A decent book, but it has no great depth. This view of the Appalachian Trail is that of the circa-1990 through-hiker. It’s pretty easy to think of a half-dozen other ways the book could have been focused, all equally valid, that I might have preferred.
The author alternates topical chapters with portraits of individuals. Nearly everyone mentioned in the book completed a through-hike around 1990, though a handful of early hikers are portrayed. For what it’s worth, the pioneer hikers’ depictions probably justify reading the book. Differently: The book’s story could be said to begin at Springer and end at Katahdin, but by no means is that a useful description of the tale’s organization.
Many topics are touched upon, and the book’s an adequate introduction to the trail and its mythology. But it’s no more than that.
This review was originally published on LibraryThing.