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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific…
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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club… (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Cheryl Strayed

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,0883241,237 (3.89)295
Member:AngelaMBarry
Title:Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)
Authors:Cheryl Strayed
Info:Knopf (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Book Club, Second Read, 2014, 2012, Memoir, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

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

  1. 91
    A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson (ominogue)
  2. 00
    Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail by Suzanne Roberts (Alphawoman)
  3. 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!
  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
    The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind-and Almost Found Myself-on the Pacific Crest Trail (P.S.) by Dan White (clif_hiker)
  6. 18
    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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» See also 295 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 318 (next | show all)
I had been wanting to read this book ever since I read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. I knew this one would be a bit different because she was going into the wilderness in an effort to heal herself after everything in her life had gone to pot. It was a heart wrenching read, hearing about her childhood with an abusive father all the way through her mother dying rather suddenly from cancer. Her descriptions of everything were vivid and easy to visualize. It felt almost as if I were there on the PCT with her, experiencing it first hand rather than only through her words. After everything that she had been through, whether it was by her own hand or the often cruel hand of fate, it’s amazing that she is able to come out the other side and fix her life. I very much enjoyed reading this book. ( )
  pennma05 | Jul 21, 2016 |
The amount of pain the author overcame, both emotional and physical, amazed me. Of course that was the whole point. I won't again make the mistake of buying the Oprah's book club edition of a book (e-book in this case), by the way. I was irritated the whole way through by the intrusive highlighting and notes. ( )
  JudyGibson | Jul 17, 2016 |
liked it better the second time. ( )
  ChrisWay | Jul 5, 2016 |
This book saddened me. I wanted to like the author and be inspired by her story, and sadly, neither happened. I wish Cheryl Strayed had found a qualified therapist at some point – any point – in her life who could have helped her with her self-destructive behavior. I found her to be an unhappy person who chose to be unfaithful in her marriage, to use drugs and abuse alcohol. I was dismayed at the various stories she chose to include in this memoir. I know more about her sex life than anyone needs to know. The graphic details of other aspects of her life – the horse’s death and her bizarre dreams of killing her mother, for instance – easily could have been omitted or toned down. When she finally does recall her time on the Pacific Crest Trail, I thought we would see a transformation, from lost woman to one who found a purpose in life. But nothing she wrote about indicates that she had any kind of epiphany. Instead, we are told about all the problems she had in carrying a too heavy backpack. We heard about how dirty she got, how smelly she became, and how worried she was about her skin that was rubbed by her backpack becoming like ”tree bark and plucked dead chicken flesh.” We learned that one of the items she thought essential when she started her hike was a strip of condoms. Maybe, for her, they were. She did have sex pushed up against a rock with a man she just met. Undoubtedly, her mother’s death devastated her, and affected her in ways we do not know. From the publisher’s summary, we are led to believe that this hike was the catharsis that healed her. But from her entries about the trail, it seems like she didn’t experience any kind of breakthrough. She trudged on day after day, pitching her tent when she got too tired and sore to walk, and then recounting the score of her toenails. (Trail got 6, author kept 4, in case you haven’t read the book.) We heard little about the beauty of the trail; maybe there wasn’t any. We heard only superficially about the other people she met while hiking. I guess that’s okay; this is her story as she saw fit to tell it. She is an unusual person. I had never heard of any divorcing couple getting matching horse tattoos to mark the occasion. Neither had I heard of anyone selecting a totally different last name, not her maiden name nor her married name, after a divorce. She is a determined person; one would have to be to walk that trail, alone, for hundreds of miles. But she seems to be a shallow person, devoid of faith and lacking purpose at that time of her life, intent only on seeing how people affect her rather than how she can affect others. The last few pages take us way into the future; she must have written this memoir long after her trip ended. It seems like she has a happy life now, settled with a husband and kids, and has come to terms with the unhappiness that plagued her before, and I’m delighted for her. I wish she has written more about that. Maybe she will one day, and we’ll see her epiphany. But this memoir failed to show that. The content was lacking depth and the writing was not spectacular, even if her accomplishment of walking the trail was. ( )
  Maydacat | Jun 21, 2016 |
Wow. I love stories of people in the wilderness and this was a good one. ( )
  Caitlin70433 | Jun 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 318 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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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