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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Linda Ottey Gardnerville,NV 04-01-12
    Linda Ottey Gardnerville,NV 04-01-12 Listener Since 2007

    Love2Read

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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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
  •  
    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica SAN JOSE, CA, United States 05-21-13
    Jessica SAN JOSE, CA, United States 05-21-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well written, but frustrating"
    What did you like best about Wild? What did you like least?

    The book was really well written, the story is frustrating because the main character made so many bad decisions.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I really enjoyed hearing the areas that the main character hiked through, because I grew up camping some of those areas with my family.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I like hearing about the PCT while she was hiking.


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

    No, the story was about a woman getting her life back together. She gave a little bit about what happened after, and that was enough.


    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
    6
    ratings
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    7
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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.

    4 of 7 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
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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.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne Lakewood, CO, United States 12-13-12
    Lynne Lakewood, CO, United States 12-13-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    1
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    0
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    "Please let it be over!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The only way would be if it were a completely different book and reader.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something by Jasper Fforde - his books and his reader have been recommended to me by a friend.


    What didn’t you like about Bernadette Dunne’s performance?

    I didn't like the tone of her voice, especially when she was quoting someone. It sounded particularly insipid then.


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

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan golden, CO, United States 12-22-14
    susan golden, CO, United States 12-22-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great!"
    If you could sum up Wild in three words, what would they be?

    simply, wonderfully inspiring


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wild?

    selecting of the name "Strayed"


    Which character – as performed by Bernadette Dunne – was your favorite?

    Cheryl - Dunne did a great job


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    finding yourself on the PCT


    Any additional comments?

    made me feel better about myself

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Busby 12-22-14
    Diana Busby 12-22-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    "Great Storytelling"

    When I heard that the movie was about to be released, I wanted to read the story first. Some of the plot struck a cord with me, with things yet undone. I enjoyed listening to the narrator, although many of the male characters seemed to have the same voice. I've tried reading out loud, it isn't easy to change your voice for every new character. great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 12-21-14
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 12-21-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    111
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    "Works as an adventure travelogue and confessional"
    What did you like best about this story?

    This had been on my wishlist for awhile and I am glad to have finally listened to it. Strayed's memoir of her solo trek on the Pacific Crest Trail has a Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance feel to it - part bio, confessional, travelogue and meditation on resiliency rolled into one. I liked it on all levels and Strayed effectively interweaves reflections on her troubled relationships with her family, ex-husband, and her own personal failings throughout her experiences on the PCT that both inform the listener of her motives as well as illuminate her transformation. Add in some genuinely surprising and suspenseful experiences on the trail and you end up with a narrative that never lags. Strayed's knack for self-deprecating humor keeps all this from being too heavy or melodramatic and the narration aptly captures this. Well worth the listen!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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