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  • Writer's pictureJenny Carless

“A Walk in the Woods”

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

I saw recently that this book, about Bill Bryson’s adventures on the Appalachian Trail, is being made into a movie—scheduled for release in 2015 and starring Robert Redford as Bryson and Nick Nolte as his friend, Katz.

I’ve enjoyed several of Bill Bryson’s books—my favorite being “In a Sunburned Country.” (When I eventually make it to Australia, that country’s tourism authority will have Mr. Bryson to thank.)

I recently read “A Walk in the Woods” and loved it—especially all the information Bryson provides about the natural history of the area. The book includes all the humorous reflections and observations we expect from Bryson, but the wealth of information about the state of the environment along and around the Appalachian Trail surprised me. Truth be told, it depressed me, too: whole forests dying, species extinctions and more. Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad he included it; I just wasn’t expecting it, and I hadn’t realized the extent of the degradation (and that was back in 2006).

I’m curious to see how the movie will deal with this. (A voice-over including his musings?) With Robert Redford involved, it’s unlikely that they will ignore the environmental concerns. Also, will they stick to the timeframe in the book or bring us up to date with how the Trail and its surrounds are faring today?

Read the book! It’s delightful despite the sometimes depressing news, and you’ll learn a lot.

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