Where's the Next Shelter? is the true story of three travelers on the Appalachian Trail, a 2,000-mile hike that stretches from Georgia to Maine, told from the perspective of Gary Sizer, a seasoned backpacker and former marine who quickly finds himself humbled by the endeavor. He teams up with Megan, a sassy college grad whose indomitable spirit eclipses her lack of experience; and Lemmy, a cartoonist from overseas whose off-kilter commentary on the wonders and frustrations of the trail keeps everyone laughing.
Sprawling through the woods and towns of the Appalachian Mountains, the trail carries the trio through real and fanciful ups and downs ranging from hilarious to perilous. Much more than an orderly account of mountaintops and meals, this book is an adventure about friends figuring things out as they go. It's about screwups and solutions, awe and inspiration.
If you long for the horizon or to sleep under the stars, then come along for the hike of a lifetime. All you have to do is take the first step.
©2015 Gary L Sizer II (P)2016 Gary L Sizer II
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"So good, I know I never want to hike the AT"
This book is author narrated. It starts a little uneven, I attributed it to his excitement for his book and subject. But he quickly evened out, and I think being author narrated contributed to an enjoyable experience.
I loved this book. I've read a couple other Appalachian Trail books, and have enjoyed them all. But I liked his take on everything on his trip, describing pretty much every step, the relationships formed along the trail, even if only 5 minutes long, and felt more detailed than some others. He made me care about not only him, but others he spent time with. I did, literally, laugh and cry throughout.
"Hilarious and beautiful"
Gary manages to capture his Appalachian Trail experience in a way that will appeal to both seasoned hikers and novices alike. He captures the beauty of the trail's natural wonders with many poetic passages that might have been lifted from a Zane Grey novel, but they're nested in chapter after chapter of literally laugh out loud moments. The zaniness of the people he met on the trail, the absurdity of the realities of walking for 5 months straight...it is all here. Some of the AT customs, terminology, and even the simple logistics of things like going to the bathroom are covered well for those of us who aren't experienced through-hikers, but not so much that they'd limit the enjoyment of people who have been there and done that all before. Really an outstanding book.
Please note that there's plenty of NFSW dialogue captured (presumably) just as it was spoken, so this is not a book for the easily offended or for the commute to the kids' school in the morning!
But honestly - the best praise I can give the book is that it genuinely made my commute to and from the office enjoyable for a couple weeks...a rare and noteworthy feat! Do yourself a favor and check it out.
This audio book is vey well done and quite entertaining to listen to. Being a through hiker myself it is great to see an AT book written that represents a real through hike.
When I started reading the book it felt as if I was on the trail myself, and this was my inner voice, talking to me about all my adventures I had on the way through the trail. But it wasn't me, it was Gary. It felt like I was one with him, and it was awesome. This book is a raw depiction of one mans journey from Georgia to Maine. it is truly a grand adventure and will make you want to get out and start hiking.👍👍👍
"If You Liked AWOL, You'll Like This"
I was given a free copy of this audiobook with the condition being I write a review, although the content of that review was left up to me.
As someone obsessed with the Appalachian Trail, I enjoyed every minute of this book, just as I enjoyed the similar "AWOL on the Appalachian Trail" which I read right before this book.
The men in AWOL and this novel are so similar in life circumstances: both men solidly in mid-life crisis land, a little older than the typical AT crowd, refugees from cubicle-land, both telling the story of how they through-hiked the Appalachian Trail, that it is surprising there was so little overlap in content.
One thing that helps is I believe their hikes were 10 years apart. AWOL takes a more data-driven, analytical approach whereas this novel goes more into the social aspect of the AT, which is just as interesting. And there are plenty of good through-hiking experiences and tips throughout the book.
The writing was a bit rough in places, I felt not as professional or super-edited by professionals as I am used to, which can make certain passages more confusing, especially in audiobook format where you can miss a few words sometimes, the same thing with the reading, it was definitely decent; much better than I expected from an amateur reader but still not super-professional all the time. Those are why am giving it 4 stars rather than 5.
"Great listen (at .9x)"
At first I thought I was going to be disappointed, but soon I was sucked into it. I appreciated the way that the story seemed honestly presented, without any apparent attempts to make any one event into something bigger than it was or force any particular meaning on it. The significance is in the sum of the individual events.
This is the first audio book I've ever needed to slow down. If the author hikes as fast as he reads...
First let me say this book should be rated R for all the heavy language not suitable for kids. That being said this is an epic tell of grants portion! AWOL was my first Appalachian Trail book to read. This was an awesome story as well. Anyone looking for more info on the AT will get a lot from this book. Great job :)
"Best AT story yet...."
Great job, Gary! You're a writer and the narration was well done as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it - made it as real as possible without the pain and suffering. Thanks.
"BEST through hiking story"
This book is so entertaining my Husband listened to a chunk in he middle on a car trip and Love it.
"great hiking book"
This book gave me wanderlust, isn't that what good travel novels are meant to do? Gary focuses on the changes he goes through as well as the journey. He fully fleshes out the people he spends time with on the trail as characters as much as possible and gives them life in the 'story' of his time on the AT. I would reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys books about hiking or is looking for motivation for something. Hike your own hike, and happy trails.
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