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Walking Home: via the Appalachian Trail

Walking Home: via the Appalachian Trail

5.0 2
by Michael Herrick

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Xlibris Corporation
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6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)

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Walking Home: Via the Appalachian Trail 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Walking Home via the Appalachian Trail is a contemporary fiction novel written by Michael Herrick. Walt was beginning this phase of his Appalachian Trail experience from Harper’s Ferry. He was in his late forties, and his wife and daughters were adamant in their opposition to his taking on this challenge -- but it was something he simply had to do. All the years of teaching uninterested students by day and driving limousines at night to satisfy the endless need for money to pay household bills and expenses and their daughters’ tuition fees had left him feeling more dead than alive. A daring look at a scale confirmed that he was about 40 pounds heavier than the fit and trim Strider whose journal set in motion Walt’s need to continue on. But it did not dissuade him; he simply figured it was an extra 40-pound weight he’d be shouldering along with his overly heavy pack. Michael Herrick’s contemporary fiction novel, Walking Home via the Appalachian Trail, is a thought-provoking story of one man’s midlife crisis which propels him on a journey into the woods and his future. I’ve read a number of Appalachian Trail memoirs and novels, and I thought I had read just about everything there was on the subject, but Herrick’s tale showed me that was definitely not the case. Once again, I found myself living the Trail experience through another’s eyes, but there was more to this story: more unique experiences to be encountered on the trail, and in the shelters and hostels along the way as seen through the eyes of Walt while he attempts to make sense of his life. Herrick’s writing is elegant and fluid and a sheer pleasure to read, and his character is wonderfully complex: sometimes brutally honest and world-weary and, at other times, he becomes an innocent marveling at his presence and his transformation on the trail. Walking Home via the Appalachian Trail is highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If You Go Down in the Woods Today Reviewed by William R. Schreck, Jr.  In Walking Home the main character Walt is a thoughtful man. He seems so representatively average at the outset; but, Herrick gradually presents an interesting and, certainly, a more complex man. Walt is, above all, a questioning man: Hiking as seeking. Without showing off, Herrick quotes philosophers from Plato to Persig. Here the ‘inner stuff’ comes to the fore, the universal quest for that ‘inner peace of mind.’    Walt, who is ostensibly walking away from his wife and two teenaged daughters, also has in his possession a journal belonging to Strider, a younger man, much like Walt in his youth, which he uses as a reference in more ways than for just guidelines and advice for walking the AT. The contrast is telling between the two men. This is also a story about growing into maturity, our acceptance of aging, or not.  Walt spends about two summer months hiking the Appalachian Trail, hiking about 1,000 miles! This is about as accurate a picture of hiking as you are likely to find, and from a writer who is obviously a very experienced hiker. You are in competent, capable hands with Michael Herrick. His authorial command includes being a good story-teller, keeping the plot moving, with background information for the reader doled out in a timely fashion as needed, with hints along the way—to figuring out those other struggles, the ones on the deeper, psychological level. There is in-depth psychological analysis. Think Reese Witherspoon in Wild, a film that scooped this novel. If you liked that film—and, particularly if you are male, you will like this novel.  Remember, as they say, ‘It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.’ More than just the experience of being along for the adventures of this challenging hike, it was even more enriching to be inside the mind of the hiker.