A new updated edition of David Miller’s classic Appalachian Trail memoir, AWOL on the Appalachian Trail will be available on October 18th, 2010. Published by Amazon Encore, it will be available in paperback and as a Kindle edition.
I’ve just finished reading an advanced reviewer’s copy and AWOL is still my favorite AT thru-hiker autobiography. I read the previous edition a few years ago, but it seemed even more relevant to me this time around, now that I have more invested in going my own way.
“When the decision finally came it was an epiphany. No way was I going to allow myself to settle into an ordinary life because it was the easy thing to do. I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed, defined by my career, grow soft and specialized behind a desk. I would continue to resist specialization and stretch myself by undertaking new endeavors.”
Like all AT hiker memoirs, David’s book is full of thru-hiker lore, shelter stories, bear and mouse tales, and food orgies. If you’re thinking about thru-hiking or section hiking the Appalachian Trail, it provides an excellent state-by-state account of what you can expect along the way. This is David Miller after all, author of the The A.T. Guide, the definitive AT handbook, so he really knows what he’s talking about.
However, what sets David’s book apart from others thru-hiker memoirs are his descriptions of the kindness of the people along the trail who aren’t hikers, his friendships, and his internal struggle to stay on the trail despite physical and emotional hardship.
That’s a lot of ground to cover, but David’s narrative moves at such a steady clip, you won’t want to put AWOL on the AT down until you’ve finished it.
Sectionhiker received a complementary reviewer’s copy of this book.