Thursday, February 16, 2012

Following Atticus (Book Review)

A while back Ashley and I were given a copy of Following Atticus to do a book review for our blog.  I had a chance to read the book and would say that its is a great read.  This is the story of an out-of-shape newspaperman, Tom Ryan, and Atticus M. Finch, a miniature schnauzer who become an unlikely pair of hikers/mountaineers. After deciding to pay tribute to a friend who died of cancer, they set out to climb all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot peaks, twice, in the 90 days of winter.  This book dives deep into their adventures of climbing New Hampshire's Mountains in the heart of winter. 

In a way, this is a book that all hikers can relate to as it is a story about finding oneself and what is truly important in life.  Utilizing the quotes of John Muir, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and other writers and philosophers, Ryan paints a majestic picture of the White Mountains and brings the reader along for the ride. This might seem like a story written only  for dog or animal lovers, however, it is the true story of a man who was stuck until a homeless miniature schnauzer changed the course of his life.  If you are looking for a good book that involves the outdoors and is an inspiring story we can definitely recommend Following Atticus.


  1. I read the book recently too and thought it was pretty good but wasn't exactly what I thought it was. I was hoping for more details about what type of equipment he used, more trail details and less about politics of small town life in the newspaper industry. Even so, the heart and soul of his hiking companion made it worth while. I loved the hike up to the top of White Mountain when he ran into the other, "better equipped" mountaineers.

  2. I am a dog and White Mountain lover, and so thoroughly enjoyed this book. However, I found many of the reports of the times and distances he and Atticus hiked to be impossible, especially the 27 mile hike over The Bonds in winter.. I've done that same hike, in my 20's, without a dog, and I find his report very hard to believe. Was any one else struck by that?


Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.