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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) | [Cheryl Strayed]

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (3479 )
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  •  
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 04-07-12
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 04-07-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    235
    ratings
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    757
    53
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    Story
    "This Book Is About Personal Growth - Not the PCT"
    Would you try another book from Cheryl Strayed and/or Bernadette Dunne?

    I wouldn't try another from the author, but definitely would from Ms Dunne.


    What was most disappointing about Cheryl Strayed’s story?

    The idea of hearing about her adventures on the Pacific Crest Trail was exciting, but the book was really about her relationship with her family, personal exploration and coming to terms with grief.


    What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

    Ms Dunne is a solid performer to whom I would listen again. I've enjoyed her reading in the past, and look forward to it in the future.


    Do you think Wild needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    This book needs an editor. I'm not sure who the audience should be, but as an outdoors person it wasn't directed to me. Ms Strayed's experiments with heroin use lent color to the story, and contributed to a general understanding of her as a character. With that said, I bought the book for the story of her encounters with nature, and that was covered in this book with no need for follow-up.


    Any additional comments?

    I reviewed this book after listening to several interviews with the author. I was considering it as a book we might offer to customers in our park visitor centers. I was interested enough to have my attention held by the book, but found it unsuitable as an offering in a nature-related book store. The author's language is colorful (I consider four-letter words colorful when used in context), but her sexual exploits and drug experiments take the course of the book from a wilderness, nature experience to one describing personal awareness as the central theme.

    19 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Ottey Gardnerville,NV 04-01-12
    Linda Ottey Gardnerville,NV 04-01-12 Listener Since 2007

    Love2Read

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    119
    1
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    "Misleading Title"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wild to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read print version


    Would you be willing to try another book from Cheryl Strayed? Why or why not?

    Yes ... seems to have led an interesting life


    What about Bernadette Dunne???s performance did you like?

    Very


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The description of putting on her backpack was hilarious


    Any additional comments?

    The book was much more about her time spent off the PCT and the people she met there than her actual hiking time , which was taken up with musings on her past and her mother's death. The title led me to assume the book would be about the author's wilderness experience on the trail itself and what she saw and felt in the mountains so I was disappointed in so much off-trail description , which was

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Ravenswood, WV, United States 04-20-12
    Mike Ravenswood, WV, United States 04-20-12

    Mike

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    9
    1
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    "Not bad, but not what I expected."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Cheryl spoke a lot about her personal struggles. Wish it was more about the PCT experience.


    What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

    Good soft voice, easy to listen to.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    The author pours her life experiences in this book. Including some questionable behavior. It would have been better if it was less about her feelings and more about her adventure.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Ti Singer 05-29-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dingbat: Self-Absorbed and Unprepared on the PCT"
    Any additional comments?

    20140513 ◊ As an avid backpacker, I read this book with keen interest in the story of a woman completing a solo hike of the PCT. As a meticulous trip planner and methodical researcher, I cringed through the author's descriptions of her own lack of preparation and systemic dingbattedness. The best thing I can say about this book is that Cheryl Strayed is a decent writer. The only thing I can admire about her story is the sheer tenacity she displayed by staying on the trail, even though she skipped huge chunks of the actual PCT. Narration of the audiobook by Bernadette Peters completely missed the mark; her raspy voice didn't match the story's perky protagonist.

    This book left a bad taste in my mouth. The author's story is not inspirational in the slightest; I don't understand why it's getting so much attention. A shallow, spoiled brat of a woman, Strayed was only able to complete as much of the PCT as she did by relying upon the kindness of others. I was so tired of reading about how everyone fawned over her that by the time she got kicked out of the RV park for not being able to pay the camping fee, I cheered out loud. This is not the story of a strong, capable woman; it's the story of a hapless nincompoop whose only redeeming quality was a desperation-tinged determination to "complete" the PCT. Best as a cautionary tale on how not to plan a long backpacking trip, solo or otherwise.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    beverly sturgeon lake, MN, United States 01-14-14
    beverly sturgeon lake, MN, United States 01-14-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    10
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    0
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    "get over yourself"
    What did you like best about Wild? What did you like least?

    the best about this book is she is a good writer and can take your feelings high to low the thing I hate I know her I am her step mom and she has a way to get around the truth she writes her truth but it is not what really happen


    What was most disappointing about Cheryl Strayed’s story?

    that she starts all her writings about the death of her mother and makes her self look like a saint and she really thinks she is the only one that has lost a mother to cancer it is all about me me me never thinking of the rest of the pain the family was feeling


    What three words best describe Bernadette Dunne’s performance?

    her calmness


    Was Wild worth the listening time?

