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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… (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Cheryl Strayed

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,2303341,176 (3.89)308
Member:MAKBerlin
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:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:biography

Work details

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

  1. 101
    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. 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 329 (next | show all)
Wild is an honest account of one woman's collapse into grief and her way of trying to get back to herself. She makes disastrous choices at times, but those choices become part of her and, to my mind, make her a much more interesting person than someone who plays it by the book. ( )
  missizicks | Sep 10, 2016 |
Great read. Thoroughly enjoyed it. ( )
  trezzadude | Sep 7, 2016 |
I couldn't put this book down fast enough. I think the fact its in the 'fiction' section of the bookstore says a lot about it's authenticity. Did she really do this walk or was it just this is what I think hiking be like. I can't be bothered to find out. I didn't like her at all. ( )
  tamarah71 | Sep 5, 2016 |
After taking a few days to mull over the book as a whole, I've come to the conclusion that the book, like the author herself, is engaging and endearing, but ultimately flawed. After spending the last nine days with her (and alternating with a Dawkins book--strange bedfellows), I think she'd be the first to agree with that. Structurally, the narrative had built-in tension, and I thought she handled that aspect of the book quite well. I looked forward to each new day unfolding on the trail, each new adventure. I found the interwoven narrative about her grief about her mother problematic, however, mostly because there was a great deal of repetition and moments where, an an editor myself I may have counseled her to utilize subtlety and pull back a bit, but where she, or perhaps at her editor's behest, bulldozed through. The danger of trying to link what is essentially an adventure story with its own internal engine with a story of trying to get over the death of the most important person in the world to you is that they can, in some instances, be at cross purposes. And I felt that keenly here. Another risk with this kind of authorial choice--and I know this is going to sound weird, because I'm talking about memoir--is that the author comes across as self-involved rather than self-reflective. My favorite memoirs are outward looking in such a way that the outward gaze reflects on the narrator, ultimately telling us more about her than straight first-person exposition/confessional narrative might. I'm completely and utterly biased, since I acquired and edited this book, but Persian Girls by the incomparable Iranian author Nahid Rachlin is a great example of this. I won't get into the plot details, but suffice it to say that she suffered unimaginable grief herself, and yet her approach to it was different. I think when I got to the page in Wild where the author, having seen a fox in the clearing next to her tent the day before, wondered the next day if the fox was wondering about her. I know it's a brief line, perhaps even tossed off, but it seemed to me at that moment emblematic of the flaws of the book.

So--that being said, I find the criticism of this author regarding the PCT journey itself absolutely ridiculous. There are people who fault this novice hiker for choosing to hitch a ride north to avoid snowed-in areas for which she was utterly unprepared (and which she is quite candid about). People have, I've read, been angry at her for being so ill-prepared. That's part of what I found fascinating about her account. As she points out again and again, she was in her mid-twenties, thought she knew more than she did, but was made painfully aware that she knew nothing on that first day on the trail. This element of the story is so important in creating that connection with the reader--that the author is going to be candid about her failures, that she could essentially be anyone reading the book, creating a kind of universality to the experience. Deep down, I wonder if some readers are uncomfortable with Strayed's frank sexuality. Indeed, I've seen coded language about this aspect of the book in other reviews, where the reviewer says that Strayed seemed to think every man wanted to have his way with her. I did not get this sense at all. In fact, I felt fearful for her many times when she was on the trail, and the last scene with the two bowhunters had me on the edge of my seat, and sickened that she had to endure the experience. If anything, she underplayed it.

It's not a perfect book and yes, I disagreed with what my eye tells me were editing decisions, but I enjoyed the book very much and am very happy the author has experienced the success she has. She seems like a wonderful human being--flawed just like the rest of us. ( )
  bookofmoons | Sep 1, 2016 |
Cheryl had an abusive father until her mom took her and her two siblings away when she was 6. She lost her mom to cancer when Cheryl was in her early 20s and, just before the events of this book (four years after the loss of her mom), she had just gotten a divorce after she'd been cheating on her husband for a while. She slept with men, did heroin – her life was a bit of a mess when she decided to spend a few months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT starts at the Mexican border and goes just into Canada. Cheryl hiked from southern California to the Oregon/Washington border (skipping a section that had too much snow).

I really liked this. No, I often didn't like Cheryl, and like many others have said (and so did she!), she really wasn't prepared like she should have been. But, I still really enjoyed the journey. I was amazed at how nice people were (for the most part) – other hikers, as well as others along the way in villages and such. Especially with the other hikers, it seemed, there was a great camaraderie. ( )
  LibraryCin | Aug 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 329 (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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People/Characters
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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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