Bill Bryson on the adaptation of his bestseller A Walk in the Woods
What’s it like to be portrayed in a film by Robert Redford? ‘Very strange,’ Bill Bryson tells Michael Bodey
Bill Bryson’s now famous walk in the woods almost didn’t happen — twice. Bryson’s adventure walk with an old school friend on the 3500km Appalachian Trail through America’s northeast in the late 1990s felt interminable to begin with, the author tells Review.
Consequently, the memoir that propelled Bryson from a gigging travel writer to a bestselling author, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, almost wasn’t written.
And that would have deprived the world of
his subsequent self-deprecating, entertaining travelogues, comic memoirs and observational books including Down Under, Notes from a
Small Island and A Really Short History of Nearly Everything.
His walking partner, the pseudonymous Stephen Katz, was an unfit, grating, recovering alcoholic and, Bryson admits, “the first few weeks we were together, I just wished he’d go home”.
“He was driving me crazy,” he says.” I wasn’t thinking this is great material; during the whole first three weeks I was thinking, I’m never