I was not aware of this South American exploration by former President Roosevelt, and I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative. The author provided very good background information on the historical backdrop of Roosevelt prior to the expedition, on the people, and on the Amazon itself. The narrator also presented the story in a way that kept you listening. Once I started this book, I found it difficult to stop.
The tale will make you think twice if you have ever considered taking part in an Amazon expedition. Let's just say that I will never "relieve myself" in a river again. The unique challenges of an Amazon expedition are described in detail, and these help you understand what a monumental achievement the men accomplished. Roosevelt may not have died in the Amazon, but it's clear he carried the effects with him for his short years afterwards. I also very much liked the addition of an epilogue, which tells what followed in the years after the expedition.
Recommended for anyone who loves a true tale of exploration!
Loved the book. I love adventure stories based on real-life adventures, and if you have a similar taste you will want to read this book.
The focus is not only on the legendary lost city of Z, but on the mystery surrounding Percy Fawcett who disappeared in the Amazon without a trace in 1925. The book provides a lot of historical background of the times and about the men who took on the challenge. The book is well-researched and you want to continue reading to see how it will end.
As you might expect from Jon Krakauer if you have read his works before, the book is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Once you begin the story, you want to continue listening to the end. The book is well-written, and the narrator does an excellent job of relating the saga. There is some harsh language in a few places, but it does not seem excessive.
I have never read a book on this particular subject before -- that is, what drives a person like McCandless to seek an isolated wilderness experience that is "back to the basics". At times I have also followed the urge to experience the wilderness solo, and I have had a few such minor experiences. However, the book helped me to understand the difference between "the extreme" McCandless and myself. The book identifies McCandless' primary motivators as "youthful enthusiasm" and an "enthrallment with a fantasy image of nature". I would even call it a form of "nature worship". Others (as myself) appreciate nature and love to experience its pleasures and hardships, but our experiences are tempered by reality and wisdom... not immersion in a fantasy.
Anyway, an excellent read. Recommended.
I have read several reviews that seem to judge the writer both for her life choices and for her lack of preparation for the extended hike and that's not going to be my theme here. Her background was trauma-filled enough prior to the PCT trip and that alone qualifies her for some odd (at the very least) and misbegotten decision-making. Perhaps her life had been so challenging and frightening before the hike, what could happen on the trip that could possibly be worse?
I kept feeling similarities to the movie "The Way" with Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, as the story of an extended trip by foot with no preparation, following a dramatic personal loss. The same questions emerge and are shared with others on the road - Why are you doing this? What led up to this decision? What do you hope to accomplish? - as "the path" fulfills its inevitable destiny as metaphor for the examined life, and is offered up as a pilgrimage.
The fact that she waited over ten years to write the story - and perhaps this is at least partially due to the ups and downs of getting the book published in the first place - and did it without any internet caf??s, email, tweets and Facebook status reports, makes this a significant accomplishment, done (as far as I can tell but I may have missed something) totally from memory and without benefit of a journal of any sort.
The reading is excellent - narrated by Bernadette Dunne, of whose audio work I have long been a fan and have read more by her from audible.com than almost any other narrator. She has no interpretive quirks and does a very smooth and consistent reading without any extra drama thrown in.
Whatever the reason we read, for intellectual enhancement, emotional connection, information, escape, insight into alternate perspectives - bottom line for me and any book is always "does it work?". For "Wild", I have to say "yes".