So I'm back on the hiking book wagon after a short trip to the Crimson Skies Universe. THRU: An Appalachian Trail Love Story by Richard Judy was a great read, while I still think the Stumbling Thru series was a better read overall this book was a serious contender. It was another book that was fiction, that was undoubtly based on the authors experiences during his thru-hike.
This book is great because the profits get pumped back into the trail via the Appalachian Trail Muesum Society. When I picked it up the sub-title of a 'love story' had me wondering if the book was going to be about the love of the trail, or love found on the trail.
It wound up being the latter, the novel revolved again around a group of chracters known as the 'Bly Gap Gang' who had a series of adventures up the trail. As they hiked diffrents sets of chracters experienced diffrent levels of romantic intrest in other hikers. Hearts were broken, hearts were won, all conveyed to the reader via journal entires, shelter logs, and emails home from the characters.
The complaints I have about the book are minor. I again fall small editing errors throughout, like Stumbling Thru I imagine this was simply because the book was not coming from a big publisher. The biggest issue I had was that the 'Bly Gap Gang' was a extremely diverse group of characters and I felt that in their writings they lacked distinct voices as characters and the authors style bled through too much detracting from the character themselves.
This may sound like a large complaint, but it didn't detract from the story and is a really nit-picky thing to complain about, in the end the book was great and would still make a better film than 'Wild' or 'A Walk in the Woods' simply because theres more material to work with and true character arcs.
Despite being in three college classes and deployed my cadence of reading hiking books is not slowing down. Soon enough there will be no more books to read, and hopefully I'll be out writing about my own adventures, however after a book I have to read for school 'Appalachian Trail - A Novel' is my next fun reading assignment.
*As a side note I do want to apologize about the number of book reports I seem to be sumbitting to the blog, but being deployed and in school really limits my ability to post content outside of that. I may have a gear review or two soon though.