Study Guide

A Walk in the Woods Fear

By Bill Bryson

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Remember kids: there's nothing to fear except fear itself. Besides grizzly bears. And mountain lions. Oh yeah, and serial killers too. And hypothermia.

After deciding to hike all 2,100 miles of the mighty Appalachian Trail, poor Bill Bryson realizes that he might have bitten off more than he can chew. Who'da thunk it? Although you shouldn't expect to be confronted with Exorcist-level horrors in A Walk in the Woods, this thing is terrifying because it's one hundred percent real.

Questions About Fear

  1. Is Bryson too easily frightened? Explain.
  2. Do you think there is cause for concern regarding the increase in murders along the AT?
  3. How is Katz able to keep calm under tense situations on the AT?
  4. Was it really a bear poking around Katz and Bryson's camp? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Although there is plenty to be afraid of on the AT, Bryson has the tendency to overblow certain fears.

Bryson has good reason to be frightened: there are countless disasters that can befall hikers along the AT.

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