The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT )is the perfect place for an average person to do something extraordinary. Bill Walker ("Skywalker"), who stands 6'11", might seem like anything but average. Yet in a brutally honest tone, he lays to bare all his considerable weaknesses and fears. Among these are crushing weight loss and fatigue, along with a fear of getting lost or a bear stealing his food. Nonetheless, he is bound and determined to hike the PCT which - at 2,663 miles - runs all the way from Mexico to Canada.
The PCT's calling card is its stunning beauty. It has a diversity of geography unequaled by any footpath in the world. Haunting and beckoning the PCT hiker are the implacable desert, the towering majesty of the so-called High Sierra, and the ruggedly bleak, northern Cascade range. Indeed, the PCT hiker faces much greater extremes of terrain and climate than on the famed Appalachian Trail. Completing this demanding challenge calls for overwhelming clarity of purpose.
Walker's signature characteristic as a writer is his real talent in capturing people. Obviously, he is a people person because he runs into and vividly describes a truly colorful cast of characters from seemingly all walks of American life. Among these are Uber Bitch, Shit Bag, and Serial Killer; the listener learns how these hikers ended up with their names (hint: blunders).The listener need not worry that Walker is a bully. Throughout this irreverent narrative, he turns his considerable supply of humor back on himself in ruthlessly self-deprecating fashion. It all makes for a delightful experience.
©2010 Bill Walker (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I'm a school librarian in Bradford, and member of the CILIP SLG National Committee. Love audiobooks for listening to on the bus!
I haven't read the print version, but Bill Walker telling his own story in his own inimitable way definitely adds to the story!
The obvious comparison is Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, which is about the Appalachian trail - it also bears similarities to Simon Armitage's Walking Home.
It's his story, told in his own unusual voice - his reading adds a lot to the story.
Walk from Mexico to Canada in size 15's!
Before Bill wrote this, he wrote a book covering his experiences on the Appalachian Trail. As he refers to his time on the AT a lot in this book, it would be great to have an audio version of the first book.
"I wish Bill Bryson attempted the PCT."
NO. This is just a journal of his PCT thru hike. It has none the humor or insight of Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods". I plan to do the John Muir Trail so I had some interest.
A boring blog.
"One persons account"
I found his experience on the PCT interesting. To get another point of view other than Cheryl Strayed's was good. I may now read his account on the AT. Appalachian Trail.
"Okay Trail Journal Hobbled by Poor Narration"
Seven foot tall Bill Walker attempts to bring a Southerner's perspective to a hike on the West's greatest trail, the PCT, but unfortunately falls short. Failing to book-end his writing or give it a goal like Bryson or Strayed or even Carrot Quinn, it becomes just another trail journal, cataloging his navigation failings, hunger and sore feet instead of becoming a real story. He doesn't spend enough time with the people he meets along the hike and never offers any insight into their character or quirks. He touches on bits of history from time to time, but they seem barely connected to the story and lack the humorous or ironic historical perspective one always gets from Bryson. The biggest drawback is, unfortunately, the author's narration. It is flat and uninteresting and he seems to have problems pronouncing many of the words and names he himself has written. And no, its not due the his Georgian accent.
I wanted to like this book, but I'm afraid I found it disappointing.
Bill Walker is an amazing story teller! Do your self a favor and take a listen 😊
"Skywalker: Highs and Lows on the PCT review"
Easy listening of one man's adventures and observations (people and lanscapes) along the Pacific Crest Trail.
Stayed on PCT hiking subject matter fairly well. Story was more documentary style than well crafted storytelling.
Narration is a bit rough in places, but the narrator is also the author.
Reasonably entertaining if you are interested in thru hiking.
Loved this book! Author has a great voice for audio! Great stories, funny, inspirational, heart wrenching at times.
"good book with painful narration"
Very interesting book. However author self-narrated and he pronounces big words like he's never heard them out loud before. it is very distracting.
"So far, so bad..."
I'm a couple hours into this one,... really like the topic, but can't get past what seems to be all the right wing sentiments. Others may like the story, but not really sure this one is for me.
The seemingly flippant tone.
The emotional tone seems deft to the story's experience.
"Diary of a nice guy who clearly isn't a writer"
I knew next to nothing about the Pacific Crest Trail and this book did succeed in familiarising me with the trail. Beyond that I don't have much good to say about this book. The quality of writing and the narration both resemble the opening chapters of Flowers for Algernon with perhaps the addition of a thesaurus. Although I'm sure Bill Walker is a nice guy and I mean him no ill-will his writing has a lot of development to go before it becomes an enjoyable read. His sizing up of the attractiveness of each female on the trail and his southern idioms such as "he took off as fast as a slave running from the Bloodhounds" did not improve the book as the author might have imagined.
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