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Showing 1-10 of 1,281 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,996 reviews
on December 3, 2015
I kept waiting for some insight or even a glimpse into what the trip meant to Miller but it really reads like a trip log where he chronicled his daily hike with little to no description of his surroundings or emotions. It was interesting for a while - right up until I realized that every chapter was virtually the same as the last with a (slightly) different list of characters and states. The endless roll of hiker's trail names and the description of the rocks and mud on the trail all ran together by the end. I wasn't looking for another "Wild" but something besides a recounting of the daily mileage, blisters and other hikers would have been nice. It did get me motivated to try a long distance hike (not a thru hike) though.
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on May 9, 2017
If you want to read a book about actually hiking the AT, and not a fluffy, sappy account of someone's emotional life and trying to escape their problems and then every once in a while they're hiking on this trail, then this is THE book! But be clear that this is what you will be getting; a day to day, blow by blow account of hiking the AT including the minutia, drudgery and often repetitiveness that is a part of this 2000+ mile journey. It just is. That being said, some parts of this book just aren't that gripping. But, they are honest and true to author David Miller's experience. I loved it. I loved the little details of everyday trail life. I found it absolutely fascinating and this was what I thought was lacking in another well known bestseller that was recently made into a film and was so disappointing and "wild" to me. Are there life lessons learned from hiking solo for so many miles? Of course, duh. But, the physicality and actual hiking of the trail is what I was interested in and what the author gives his full attention in this amazing recounting. If that's what sounds interesting to you, then you will not be disappointed!
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on January 9, 2017
I got this and another AT book, because I wanted to understand the experience of a through hiker as closely as possible, to understand if it's something I want to undertake. I've recently gotten the bug, so to speak, and I just want to know - is this something I could possibly do? I live a pretty sheltered life, and I don't want to minimize this challenge - I want to understand it in depth so that if I do ever undertake it, I will have a good idea of what to expect and hopefully, not flame out.

Of course there are a lot of choices of first-person AT through-hike testimonials. I chose this one because I could identify with the author in a couple of ways - my work life is one of corporate / office-centric work that feels restrictive and locked-in, and I am at an age where one might begin to question, do I still have the vigor to take on such a challenge (a bit older than the author was when he started)? Or might I five years from now?

I did really enjoy the book. The author has a dry humor that just rarely shows through, and at least once I wondered, is he messing with the reader? I do wish he would have deployed it a bit more often. More than that, I was hoping for a bit more discussion on the practical side - cooking meals, filtering water, climbing steep sections, setting up tents in wind and rain, battling bugs, sleeping near noisy, smelly strangers, not showering for days at a time, and yes, going #2 in the woods. There are some mentions on these and other practical matters, but mostly they are not discussed in detail. Some might appreciate that, but I was looking for the nitty gritty of "This is what it's like living in the woods for months on end". One aspect that did get a good detailed treatment was foot maladies, foot leg/health, and footwear (all very important). Another was the more general topic of 'food acquisition' shall I say (as opposed to cooking).

The book was laid out very well. The organization and chapter-heading maps did a good job of helping me understand the flow of the walk and the length of sections. The chapters did a good job of helping me understand some of the personality and relative difficulty of different sections of the trail, and a few of the many interesting towns, hostels, inns, trail waypoints, landmarks, and people. I appreciated the author's personality and how he discussed his motives, and aligned his dedication to his family to the ultimately somewhat self-centric decision to go on a hike alone for months. No offense intended to any through-hikers. I think it's also a grand way to show your family what is possible, and hopefully inspire them not to limit themselves. Along with friends, co-workers, and strangers on Amazon.
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on November 28, 2016
For 10 years now I have had hiking the Appalachian Trail on my bucket list ever since my daughters and I saw a PBS special on it. This book helped me believe that I can do this no matter what my age is. That it is going to be hard if I am 25 or 55 but if I pace myself I can do it. I give the author credit my daughters wanted me to take them out of school and do do this hike being that they were in 6th, 4th and 2nd grade I didn't do it nor could I just up and leave them since we live on a farm. However my youngest will graduate college in 3 years and as long as I am healthy the next year I am leaving and doing it. I have already informed my family and they are not happy but after 25 years of my life being for them. I am going to do this for me. Thanks for making me believe I can do it.
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on May 15, 2017
I loved this no-nonsense account of a thru hike on the AT. It's very different from Wild, which I also loved, by Cheryl Strayed about her hike o. The Pacific Crest Trail. Both books made me feel as if I were there on the trail.
I envy Miller for having tea courage to pursue his dream. I salute his wife for supporting him. I feel privileged to have been able to hike vicariously on both coasts by reading the books. I've been on tiny (more like miniscule) sections of each trail. I thank Miller and Strayed for letting me experience more of them.
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on August 11, 2016
Considering that this is basically a shelter-to-shelter, hostel-to-bunkhouse description of one person's hike from Georgia to Maine, I found this a very compelling read. There are no long, lyrical descriptive passages, no flashbacks to personal tragedies and recriminations, no delving into personal character flaws. For this sort of book I would refer you to Cheryl Strayed's "Wild", a much more literary, and highly recommended true story of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. And yet David Miller's narrative pulled me right along with him, uphill, downhill, rained upon, blistered, and hungry. I am unlikely to follow in his footsteps, but I enjoyed my trip through David's eyes and words.
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on June 16, 2017
I purchased this book because it was recommended. I have a commitment that if I chose to purchase a book I will read it to the end. In the beginning I felt a little less excited but was hooked after just a few chapters. I am a 69 year old, retired PE teacher and love anything that is fitness related. I was most surprised with the "junk" food consumed on the trail. I do understand the need to eat much more than normal, but surprised about the choices. I typically don't eat "junk" but probably would miss occasionally eating a candy bar or drinking a soda. This was a very good read and almost made me feel part of the journey.
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on June 9, 2017
I found myself looking for other things to do instead of finishing it, which was interesting but I did not want it to end. I didn't want his journey to be over. The story was about one man's experiences on the AT. Why he did it, what he wanted out of it and what
happened along the way. Loved Miller's style of writing. If you want angst or a story of someone trying to escape themselves or life in general, move on. Congrats to Mr Miller on his achievement, both in the literary sense and the personal.
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on May 29, 2017
A man has a lifelong dream of walking the Appalachian Trail from its start in Georgia to it's end in Maine. An epic trek that many start but few finish.

Disenchanted with his job and ready for a change, David Miller leaves his wife and three daughters behind, quits his job and pursues this lifelong dream. The reader learns a lot about David Miller's motivation, life on the trail and what it takes to complete this journey. A well written book, well edited and an interesting read. By its nature it lacks the suspense that I am accustomed to in other books I have read.
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on November 16, 2016
It's not always that something touted as a "Must read!" truly is, but if you have designs on getting into backpacking and especially backpacking the AT, this one definitely is. Once you start, you do not want to put this down and you will become increasingly curious to find out how various thru-hikers ended up doing. Did they make it all the way? Did Steve-O go to jail?
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