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  1. #21
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    anybody saying bryson is a candyass is just a packsniffin' wannabe

  2. #22
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    I read the book and also saw the movie. The book was good. The movie, which pretty much sucked except Nolte as Katz, was apparently based on some other book since it wasn't anywhere near the narrative of the book.
    I love the smell of esbit in the morning!

  3. #23
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    I definitely agree the movie was not up to the book's humor standard. Redford could not, in my opinion, pull off Bryson's innate humor. The words were there, the humor was not. I also appreciated the natural history and human history narratives in the book, some of which I pondered on my thru hike. There are only a few books on my minimalist shelf, and a copy of AWITW is among them.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  4. #24
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    The book was a hoot as is most of Bryson's work. The movie was a dud. I can see Wild (film) inspiring someone to hike the PCT but, after all the delays and hand wringing WRT to AWITW (film), it only inspired me to quit going to movies.
    GA -> ME
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  5. #25

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    Bryson ought to come back and thru hike it, show the naysyers up

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Bryson ought to come back and thru hike it, show the naysyers up
    id bet money that's never gonna happen, he was just being honest when he said "you don't have to hike the whole trail to get the thing of it"

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    id bet money that's never gonna happen, he was just being honest when he said "you don't have to hike the whole trail to get the thing of it"
    Yeah.
    And hes lookin pretty old these days.
    AWIW was almost 20 yrs ago.

  8. #28
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    people will always hate that which they wish they could have done.

    accurate portrayal of a thru-hike? nope. and never claims to be.

    entertaining, funny, non-life-changing read? yup.

  9. #29
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    Bryson is a supremely talented and funny writer (but not for those who don't enjoy vulgarity and profanity). A Walk in the Woods is a magnificent book and a bad movie.

    One of the epic vignettes in the book is Bryson's account of entering Gatlinburg and then driving through Knoxville: "We wet ourselves lavishly." Another hilarious episode is the encounter with the spiffy, LL Bean-type backpackers at at a shelter. Wonderful writing.

    An interesting part of his book is his dire predictions about the fate of songbirds in eastern North America. He noted that they were disappearing at the rate of 3% per year. By that math, songbirds should be essentially extinct now. Of course, they aren't. A great example of hysteria.

    The first part of his trip - from Springer to Newfound Gap - seems very legit to me. After that it mainly becomes strung together vignettes on various topics, from coal mining to National Park Service land management notions. Very entertaining, but not really backpacking.

  10. #30

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    I read it when it came out and laughed at a few Katz encounters with random trail women, as in:

    Trail woman: (to paraphrase) "So, what's your star sign?"
    Katz: "Cunnilingus."

    I mercifully haven't given Bryson a second thought until this thread.

  11. #31
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    I have no hate for him. It wasn't the book I thought it would be. That's probably because I was immersing myself in hiking encounters when I read it. Had I come at it for the story I would likely have enjoyed it more.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Yeah.
    And hes lookin pretty old these days.
    AWIW was almost 20 yrs ago.
    Bryson is a year older than me. His hike was in '95, The book was published in '97. He was 43 when he did his hike. How many mid-life thru hikers do you know? Not many, I bet.

    Buddy and Jensine and Rainbow Springs Campground are long gone. Shaws' is still around but old man Shaw is gone. Large scale organized trail magic wasn't yet a thing. The Smokies were soggy. Gatlinburg was a zoo. Newbs talked about gear. Some things don't change.

    The appeal of the book stems from the fact that he was clearly not cut out as a hiker. He'd done a lot of traveling but his career up to that point was as a journalist and writer. He'd never been much of an outdoorsman. He jokes, in the book, about what a big deal it would be to ***** in the woods.

    He knew it was an outrageous thing to do, but went anyway. Taking Katz along doomed the effort from the get go, but sure made for a funny story.

    I'd read dozens of journals (the complete Rodale Press anthology) prior to my thru attempt. None of them made me laugh out loud the way Bryson did, and still does.

    He still does a lot of walking. His latest work (The Road to Little Dribbling) is about his day hikes all around England.

  13. #33

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    books better than the movie

  14. #34

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    i didn't hate either one though. as Jack always said, Bryson might be a candy ass. But he made a butt load of money off a lot of us. :0

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roper View Post
    Bryson is a supremely talented and funny writer (but not for those who don't enjoy vulgarity and profanity). A Walk in the Woods is a magnificent book and a bad movie.

    One of the epic vignettes in the book is Bryson's account of entering Gatlinburg and then driving through Knoxville: "We wet ourselves lavishly."....
    My favorite!

  16. #36

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    My introduction to Bryson was with "Notes from a Small Island" and his hike through southern England. I think that book gave me perspective to really appreciate "Walk in the Woods".

    Hating on Bryson is akin to hating Melville because one of his books detailed whaling, or Jack London because he had dogs in one of his works.

  17. #37

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    Bryson makes a living with his writing. Judging from the posts on WB I'd say that NONE here could do that. I've read most of his books and enjoyed them all. He mixes a bit of humor with a bit of information in his prose and it works. He made me laugh a few times and a smile is something of which we can all benefit. As for his failure to thru; He's not alone. Yes , I'm talking to you.

  18. #38

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    Didn't think I'd like it, as I didn't like his writing style in 2 of his other books that I had read beforehand.
    He was too often finding the bad things about places for me.
    I like to look for the good.

    Anyway, I thought "A Walk in the Woods" was great.
    It wasn't as negative as some of his other stuff and had me laughing many times.

    Good one.

    Should he hike the rest of it?
    I would.
    I believe I like to walk in the woods more than he does though.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francis Sawyer View Post
    Bryson makes a living with his writing. Judging from the posts on WB I'd say that NONE here could do that.
    Because most of us could care less about writing for a living. The only pertinent question I have for Bryson is this: Is he still out backpacking and is he still getting his all-important bag nights?

  20. #40

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    Enjoyed Walk in the Woods (don't care how far he or anyone else makes it). Tried some of his other books (the australian one and one in england), and could not get into them at all

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