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  1. #1

    Default Do People Still Like to Hate on Bill Bryson?

    I just re-read A Walk in the Woods for the first time in maybe fifteen years, and it's still great.

    I remember back in 2001 and 2002 it was in vogue to pick on Bryson and his popular book. Someone had even made T-shirts stating "Bill Bryson is a Candy-Ass." Does this sort of thing still go on?

    Bryson has a way of wrapping up so many aspects of the Trail in a funny line or two. People go on and on about things in their plodding trail journals that he wraps in a neat little package.

    I think a lot of it was mostly jealously - he wrote THE book about the Appalachian Trail and didn't even hike the whole thing.

    I still haven't seen the movie.

    13 Bill Bryson Quotes that Capture the Appalachian Trail Better than Your Crappy Journal

    Do people still scoff at him or what?

  2. #2

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    I loved the book. I never understood the hate he got for it- its just a humorous book about trying to hike. Its typical Bryson. People take things way too seriously.

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    He's a quitter. A failure. Who wants to read a book about a failure by a quitter? Or a book about quitting by a failure?

    Him and Strayed. Profiting by quitting and failing. Only in America(tm)...

    HYOH.

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    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    I liked the book. I think he wrote a pretty funny one. Still have it, read it a few times.
    - Trail name: Thumper

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    It is part of the AT canon. A chapter in the AT bible, if you will. It is funny and he is clever, but an author friend of mine said he was disappointed with it because it leaned too much toward the "Me and Joe" genre. I've read the book and seen the movie. I'll probably do both again if for no other reason than I love the AT, love reading about people's experiences on and around it, have loved the short sections I've hiked so far, will one day thru-hike it, and may very well wind up being a trail angel afterward.

    But Bill Bryson is a candy ass.



    Quote Originally Posted by DuctTape View Post
    I just re-read A Walk in the Woods for the first time in maybe fifteen years, and it's still great.

    I remember back in 2001 and 2002 it was in vogue to pick on Bryson and his popular book. Someone had even made T-shirts stating "Bill Bryson is a Candy-Ass." Does this sort of thing still go on?

    Bryson has a way of wrapping up so many aspects of the Trail in a funny line or two. People go on and on about things in their plodding trail journals that he wraps in a neat little package.

    I think a lot of it was mostly jealously - he wrote THE book about the Appalachian Trail and didn't even hike the whole thing.

    I still haven't seen the movie.

    13 Bill Bryson Quotes that Capture the Appalachian Trail Better than Your Crappy Journal

    Do people still scoff at him or what?
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



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    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Mr. Bryson is a world renown writer, author of many humorous books. To add validity to "A Walk in the Woods " he thought it would be necessary to experience it firsthand.

    He never claimed to thru hike the AT so I'm not sure why the hate.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

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    It was tongue-in-cheek sarcasm relating to a separate thread on somebody calling somebody a quitter....

    But, Bryson aint no Dave Barry. Now if Dave Barry ever tried to thru hike the AT, the ten books(one for every 200 miles) would be epic humor....epic...

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    I've read a lot of A.T. books and Bryson's is still probably my favorite. From what I've seen it Seems like an author pretending to be a hiker can do a better job of telling a tale than a hiker pretending to be an author.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgood View Post
    Mr. Bryson is a world renown writer, author of many humorous books. To add validity to "A Walk in the Woods " he thought it would be necessary to experience it firsthand.

    He never claimed to thru hike the AT so I'm not sure why the hate.
    Totally agree with Bryson's creds, but I think you're wrong about his claim. I specifically remember him stating in the last chapter that he feels he hiked the entire AT through his sampling, and I scoffed a bit at that. Hey, nobody's perfect. I still like Bryson's writing.

