Customer Reviews


920 Reviews
5 star:
 (581)
4 star:
 (231)
3 star:
 (72)
2 star:
 (25)
1 star:
 (11)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


200 of 207 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading
'Awol on the Appalachian Trail' is, quite simply, a wonderful book from start to finish. I have to say that it is one of the most enjoyable, honest, and inspiring accounts that I have read in a long time. This is the best book on the AT that I have yet found.

David Miller / Awol describes his thru-hike on the trail from Georgia to Maine in vivid detail; you...
Published on September 11, 2006 by Beechaka

versus
51 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars May be great for dedicated hikers, but not so much for someone looking for an engrossing story
Not for a moment do I want to take away from this guy's accomplishment of walking the entire AT. But as others have mentioned, I found this book to be not much more than a fairly dry accounting of "walked this many miles today, met these people, stayed at this shelter or town, had to deal with these aches and pains." While there is some reflection, it's hardly in-depth...
Published on December 24, 2010 by Eliza G.


‹ Previous | 1 292 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

200 of 207 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, September 11, 2006
By 
Beechaka (Cranberry Township, PA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
'Awol on the Appalachian Trail' is, quite simply, a wonderful book from start to finish. I have to say that it is one of the most enjoyable, honest, and inspiring accounts that I have read in a long time. This is the best book on the AT that I have yet found.

David Miller / Awol describes his thru-hike on the trail from Georgia to Maine in vivid detail; you really do feel like you are on the trail with him, sharing the highs and lows of the challenge. The conditions of the hike, the fascinating people that he met, the personal and physical challenges, and the gorgeous scenery are all poured into the pages for the reader to soak in.

Although I have not hiked the trail myself, I imagine that this book is as close to doing it yourself as it comes. His ability to narrate the trials and tribulations without downplaying or changing the finer details was appreciated, especially for someone like myself who aspires to one day rise to the challenge of the AT.

The companion web site is fantastic, putting the book in perspective with a wide array of dazzling photos. I found myself referencing them many times as I read new sections of the book.

This book inspired me to take the challenge of hiking the AT and change my life. How many times can a book do that?

Final thoughts -- highly recommended. 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


122 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cubicle dweller finds freedom on the Appalachian Trail, February 26, 2007
In 2003 David Miller is 41 with a wife and three young daughters. He rejects his computer programming job, and with the consent of his family, starts up the AT. Thus the title.

Near the midpoint of the story, there is a quote: "too much hard work, too much pain, too much time away from my family ..." but he continues. This is a success story. Though he does not say so, David is one of the stronger AT thru-hikers, big miles, day after day. All the usual injuries occur, but these are endured, rather than used as a reason to leave the trail. There is a community of hikers, and the sharing of intense experiences day after day is almost addictive

The reader begins to get a feel for the rituals of shelters and in trail towns. After reading the book, a potential AT hiker should feel much more comfortable with what they are going to encounter. As I read the book, I kept visualizing the AT trails vs the ones I have hiked in California and in Europe - the AT seems much more difficult, though you have more frequent opportunities to get off the trail.

The overall tone of the book is strongly positive. That's a little difficult to explain, since there is a lot about hardship, but trust me, you will understand when you read it.

I recommend this to any long distance hiker, and particularly to someone planning to walk the Appalachian Trail.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


142 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've read many maybe most of AT Trail books out there...., June 11, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
and have found this to be one of the best among them. Strong writing and accounting from all of the parts of the trail make it a great book for those armchair AT Hikers like myself. It is a nice mix of everyday life and what it takes on the trail, trail relationships (some good, some bad), and various observations on life and the trail. What makes it all that more surprising is it is a Self-Published book. It is definitely worthy of a more tangible publishing house.
I have read other books that generalize large parts of the trail and spend more time on the spiritual, philosophical part of why they are doing the trail but David Miller does not make this a predominant part of the book. Additionally I appreciated hearing about parts of the trail that most books seem to skip and it is a timely account from the year 2003.

I also recommend Mic Lowther's book, "Walking North" for another nice combination of trail accountability and philosophy. Bill Schuettes "White Blaze Fever" is good for a great "nuts and bolts" account of the trail.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stepping Out Without Skipping Out, February 18, 2007
By 
John LaChance (Cocoa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
To read this story is to live a vicarious adventure. Pick up the book, and boom, you're there. You feel the mist in your face, the cold mountain air in the morning, the sights and sounds of the wilderness, the rough, uneven terrain over root and rock, the smell of plants and earth, the taste of spring water, the setting sun chucking its final spears of the day into pastel clouds on the horizon, the taste of camp food, the familiar smell of sleeping bags and drying socks, and the weariness of body that imparts a sound sleep (or not).

