Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods”

“A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson lines the nonfiction shelves of bookstores worldwide and occupies a spot on the New York Times bestseller list. The story follows the path of two brave travelers and their adventures as they strive to complete the Appalachian Trail. Along with the many challenges they face along the trail, they struggle to mash together their different personalities. Clashing many times throughout the beginning of the book their journey seems a bit hopeless and the question of whether or not they will make it looms over you with every turn of the page.

Bryson employs his humorous tone as reassurance as the  submerged fear of bear attacks, freezing to death or getting lost rise to the surface throughout the novel. It is Bryson’s diction and structure that makes this book a must read. Every page is constructed of vast literary devices, flowing sentence structures and unique phrasing that together forms a beautiful read.

Completing a trail that ranges from Georgia to Maine is not always full of ups and downs. There are several flat and rather dull moments. The two hikers, Katz and Bryson, entertain themselves through comical conversations-that are a must to get them through the days that contain up to seventeen miles of hiking. Bryson also includes tangents on different histories that have influenced the trail. He goes into detailed descriptions of the lumber roads and the truth behind the companies and organizations that have contributed to the deforestation along this trail and the surrounding areas. These tangents are entertaining and educational.

There are many magnificent depictions of the nature that the Appalachian Trail holds. However, with beautiful views comes more viewers. Katz and Bryson encounter many hysterical characters along their journey that add humor and adventure to every line.

Overall, this book is a great option for people of all ages who are searching for some comic relief and an entertaining read. Bryson never ceases to bore in his novel and will literally  make you laugh out loud.