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People's Republic of Walk, by Ink

Ranking AT memoirs/fiction

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I started this thread because I'm interested in getting kind of a summary review of all the thru-hiking memoirs and novels out there.

I've only read a couple myself and I want to know what other people have enjoyed so I know which AT book I should spend my money on next.

So please, opine here on the literature of the trail you've come across.

Check Whiteblaze's links page for a link to media about the trail if you need to refresh your memory.

Here's my ranking of the books I've experienced so far:

1. Rubin, Robert Alden. On The Beaten Path: An Appalachian Pilgrimage. Probably the most informative book on the AT I read before my hike last summer. A good read, written by a middle-aged thru-hiker who completed the trail in the '90s.

2. Bryson, Bill. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. Funny! Middle-aged man hikes from Springer to Gatlinburg and hops around from there, in the '90s.

3. Viles, Brad Wayne. Dreaming the Appalachian Trail: A Backpacking Novel. Got this while in the 100-Mile Wilderness. Very strange novelette with a nature-poem point of view.

4. Luxenberg, Larry. Walking the Appalachian Trail. Chapters devoted to the famous hikers of years past. It didn't move me because it reads like a history text book.

Looking forward to seeing what you have to say, community!
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  1. sir limpsalot's Avatar
    JUST PASSIN' THRU-very good
    WHITE BLAZE FEVER-also good
    SKYWALKER:CLOSE ENCOUNTERS...-well written and a good read, but he seemed to be miserable most of his trip.
    REMEMBER THE CARROT- an AT celestine prophesy
    A ROAD MORE OR LESS TRAVELED-thought it was going evangelical, then it careened off into bizarre: ended up glad i read it (thought for sure it'd end up in the trash 1/2 way through)
    NOT WITHOUT PERIL-a somewhat dry, but compelling read about the deaths in the whites.