A Walk in the Woods (1998) by Bill Bryson


Critical Assessment “There's an awkward and telling moment, early in Bill Bryson's new book about hiking the Appalachian Trail, in which he casts about for the exact reasons he's subjecting himself to a five-month slog through the underbrush. There's the fitness rationale: Bryson is a mildly overweight, middle-aged writer who's tired of looking, as he puts it, like 'a cupcake.' There's the he-man rationale: when faced with impending danger, Bryson would like to feel more like a flinty Cormac McCarthy protagonist than someone who is 'jumpier than Don Knotts with pistol drawn.'' Finally, there's the ecological rationale: the Appalachian wilderness is [...]