At times you're a solitary soul traversing the length of the Colonies from South to North, alone but for the company of your thoughts, and the family back home that is pulling for you, waiting for you, loving you from afar. Other times you feel the comraderie of intersecting lives on the same trek, and the shared experiences along your way. "Oases of civilization" dot the journey, replete with many ordinary and some strange characters, and urban adventures that stand in stark contrast to the life that lies just beyond the town, where the trail picks up and nature reigns again.

The book is this and more. You finish the book and the pervasive thought that transcends even the wonderful story, the description of Pop Tarts surviving a nasty fall, the love of nature and humanity, and the overpowering sense of accomplishment but not wanting it to end, is the thought that this was an ordinary person stepping out without skipping out. This thought that a regular person with a regular life and responsibilities can accomplish this extraordinary thing, starting with resolve and a few unsure baby steps, is a thought that lingers long after the book is back on the shelf. This thought is like a small voice telling you that he did it and I can do it, too. It's not about hiking the Appalachian Trail any more, even though it could be. It's about taking chances in life and realizing that the biggest chance we take is failing to take a chance, failing to live and do things that really are possible, that are worth doing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot On, September 1, 2006
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I thru-hiked the AT myself in '02 and can tell you this book does a great job of relaying what the experience is all about. David does a great job of balancing his account without getting too whimsical or too grounded. If your looking for an honest account of the rewards and hardships that one gets when they drop out of society for months and hike over 2000 miles, then you've found your book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


51 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars May be great for dedicated hikers, but not so much for someone looking for an engrossing story, December 24, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: AWOL on the Appalachian Trail (Paperback)
Not for a moment do I want to take away from this guy's accomplishment of walking the entire AT. But as others have mentioned, I found this book to be not much more than a fairly dry accounting of "walked this many miles today, met these people, stayed at this shelter or town, had to deal with these aches and pains." While there is some reflection, it's hardly in-depth. While there is mention of hikers he repeatedly meets, there is little insight offered about them and even less detail of conversations shared.

Perhaps if one is only interested in this story as a way-pointer for those who want to walk the whole trail,this book may do it for them. But for someone reading to share in a richer emotional experience of the inner transformation one goes through spending several months outdoors mostly in solitude, away from job and family and all that's familiar -- well, that story isn't told.

Because the book description leads one to believe the latter rather than the former will be the reading experience, I finished the book feeling a little misled.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for the excellent adventure and advice for life., May 13, 2006
While this book is an excellent story of adventure and achieving the admirable goal of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, it is also a wonderful look at why one might want to embark on such an activity, and what may be gained from the effort. Those considering hiking the trail will gain much to prepare them for the hardships and increase their appetite for the rewards. Those who have never considered such an endeavor, may soon find themselves thinking about it.

It is rare to find someone capable of describing an experience such as this in such a rich and meaningful way. The author obviously learned much from the many physical tests and social interactions along the way, and found enjoyable ways to pass these lessons on to the reader. I recommend this book to anyone contemplating the AT, any other trail, or just continuing the trail of Life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Read!!, July 22, 2006
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A fantastic in depth examination of physical and mental survival under the most demanding tests offered the common person in our modern age.

David (Awol) had me watery eyed at the very beginning when he said good-bye to his family to begin his thru-hike of the AT, then once again as he helped his youngest daughter finish the final climb with him. From that point on he had me walking invisibly right beside him for the rest of his 146 day ordeal. His accounting of injuries, the people he met along the way and the trail itself made me feel like I too was thru-hiking from Georgia to Maine. His well written accounts of his experiences, both physical and mental, inspired me to do better in my own daily life routines.

Most of us will never hike the AT, many will never see any part of it, but reading this book and enjoying as I did will sufficiently fulfill one's inner desire to thru-hike as a white blaze purist along side Awol, Ken and Marcia, Biscuit, Section 81 and all the other heroes you'll meet.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish it didn't have to end..., March 27, 2007
I've read many AT related books during my preperations to thru-hike the AT. This one is easily one of my favorites! David seems to fill the void between books that are all about the trials and tribulations of the trail and those that are like reading a stereo diagram. He brings the trail alive for any reader to experience. Little hints about water, conditions, health, and of course FOOD. The details are mixed with just enough "from the heart" moments that I found myself dissappointed the trip was over because I was enjoying his hike so much. It made me want to leave for the trail yesterday. I would most certainly call this a must read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey of emotional and physical resilience., May 13, 2006
By 
Marin Lawrence (Melbourne, Florida USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'm sure that this book is soon to be required reading for anyone contemplating a hike of the Appalachian Trail, but it is much more than just that. If you pass it up thinking that an adventure of that magnitude is not your style then you will miss one of the best new books available this year. This account of Dave Miller's time on the trail is a beautifully expressed guide to a life worth living. Mr. Miller drew me in with exquisite details of the landscape and kept me reading late into the night with his witty and wise observations. I will be recommending this book to my book club.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 292 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller (Paperback - October 18, 2010)
Used & New from: $1.60
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.