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    I haven't read the book but I have watched the movie so I can't speak for the book. How many movies are accurate? For instance the Fast and Furious movies are very unrealistic. Movies are meant to be entertaining. Makes me laugh when people get all upset about how a movie isn't like the book or isn't like real life. It's a movie! It's 1.5-2 hours long! Of course it's not how it is in real life. Anybody's life or story told in 1.5 hours would either be boring or not 100% accurate. A Walk in the Woods is one of my favorite movies


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    I dont mind hating on Bill Bryson.
    I hike with a dog. Please, tell me why i shouldn't.

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    Loved the book, love the author. I've read most of his other books as well. I like the sarcasm and the self-deprecation. He doesn't take himself too seriously. All that said, I can see why some folks might be offended by certain parts of it.

    I don't get the objection about him being a quitter. If anything, he's the more typical thru hiker wannabe. The vast majority don't make it. Reading Bryson, you learn a bit more about why that's the case.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DuctTape View Post
    Do people still scoff at him or what?
    Yes. His story was immediately debunked when the book came out.
    He's a candyass.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

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    Sarc,

    You have the gift. LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    I've read a lot of A.T. books and Bryson's is still probably my favorite. From what I've seen it Seems like an author pretending to be a hiker can do a better job of telling a tale than a hiker pretending to be an author.
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Yes. His story was immediately debunked when the book came out.
    He's a candyass.
    I prefer the term Bryson used to describe himself: buttercup.

  16. #16

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    I'm a fan, damn good book. I also like his "a short history of nearly everything" pack full of jumping off points to research about sciencey type stuff...Big Bang to present. I listen to it on audio book, over and over again, never got bored of it yet.

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    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
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    Only saw the movie...had me rolling, especially Nick Nolte. Really disappointed with the ending, "hey, you want to home?". And that was that. Here's one case where I wish the Hollywood folks took cinematic license and took those guys all the way to Katahdin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareBear View Post
    It was tongue-in-cheek sarcasm relating to a separate thread on somebody calling somebody a quitter....

    But, Bryson aint no Dave Barry. Now if Dave Barry ever tried to thru hike the AT, the ten books(one for every 200 miles) would be epic humor....epic...
    Yes, I got it. I was going to say that based on what's been posting recently, the answer is "yes". You're just more clever than me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    I've read a lot of A.T. books and Bryson's is still probably my favorite. From what I've seen it Seems like an author pretending to be a hiker can do a better job of telling a tale than a hiker pretending to be an author.
    Freekin' Brilliant!

    *spoiler alert* I still bust out laughing every time I visualize Katz jettisoning gear and food as he comes up the approach trail - my favorite part.
    I also appreciate the observations about how people in towns are wedded to their cars. I think there was one place he stopped where it was almost impossible to walk a half mile to get a grocery store and everyone though he was nuts to do so. And was it home town where people insisted on more parking by the gym because they needed to drive there so they could work out? Nice

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPritch View Post
    Only saw the movie...had me rolling, especially Nick Nolte. Really disappointed with the ending, "hey, you want to home?". And that was that. Here's one case where I wish the Hollywood folks took cinematic license and took those guys all the way to Katahdin.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boardin12 View Post
    I haven't read the book but I have watched the movie so I can't speak for the book. How many movies are accurate? For instance the Fast and Furious movies are very unrealistic. Movies are meant to be entertaining. Makes me laugh when people get all upset about how a movie isn't like the book or isn't like real life. It's a movie! It's 1.5-2 hours long! Of course it's not how it is in real life. Anybody's life or story told in 1.5 hours would either be boring or not 100% accurate. A Walk in the Woods is one of my favorite movies


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    I highly recommend reading the book (or listening to it on audiotape) when they adapted it for the film version they removed many of the best scenes, some because of time limitations and some because of off color humor. The book also gives some great background about the region as well as the creation of the trail.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    I have read a lot of books about Appalachian Trail hikes and Bryson's is still my favorite. I would rather spend my time on a well crafted work by someone who has hiked part of the trail than some of the stuff that is out there by wannabe writers who claim they have hiked the entire trail.
    More walking, less talking.

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