    I have read it I have listen to it it still hurts that is the way she remembers it because that is not what really happen she would not know the truth if it hit her in the head


    Any additional comments?

    I can't believe this is going to make a good film because it is to far from the truth her lies will catch up with her some day but she left this home 23 years ago and never looked back like she said on her wall if you are not a fan she deletes you she does the same with her family she has never made a mends with her step dad or me he never truned his back on the kids never moved never changed his number they are the ones that walked away from him and used me a the reason

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 12-09-12
    Robin 12-09-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WORST READER EVER. Syrupy smiley reader."
    Where does Wild rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is so good, it's possible to get through, but I don't recommend it. Pick up the hard copy instead. The reader just ruins the voice of this author completely. She sounds like she's smiling even when she's narrating the most grim circumstances of the story.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bernadette Dunne?

    Someone who sounds like a person, and not a Mousekateer.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Delinda Davidson, NC, United States 08-20-12
    Delinda Davidson, NC, United States 08-20-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    3
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    "Typical human transformation"
    Would you try another book from Cheryl Strayed and/or Bernadette Dunne?

    Yes, maybe.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The book started out as if the character is a victim. She experimented with life like all young adults do -- nothing new there. I believe she tried to convey it in a way that it was like the greatest transformation of young adulthood. We all have stories to tell and this one was just typical. Had it been a story about a 14 yr old head of household raising 3 siblings because parents had died, now that's a transformation into adulthood. Sorry, just didn't view this story as that intriguing. I bought the book because of watching Oprah do an interview with the author. It was still disappointing.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The voice of the narrator was not good at all. She didn't put excitement where there could be excitement. She was not the right voice for this book.


    Do you think Wild needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori J. Rosendahl Magna, UT United States 05-10-12
    Lori J. Rosendahl Magna, UT United States 05-10-12 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredible story"

    I decided to listen to this book when I heard an interview on the Dianne Rehm Show with the author. I think it is truly amazing what we are able to accomplish when we are driven. Cheryl Strayed was driven to complete the hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. She was very unprepared, but, still managed to accomplish it. The fuel she ran on was grief. Pretty powerful!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon G. Mensing 06-18-13

    Book Lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
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    0
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    "So self-involved"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Folks who enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love


    Has Wild turned you off from other books in this genre?

    yes


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disliked the character, who couldn't talk about anything other than herself.


    Any additional comments?

    Couldn't finish it.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James WELLINGTON, FL, United States 12-30-12
    James WELLINGTON, FL, United States 12-30-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    "Horrible Book!!! Horrible Woman!!!"
    What disappointed you about Wild?

    That I paid money to listen to this badly written story about this self absorbed, self destructive, self pitying, egotistical, needy, narcissist. Essentially it is her using the excuse of her mothers death for her own bad behavior.


    What was most disappointing about Cheryl Strayed’s story?

    That it was not about hiking the PWC (Not that she seemed to even do that much hiking.). She certainly did not even come close to completing the entire trail. Instead it was really just a laundry list detailing her never ending list of screw-ups.(None of which were ever her fault.). Nor was there any growth. Kept listening as I thought that there has to be some redeeming conclusion to this disaster. There wasn't.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None.


    What character would you cut from Wild?

    Cheryl Strayed.


    Any additional comments?

    I honestly do not understand the popularity of this book. Or how this whine fest is in anyway inspiring. It was painful to listen to this woman go from one stupid situation to the next, to the next; serial cheating on her husband, the subsequent divorce, becoming a junkie, getting pregnant (with another junkie), her flippant passing thought on her abortion, her never ending lack of common sense, her horrific abusive killing of her mother beloved horse...and the list just goes on and on.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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