This isn't the first book I've read by Bill Bryson, having somewhat enjoyed Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language of the United States last month. Bryson's writing style is conversational and entertaining, so I was willing to try another of his novels and had several people mention this book specifically as one to try. You can pretty easily look up the book's plot summary and other bloggers' reviews if you're interested, so I'll say it was a great read and I enjoyed it immensely. Instead, I'm going to focus today on the blurb on the front cover, from Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times:
The best way of escaping into nature is to read a book like A Walk in the Woods... The reader is rarely anything but exhilarated.
Hmm, really? The best way of "escaping into nature" is to "read a book"? I'm sure Emerson would agree whole-heartedly... NOT.
(By the way, I know that Lehmann's original observation was trimmed for the cover, and he doesn't sound quite so ridiculous in his review of the novel.)