I hate hiking and camping, so this read more like a horror story to me. On that score, it was excellent. I am more afraid of camping and hiking than I've ever been, especially if I ever meet doofuses like Bryson and Katz on the trail. I'm also terrified of polemic diatribes about the state of US nature, so this was a double whammy of horror.
Seriously, a few funny passages centered solely on Katz's misanthopism and for too many interesting tidbits just isn't my cup of tea. Ultimately, this was just really boring with long stretches of nothing, which I guess is the point of a book about an extended camping trip, but wow.
The most frustrating piece of reading this is that I would never have read it if someone else hadn't literally stuffed in into my backpack screaming its praises and how much I was going to enjoy this. Anyone following these reviews (and I hope all those page hits aren't just me trying to remember what number book I'm on) should know by now that I gravitate to horror/fantasy/sci-fi with most of my reading fairly esoteric. A book about fucking hiking and camping (did I mention that I detest both activities) is really not in my wheelhouse. Still, said friend insisted that I would find it hysterical and has badgered me to read it for the last six months. Now, how do I tell him I find a new torture for myself (and its name is Bill Bryson) and that not only wasn't it funny, it was boring, pedantic and not something he should consider me for in the future? This isn't that I think Bryson is a terrible author without redeeming value, just that I don't place any value on his work. Oh well, at least the guy is on vacation so I won't have to say anything for a few more days.