by Bill Bryson
This book attracted me because it promised tales of nature and exploration and a great adventure
: hiking the Appalacian Trail as a novice hiker. Very quickly, Bryson's dry wit and engaging storytelling pulled me in and I made the journey with him. Bryson is a real person, unafraid of exposing his shortcomings (and those of his companion, his fellow hikers, and any wayward strangers) in the most hilarious ways. From the very beginning--shopping for gear--we go with Bryson and begin to see the world through his lens. "Talking gear" becomes a very common event on the trail, one to be avoided at all costs by anyone normal. And then there are the bears... Bryson's intelligent weaving of these and other threads through the book both take the reader along to share in the jokes and put the reader on "the inside" where his wry humor begins.
Throughout the book, I could not help thinking "that's what would happen to me" had I been out there--as things rarely go as expected. He kept me laughing all the way to the end, while imparting some good information about the trail along the way.
My Rating: Highly Recommended