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)
Lover of life and lover of books! I read/listen to a wide range (many) but my favorite non fiction are self-help and autobiographies.
Overall, the book kept my interest and it was written in a manner that enticed me to continue to the end. The book is filled with tremendous truths and outlines the journey the author took to overcome many obstacles tossed into her life.
Her ability to articulate and put you into the scene is tremendous. However, some of the language causes me NOT to put this on a highly recommended list for younger readers who could be in a similar situation. (Death of a parent, abandonment, and more.)
The book isn't so technical (backpacking, trail hiking, etc) that anyone could enjoy it without being overwhelmed with geeky details.
I spend 90+ minutes a day in my car, Audible makes it enjoyable regardless of what's happening in traffic. My taste varies from endurance fitness to economics and from to combat stories and romance novels.
Absolutely, yes. This is one of those incredibly honest accounts of the twisting path some of us take getting from point A to point B. Not just about the beauty and solitude of America's longest hiking trail, but also story about personal pain, challenge and growth along the way.
Definitely a story worth another listen.
One point I could have lived without was her telling of the story of putting her mother's horse down. Uggh, it's a brutal account and not one for those among us who own and love horses.
Thoroughly enjoyed the book and think it can be appreciated by a broad audience. Her excellent story telling and honesty are sometimes sad, sometimes hysterical, but always engaging.
I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.
Having read some of the reviews prior to starting this novel for myself, I was prepared for the fact that the narrative was not strictly focused on the adventure of the hike. For me, that was in no way a deal-breaker; in fact, I prefer the book as it is, showing us Cheryl's back story and history.
In my much younger days, I once found myself out of money and needing to opt for a bus ride from Philadelphia back to Phoenix, instead of traveling by air. The trip ended up being a real revelation for me; because rather than stepping onto a plane at one end of the country and magically stepping off at the other end some hours later, I instead spent days gradually watching the landscape change. When I finally arrived in Phoenix, I understood - in a way I had not understood previously - how I had gotten there.
I thought of that trip a great deal both while listening to this story, and reading some of the reviews that expressed disappointment that more focus was not put on the trail. In my opinion, the real value was in seeing Cheryl's history; in understanding how she had gotten to the place in her life that led her TO the trail. That was what gave the PCT trip meaning for me, and I appreciated being able to understand her full journey - both the journey of the trail, and the larger journey of her life and experiences that led her there.
This story constantly had me day-dreaming of starting a trip like this myself, even while I knew how outlandish the idea would be. The adventure took me in, and I loved it. I'm grateful the author was brave and open enough to share her experiences and decisions, the good and the bad. The journey would have little meaning without it.
English major. Love to read
Sometimes I feel like my life interrupts my book reading. This was such a time. This book completely swept me up - I love spending time in the outdoors, especially in the mountains and I live in the Northwest, but I think you could live in India and enjoy this book. You get to know Cheryl Strayed inside and out -- she is honest and genuine and on a quest which changes as she walks on the PCT. Cheryl is reflective and insightful - notice how I call her Cheryl? Her opening up to the reader is woven in and out of a modern adventure story but one which is plausible in our time. I am thankful that, once again, I was sad for this book to end - as a matter of fact, I listened to the last two chapters twice just to say good bye.
Haven't read print version
Yes ... seems to have led an interesting life
The description of putting on her backpack was hilarious
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
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.
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.
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.
The only way would be if it were a completely different book and reader.
Something by Jasper Fforde - his books and his reader have been recommended to me by a friend.
I didn't like the tone of her voice, especially when she was quoting someone. It sounded particularly insipid then.
My reactions: relief that I was listening to it instead of reading it, so that I could get other things done like cleaning and it wasn't a complete waste of time; irritation that I had to spend any time on it at all, but I had agreed to read it for a spirituality group. Boy, was that a poor choice for that group!
Slight spoiler alert: I would almost rather lose six toenails than ever again read or listen to anything by anyone as self-absorbed as this author.
The only reason I read this book was because my daughter in law gave it to me, you know how family politics go. It was a delightful surprise. As a life long runner and walker, most of it being along the coast of Northern California, I was leery of how one could make a walk involving enough to fill an entire novel. So often these sorts of books are fueled by bragging rights, and spend far too many pages on how tough is the hiker, who is out there due to preferring the wild to people. (Tedium often ensues.)
Cheryl Strayed (yes, she named herself) pens a story infinitely engrossing. Though the sadness surrounding her mother lasted a bit longer than was comfortable, or interesting, the rest of her story was funny and captivating, making a very satisfying read. That it's a true story made it also an inspiring tale. Her creativity and endurance with ill fitting foot wear was wondrously humorous and, well, totally awesome!
Tell us about yourself!
If I can describe wild in a couple of words, I would say its a diary of a long distance hiker. In wild, cheryl Strayed narrates her hike on the PCT from the day she started preparing for it till she reaches her destination.
Cheryl Strayed's mother died of cancer when she was 21. She never got over it and couldn't just move on. She was then on a mission to destroy herself starting from commiting adultry to heroine. She then decided that she had to stop that and start somewhere. And so came the decision to hike the PCT. And to hike it alone. She was poorly prepared for it although hiking the PCT takes several months! But going through the hardships of the hike made her stronger and got her to accept her mother's death.
But her past life and the reason she hiked the PCT are just glimpses in the book and it is mainly a memoire of her journey on the PCT. She describes the hardships she encountered there, the people she met, how she went through each day and survived it. Wild is a good description of long distantance hikes, the prepations for it and how it is done; starting from using the water purifier to sending yourself boxes at every stop to supply yourself.
The hike was tough and challenging. I admire her for not quitting in the middle as a lot of people do that. And I admire her more for doing it alone. She even stayed alone when she could have accompanied other hikers (but she needed the solitude)
The hardships she went through on the hike, the struggle to stay alive each day is what made her accept what she's done to her life and to other people. It made her feel strong enough to move one. To accept life and become prepared for it.
Through out wild She is brutally and hilariously honest in everything she says! She tells about her one night stands and everything that came to her mind then.
Reading wild makes me want to go on a long distance hike!
The book is light and enjoyable. It's a good read if you are looking for something fun. I gave it three starts as there is no message in it, there is nothing that provokes your thinking, it doesn't serve a bigger purpose. Nothing philosophical in it. It's a good book but it's not literature. And that's why I gave it a three starts and not a four.
I was hesitant on reading this for a long time. I finally decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did. I am not big on poor me type books. I thought this was a book about someone trying to "find themselves". Well, I was so wrong but I was so right. This book is wonderfully written autobiography about a women who needed to find strength in herself. I can not tell you how great this book is. I feel like I've been on such an adventure. You will not be able to put this book done (or stop listening). It's very well written, the narration is spot on. I can not relate in any way to Cheryl Stray, but I feel for her and for her struggles. I admire her and feel sorry for her.
I watched the movie as soon as I finished the book. Although the movie was good, it's not half what you get out of reading the book. I highly recommend it.
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