Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Walk in the Woods

While driving to Colorado, I got to listen to Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woodson CD. I should share that this was the first time I'd listened to a book "on tape" (CD actually). It took me a while to warm up to this, but I did. I'd never read any of Bryson's other work, but I did know that he was a well known writer.

A Walk in the Woods describes Bryson's adventures hiking the Appalachian Trail with Stephen Katz, a friend he hadn't seen in 25 years, a friend who never said no to a Little Debbie cake and who owed him $600. The addition of Katz and the humor he provides made the book.

Throughout the narrative, Bryson sounds like a Victorian dandy. Though he grew up in Iowa, spending several years in England left him with an English accent, a rather upper class accent at that. He uses a lot of language like "mis-attired" and "we hastened across the road." I can see some readers getting put off by that.

Yet, I found it funny. Often I laughed with Bryson as he bore Katz's eccentricities and laughed at him when he just got to foppish. In both cases, I'd laugh out loud.

Despite the affectation, I did find the book enjoyable and learned a lot about the history, flora and fauna of a great trail.

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