08 August 2005

reading notes: A Walk in the Woods

I've been a reading fan of Bill Bryson for a long time, so when I ran across this book in the library display, I decided it was fate and picked it up.

It was a super funny read, with some interesting factoids inserted along the way. Let's begin by saying that Bryson, a rather un-outdoorsy kind of guy, pushing middle age, is not the hiking type. But he uses the hiking experience to explore other topics and occasionally simply for humor.

Wisdom bits:
"In America, alas, beauty has become something you drive to, and nature as an either/or proposition -- either your ruthlessly subjugate it, as at Tocks Dam and a million other places, or you deify it, treat it as something holy and remote, a thing apart..."
It's a funny book, filled with interesting information and funny moments, along with some deeper insights about himself and our culture. His umor is more in the British vein, somewhat dark and very sarcastic... also quite pessimistic. I enjoyed it, partly because I love British humor, but also recommend his earlier books, especially The Mother Tongue: English and how it got that way, which is a bit more light hearted.