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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
2,266None2,813 (3.96)162
Member:Lynn_Barker
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:***1/2
Tags:Women writers, adventure, first-hand accounts, Pacific Crest Trail, hiking, backpacking, wilderness, California, Cascade Range, first-person, nonfiction

Work details

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

2012 (64) 2013 (38) adventure (48) audiobook (13) autobiography (35) backpacking (39) biography (64) book club (24) California (47) death (16) divorce (24) ebook (34) family (14) grief (62) hiking (161) Kindle (26) memoir (293) nature (21) non-fiction (239) Oregon (29) outdoors (13) Pacific Crest Trail (113) PCT (22) read (20) read in 2012 (36) read in 2013 (24) self-discovery (18) to-read (84) travel (52) wilderness (28)
  1. 80
    A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson (ominogue)
  2. 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!
  3. 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)
  4. 17
    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 162 mentions

English (175)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  All languages (178)
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
One of my Top 5 read for 2013 ( )
  suline | Apr 10, 2014 |
From another GR member who put it so very well! “More memoir than travelogue, this book tells the story of someone who made a lot of bad choices, not the least of which was to set out on the Pacific Crest Trail so woefully unprepared.”

A book about grief, finding your way and recognizing your own strengths, weaknesses and grit. A story about a young woman’s recovery, empowerment and forgiveness of her self.

It was a cathartic experience for the author and we get to go along for the ride; interweaving the back-story of her life into the story of her travels. The slapstick of the Monster backpack, the sweet random friends met on the trail, her battered body, boots and feet, the books read and the bittersweet memories of a broken family and marriage.
( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
http://tinyurl.com/nowd4yr

I have 5 minutes to write this review today, so... the highlights:

a) She's an open and caring introvert but also a people person. I really appreciate that.
b) She totally F-ed up her early years. Which she's also open about, and I appreciate that.
c) The end result is that she isn't an entirely sympathetic character, and I was disturbed by that. I mean, I understand how F-ed up and crazy you can be if you've gone through what she's gone through, but she has urges I can't begin to understand. Or urges that sounds like addictions, which even in her retrospective-healthy state look like things you should seek therapy for. You'll know what I mean when you get there.
d) I still loved the ride. She puts it all out there for you and she writes nicely (not gorgeously or amazingly, but nicely). Also, the PCT is one hell of a journey, holy cats.
e) (There are some contradictions in the story, but I'll leave that to bitch to my book club about.) ( )
  khage | Apr 3, 2014 |

“Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren't a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was.”

“The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer—and yet also, like most things, so very simple—was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. How there was no escape or denial. No numbing it down with a martini or covering it up with a roll in the hay. As I clung to the chaparral that day, attempting to patch up my bleeding finger, terrified by every sound that the bull was coming back, I considered my options. There were only two and they were essentially the same. I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go.”

― Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail ( )
  Lee_P | Mar 30, 2014 |
Oh boy. Grab a cup of tea for this review. I got a lot to say.

My first thought was that it was going to be like "Eat, Pray, Love". Instead of shirking her responsibilities to work and family and spending a bunch of money she doesn't have so she can eat grubs with toothless monks and have sex with strange European men, Cheryl Strayed takes a short cut and just hikes the Pacific Crest trail.

This kind of story is always bull. I couldn't get past the introduction without immediately disliking her.

In the first section, she presents herself as divorced, a drug user, an adulterer, homecoming queen, and cheerleader. And to boot, she colors Minnesotans as north woods cabin-dwellers with no electricity or running water. And I'm supposed to root for her?

In the first chapter, she's already hating her husband of four years (who she married at twenty) for no reason, despite the fact that he has been calling her every day (out of concern) while she's at the hospital with her dying mother. But nope, whatever connection she thinks they had "broke". No reason why, it just happened. No reason to make an effort to try and put things back together either. Solid. You sound like a valuable person to me.

Especially after you leave your husband and start doing heroin. Then he drives eight hours across the country to intervention you away from her dealer/boyfriend. With nothing to gain from it -- out of the goodness of his heart he does this. After a few months of dealing with the divorce and the death of her mom (and not having a job or source of income), she decides on a whim that she'll hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Based solely on a book she picked up.

Listen to me. You are not courageous. You are a screw-up that doesn't know you're a screw-up, and then wonders why there's consequences for your actions. You've been acting selfish all your life, then go out and do something selfish under the guise of "finding yourself", then write a book all about it because you can't fuel your ego enough.

You hiking up the Pacific seaboard without learning how to hike properly is not a struggle. It's you being stupid. Your sole source of information was a book published in 1989 (hike took place in 2006) and the pimple-face at REI. You don't know how to wear boots or pack a bag. I read "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson. That means I'm more qualified than she was.

But Strayed makes sure to mention each and every other book she reads on the trail (before she burns them for campfire fuel). Not that any of them help her -- it's all pretentious literary bull like "As I Lay Dying", "Dubliners" and "The Novel". And just in case we forget that she's "well-read", there's a handy list at the back for reference.

She's surprised that there's no such thing as a "bad hair day" on the trail. She's no longer worried about the intricacies of being thin or fat. Women have been discovering that for decades. Do you think Mia Hamm or the female American Gladiators worry about their hair? (Well, the gladiators might. They're on TV, after all.) This women is so deep in her self, the idea that anyone around her might have already discovered these gems or feels the same way never occurs to her. She thinks she's finding all these things herself for the first time. And then she doesn't even learn anything. She still has sex with anonymous partners. Just to experience "what a man feels like again".

And if that's not enough, if you get the Oprah Book Club edition, you can enjoy all of Queen O's laudations and notes about how she's so courageous, how she's such a good writer, all the passages she loves about "past-bloom flowers in the wind" and being in love with words. Make me puke.

The biggest example of her idiocy occurs midway through the book. A man in a car stops up and asks to her interview her for Hobo Times. "But I'm not a hobo," she says, "I'm a backpacker."
"Do you have a permanent home?" he asks.
"Nope."
"Are you walking on the road?"
"Yep."
"How many times have you slept with a roof over your head in the past month?"
"Three."
"Is your backpack all you have in the world?"
"Yes."
"Are you getting around by hitchhiking?"
"Yes."
"Then please take this standard hobo care package."
Which she does. Nice. Way to stay true to your convictions. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck...

This book perpetuates the idea that people who break the rules get the breaks, while the people who follow the rules, go to work every day and do their job, get shafted. Please, women. Please don't look up to self-absorbed people like this for your inspiration. ( )
12 vote theWallflower | Mar 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 175 (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.
 
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For Brian Lindstrom

And for our children, Carver and Bobbi
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(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.
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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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