• Skywalker

  • Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • By: Bill Walker
  • Narrated by: Bill Walker
  • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (306 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT )is the perfect place for an average person to do something extraordinary. Bill Walker ("Skywalker"), who stands 6'11", might seem like anything but average. Yet in a brutally honest tone, he lays to bare all his considerable weaknesses and fears. Among these are crushing weight loss and fatigue, along with a fear of getting lost or a bear stealing his food. Nonetheless, he is bound and determined to hike the PCT which - at 2,663 miles - runs all the way from Mexico to Canada.

The PCT's calling card is its stunning beauty. It has a diversity of geography unequaled by any footpath in the world. Haunting and beckoning the PCT hiker are the implacable desert, the towering majesty of the so-called High Sierra, and the ruggedly bleak, northern Cascade range. Indeed, the PCT hiker faces much greater extremes of terrain and climate than on the famed Appalachian Trail. Completing this demanding challenge calls for overwhelming clarity of purpose.

Walker's signature characteristic as a writer is his real talent in capturing people. Obviously, he is a people person because he runs into and vividly describes a truly colorful cast of characters from seemingly all walks of American life. Among these are Uber Bitch, Shit Bag, and Serial Killer; the listener learns how these hikers ended up with their names (hint: blunders).The listener need not worry that Walker is a bully. Throughout this irreverent narrative, he turns his considerable supply of humor back on himself in ruthlessly self-deprecating fashion. It all makes for a delightful experience.

©2010 Bill Walker (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Skywalker

Average Customer Ratings
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One persons account

I found his experience on the PCT interesting. To get another point of view other than Cheryl Strayed's was good. I may now read his account on the AT. Appalachian Trail.

5 people found this helpful

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So far, so bad...

Would you try another book from Bill Walker and/or Bill Walker?

I'm a couple hours into this one,... really like the topic, but can't get past what seems to be all the right wing sentiments. Others may like the story, but not really sure this one is for me.

What was most disappointing about Bill Walker’s story?

The seemingly flippant tone.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The emotional tone seems deft to the story's experience.

3 people found this helpful

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Okay Trail Journal Hobbled by Poor Narration

Seven foot tall Bill Walker attempts to bring a Southerner's perspective to a hike on the West's greatest trail, the PCT, but unfortunately falls short. Failing to book-end his writing or give it a goal like Bryson or Strayed or even Carrot Quinn, it becomes just another trail journal, cataloging his navigation failings, hunger and sore feet instead of becoming a real story. He doesn't spend enough time with the people he meets along the hike and never offers any insight into their character or quirks. He touches on bits of history from time to time, but they seem barely connected to the story and lack the humorous or ironic historical perspective one always gets from Bryson. The biggest drawback is, unfortunately, the author's narration. It is flat and uninteresting and he seems to have problems pronouncing many of the words and names he himself has written. And no, its not due the his Georgian accent.
I wanted to like this book, but I'm afraid I found it disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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Diary of a nice guy who clearly isn't a writer

I knew next to nothing about the Pacific Crest Trail and this book did succeed in familiarising me with the trail. Beyond that I don't have much good to say about this book. The quality of writing and the narration both resemble the opening chapters of Flowers for Algernon with perhaps the addition of a thesaurus. Although I'm sure Bill Walker is a nice guy and I mean him no ill-will his writing has a lot of development to go before it becomes an enjoyable read. His sizing up of the attractiveness of each female on the trail and his southern idioms such as "he took off as fast as a slave running from the Bloodhounds" did not improve the book as the author might have imagined.

1 person found this helpful

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good book with painful narration

Very interesting book. However author self-narrated and he pronounces big words like he's never heard them out loud before. it is very distracting.

1 person found this helpful

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I wish Bill Bryson attempted the PCT.

Would you try another book from Bill Walker and/or Bill Walker?

NO. This is just a journal of his PCT thru hike. It has none the humor or insight of Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods". I plan to do the John Muir Trail so I had some interest.

Would you ever listen to anything by Bill Walker again?

NO

What three words best describe Bill Walker’s performance?

A boring blog.

1 person found this helpful

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Hilarious Adventures of the PCT

Enjoyed listening to his recollections of encounters, obsevations, debacles, cautionary tales and triumps along the trail. A great balance of informative and funny without going too far down the rabbit holes. What a hot mess of characters that shared in his adventure. Delighted he read his own story.

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Loved it

I need 15 words to be able to submit. I really liked the book thanks.

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Neat story about the PCT

Neat story about a mans hike of the PCT. I wish the production would have been done with a more professional narrator. And, I wish the author had given more detail of where he was along the hike, it seemed difficult to keep up with his location. Anyway, a good overall production.

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Excellent, Entertaining

Just finished this book for the 2nd time and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great story and the Author did very well narrating. Just like "being there" absent all the hardship.

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  • Adrian
  • 04-20-14

Makes you want to put on your boots and walk!

Would you consider the audio edition of Skywalker to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, but Bill Walker telling his own story in his own inimitable way definitely adds to the story!

What other book might you compare Skywalker to, and why?

The obvious comparison is Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, which is about the Appalachian trail - it also bears similarities to Simon Armitage's Walking Home.

What does Bill Walker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

It's his story, told in his own unusual voice - his reading adds a lot to the story.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Walk from Mexico to Canada in size 15's!

Any additional comments?

Before Bill wrote this, he wrote a book covering his experiences on the Appalachian Trail. As he refers to his time on the AT a lot in this book, it would be great to have an audio version of the first book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • gareth
  • 02-12-16

poor writing style

If I hear another I said, they said I'll scream, poor story telling? no depth, some idiot gave the nod to this book..