hour about his weak attempt to hike the trail. Don't waste time with this essay.15


Walk in the Woods5 star

Humorous, thought provoking, and delightfully descriptive. I could almost feel blisters popping up on my feet, or the strain of a heavy pack. The crisp clean smell of forests and wooded streams and facts were blended into am armchair adventure for all ages.55

Other Books by Bill Bryson

One Summer


One Summer
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The Body


The Body
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