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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific…

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (2012)

by Cheryl Strayed

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,745359988 (3.89)331
  1. 100
    A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson (ominogue)
  2. 00
    The Pacific Crest Trail by William R. Gray (jpjr)
  3. 00
    The Trail North: A Solo Journey On The Pacific Coast by Hawk Greenway (jpjr)
  4. 00
    Eat, Sleep, Ride: How I Braved Bears, Badlands, and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide by Paul Howard (sboyte)
    sboyte: Human-powered journeys through the mountains of North America.
  5. 00
    Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Pharr Davis (booklove2)
    booklove2: A very memorable account of a young woman hiking the Appalachian Trail by herself! Inspiring!
  6. 00
    Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail by Suzanne Roberts (Alphawoman)
  7. 00
    The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind - and Almost Found Myself - on the Pacific Crest Trail (P.S.) by Dan White (clif_hiker)
  8. 28
    Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Darcie2013)
    Darcie2013: Like Eat, Pray, Love, Wild is about a woman who has gone through life-changing events and has realized she no longer knows who she is. In both books, the author decides that through travel she may find herself.

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Showing 1-5 of 353 (next | show all)
I hadn't heard of this book before Reese Witherspoon chose to produce a film version of it (which I've not yet seen, but plan to). The premise (is that the word you use when someone is writing about things that actually happened?) is that Ms. Strayed, a few years after the loss of her mother to cancer, the end of her own marriage, and some drug use, decided to hike the Pacific Coast Trail. I grew up spending at least a month a year in the High Sierras and now live minutes from the Cascades, but I'd never heard of the PCT until this book.

I feel a bit like the film blurbs gave a bit of an overly dramatic framing of Ms. Strayed's story. It's clearly dramatic, but, for example, while she definitely did drugs (heroin, specifically), I had the impression that she'd essentially been a junkie, which destroyed her marriage at the same time as her mother's death. Not exactly. Not really even close. It's more complicated than that, a slower burn.

Ms. Strayed is a fantastic story-teller. She manages to mix in stories of her youth and her more recent past with her trials on the hike. I appreciate her sense of adventure as well as her honesty about how even with all her planning she still didn't plan nearly enough, that the trail is rough and can be brutal. She also makes it very clear that you really need to get your shoes sorted out ahead of time.

I pretty much devoured this book. I started it before catching a flight to a work event, and was annoyed that I had to put it down and do some actual work. I stayed up way too late the first night reading it, and way too late the next night finishing it. It was inspiring. Not in an 'I'm-going-to-hike-the-PCT' way (although...) but in a 'people-are-fucking-resilient' way. ( )
  ASKelmore | Jul 9, 2017 |
HATED it, hated her. DNF.

I can say nothing more that link: Libbie Hawker (LM Ironside) has not said (and she, more eloquently). ( )
  HunyBadger | Jul 6, 2017 |
Wow! Engaging, fierce and real. The writing is excellent, the story is engaging, and the pace is page-turning. For over a year, I resisted this book ("too much hype," I foolishly thought) but now I understand that all the buzz is well-deserved. ( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
Read for book club. I didn't find myself particularly caught up in this narrative until we approached the end. The book lacks compelling insight while simultaneously being overrun by interiority. We constantly hear Strayed thoughts, particularly on her grief over her mother's death, yet her thoughts don't inspire any sort of deep thinking on our parts. Strayed's understanding of the natural world is limited and she wasn't able to convey the magic and beauty of nature in her prose. Ultimately, I'm puzzled by the book's spectacular success. By the end, I started to care more about her journey - mostly because I'd been on it with her for such a long time. She also did a find job of bringing secondary characters to life - the people she meets along the trail. But the book just fell flat for me.
  wintersdoor | Jul 2, 2017 |
3.5 stars ( )
  Pezski | Jun 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 353 (next | show all)
It’s not very manly, the topic of weeping while reading. Yet for a book critic tears are an occupational hazard. Luckily, perhaps, books don’t make me cry very often — I’m a thrice-a-year man, at best. Turning pages, I’m practically Steve McQueen.

Cheryl Strayed’s new memoir, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” however, pretty much obliterated me. I was reduced, during her book’s final third, to puddle-eyed cretinism. I like to read in coffee shops, and I began to receive concerned glances from matronly women, the kind of looks that said, “Oh, honey.” It was a humiliation.

To mention all this does Ms. Strayed a bit of a disservice, because there’s nothing cloying about “Wild.” It’s uplifting, but not in the way of many memoirs, where the uplift makes you feel that you’re committing mental suicide. This book is as loose and sexy and dark as an early Lucinda Williams song. It’s got a punk spirit and makes an earthy and American sound.
A candid, inspiring narrative of the author’s brutal physical and psychological journey through a wilderness of despair to a renewed sense of self.
added by sturlington | editKirkus Reviews (Dec 19, 2011)
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Wild (2014IMDb)
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For Brian Lindstrom

And for our children, Carver and Bobbi
First words
(Prologue) The trees were tall, but I was taller, standing above them on a steep mountain slope in northern California.
My solo three-month hike on the Pacific Crest Trail had many beginnings.
The universe, I'd learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.
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A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.

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