Wild is a powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an 1100-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe - and built her back up again.
At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.
Strayed faced down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
©2012 Cheryl Strayed (P)2012 Random House
“No one can write like Cheryl Strayed. Wild is one of the most unflinching and emotionally honest books I've read in a long time. It is about forgiveness and grief, bravery and hope. It is unforgettable.” (Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle)
“While reading Cheryl Strayed’s stunning book about her arduous solo journey along the Pacific Crest Trail, I kept asking myself - what would I do if I were stripped bare of everything - money, job, community, even family and love? Thoreau once said, ‘In wildness is the preservation of the world.’ For Strayed, it is clear that in wildness was the preservation of her soul. She reminds us, in her lyrical and courageous memoir Wild, of what it means to be fully alive, even in the face of catastrophe, physical and psychic hardship, and loss." (Mira Bartók, author of The Memory Palace)
“Cheryl Strayed can sure tell a story. In Wild, she describes her journey from despair to transcendence with honesty, humor, and heart-cracking poignancy. This is a great book.” (Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and Seeking Peace)
It's spring now and as usual this time of year I'm itching to get out hiking and backpacking. This book was just what I needed to listen to on one of my rambles. I could identify with several of Strayed's experiences. She shows how satisfying it can be to find out that you can take care of yourself out there on the trail. You can make it through discomforts and actually feel good about it (afterwards). She shows that even modern humans can learn some of the basic survival skills, and the deep kind of satisfaction these skills give you. There's a profound kind of joy that comes from getting past the obstacles and finding yourself enjoying a sunset far from civilization just before you climb into a cozy sleeping bag for the night. I've never been able to explain this phenomena to my city bound friends so I'm trying to get them to listen to Cheryl Strayed's book.
Yes I would recommend to my friends.
I love that she just up and went on an amazing journey. You sure can learn a lot about yourself alone in the woods!
Be Ready to have map handy. I could help but look up where she was along the PCT.
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I enjoyed Strayed's account of her hike, journey and experiences of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. It reminded me of "A Walk in the Woods," where the author hiked the Appalachian Trail.
I have been interested in the PCT for a long time and this book was like I was on the trail. Her crazy journey and life story to that point was captivating. She is a great story teller and it was read just perfect.
I have recommended it to several friends. Cheryl Strayed's bare honesty about her "journey" at this time in her life, is admirable. This book is not just about hiking the PCT. It is about healing, growth and surviving after tragedy. Well done, Cheryl!
All of it.
If you are looking for an outdoorsy story about hiking the PCT, this may not be the book for you. If you are looking for an amazing story of a woman's choice to survive after devastation and the journey she takes to accomplish that goal, this is definitely the book for you.
This author might have a compelling story but it groans under the weight of cliched language, self-conscious foreshadowing and boring self-absorption. I couldn't finish it.
The description of Cheryl's journey along the PCT was terrific, and the reader is excellent.
Cheryl, obviously. I enjoyed her journey through life as well as her journey along the PCT.
Yes - I loved it.
I highly recommend this book, particularly if you are interested in hiking any of the national trails. I've done some hiking, and can relate to the Monster backpack. Obviously, you would not want to use this book as a guide and you'd want to be much more prepared than Cheryl, but it's a fun book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Finding threads of my own experience in Wild, I definitely will return to trek the PCT with Cheryl again, using her time on the trail to look at my own personal demons.
Toting an overfull backpack for over 1100 miles is a grueling experience. I loved that fact that she would never give up. Each step bringing her closer to her destination both inner and outer.
Not sure if she was the best person to read the book, I did have trouble at first with her voice and personality and fitting that with how I imagined Cheryl
I laughed and cried all along the trail, especially at the end. I didn't want the journey to be over.
Made me want to get out my pack and start hiking the PCT right away.
As someone who has dreams of picking up everything and being much more adventurous than I actually am, I truly enjoyed this book. If you are looking for a true account of life on the PCT, you may get that, but it is really much more than that, how a journey of 1100 miles on a trail led to healing and acceptance.
I was worried this story would be a formulaic downer - I was happily surprised. It was an inspiring journey through grief and the wilderness, with a happy ending. All any of us can hope for. Engaging without being overwrought or preachy.
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