Oh, where do I begin to describe my secret affinity for all things Bill Bryson? With the first book I read by him? That would be Notes From A Small Island, where he traveled on foot, train and bus around England, reliving the glory days of working there as a journalist. A neighbor, who was native British, lent me the book while I lived there. I laughed my way through homesickness with that book. Or maybe it’s The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid the story of his childhood in Des Moines, Iowa. I grew up in Iowa and could relate to a lot of his stories. My brother and I trade Bill’s books with each because we are both fans.
But, one of my favorite reads by Bryson has been made into a movie, A Walk In The Woods. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I first saw the trailer for the movie. Seriously, I jumped out of my chair and started dancing. Bryson decides to walk the Appalachian Trail, all 2000 miles of it. With a friend of his he hasn’t seen in a gazillion years. I loved this book so hard. It was funny, moving, rugged, and did I mention funny? I snort laughed through most of the scenes where he talks about his friend and candy bars. Priceless.
In this book, you get history, ecology, bears and the details of a struggle to conquer something larger than life itself. I’ve spent some time sorting through all my old books, trying to find A Walk In The Woods to re-read before I see the movie, but I think it’s one I lent my brother. Unfortunately, if I ask for it back, I’m afraid he’s going to want his back as well.
Here’s a look at the trailer for the movie with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, for anyone who is looking for a good movie to see. It’s on my list.
And here is the blurb for the book:
The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).