I once overheard some Australians talking about Bryson's Australian memoirs. Both of the Aussies liked his book, but one of them pointed out that Bryson turns the act of leaving shallow water somewhere near Bondi beach, Sydney, into an epic struggle. So I'm grateful for the detailed accounts of bear attacks, near drownings, and hikers who've frozen to death somewhere in history. But I'm also grateful Bryson didn't have quite the near-death adventure he'd hoped for.
The account is nice and linear, relieved of foreshadowing or cluttered literary devices. The chapters taking us off the trail and into the library are very nicely timed to make research seem like a welcome relief. His account of the days when 200 hotel resorts would fill a cool mountain valley instead of some beachfront made me oddly nostalgic.