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Publisher's Summary

Carrot Quinn fears that she's become addicted to the Internet. The city makes her numb, and she's having trouble connecting with others. In a desperate move, she breaks away from everything to walk 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. It will be her first long-distance hike.

In the desert of Southern California, Carrot faces many challenges, both physical and emotional: pain, injury, blisters, aching cold and searing heat, dehydration, exhaustion, loneliness. In the wilderness she happens upon and becomes close with an eclectic group of strangers - people she wouldn't have chanced to meet in the "regular world" but who are brought together, here on the trail, by their one common goal: to make it to Canada before the snow flies.

©2015 Carrot Quinn (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Fresh and surprising thru-hikealog

After finishing this book, I found I craved the narrator's voice and being on the trail with Carrot, so I started listening again. It's become the backdrop for life these days, and I listen as I drive, as I lay down to sleep, whenever I want to escape to the trail. It has re-opened the world of thru hiking for me just when I needed it! PCT '85

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Ara R.
  • Portland, OR
  • 07-29-16

Compelling, even if you'll never hike the PCT

I'll never climb Everest, but I read everything I can about it. I'll likely never hike the PCT, but I love stories about people who do. Carrot's book is so immersive, so wonderful, so occasionally mundane in the matters of food and water and clothing--it made me very happy.

In contrast to Wild, I feel this book is much more about the daily journey of the trail--what it's like to walk the whole thing. What it's like to fall in love with it. What a largely free heart feels in such a place. I love her humor, her despair, her overwhelming joy, her change as the miles fly by. Unlike some other reviewers, I don't find the bits about intimacy with other hikers troubling or annoying. It all seems very genuine and real and isn't overdone, or overly focused upon. It's simply part of her journey. And, more importantly, her.

Highly recommended. Thank you, Carrot, for sharing your marvelous journey. Please write more!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Strong start...underwhelming finish

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I enjoyed the first half of this book, experiencing the day-to-day struggles of the trail with Carrot. But, lost interest when it became mostly about her immature romance. Some of the dialogue was pretty cringeworthy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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More of diary than travelogue

Any additional comments?

Of the 3 thru hiking books I've read, this one is in third place. In first place would be Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, and in second place AWOL on the Appalachian Trail. I never really got used to the "valley girl" accent of the narrator of Thru Hiking will break your heart. Putting an extra drawn out syllable on a one syllable word, kind of a teenager's voice. But much of the book was detailing the junk food eating at each stop, the motels, foot problems, pretty much any reason not to have to sleep on the trail. But I listened to the whole thing, and I disagree with other reviews that said there was "too much sex in it", there wasn't, just that a couple of girls shared a tent once in awhile and a hug. The rest was left to imagination. I want to be fair to this book because I recognize the effort and the accomplishment of the thru hiking, just that from my point of view I was interested more in accounts of nature, not just that everything looked "green", or was desert, etc. This was more of a diary with how many miles, what food eaten, where night was spent, restaurants visited, and about collecting boxes of food and equipment she had shipped ahead to various towns. I just did not get a feel of nature from this account.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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My Heart is Only a Little Broken

I had a good time listening to this book while I do my farm work. I enjoyed the voice actor. I sometimes became annoyed by Carrots hippie platitudes left and right.. her repetiative questions like "where am i" and "what am i doing"... but I like that she's a queer punk feminist who makes her politics known in her book. I'm glad she talked about the interpersonal bonds, the friendships and the romantic connections she made on the trail. Being a young queer woman interested in thru hiking that accidentally picked out a book written by a queer woman, based on the cover alone made me feel like it was destiny.. However, I had some dissapointments to face. I found the most serious love interest (a man) to be very boring and that was a let down for me. But I get that being queer means falling for dudes sometimes... I guess.

I especially enjoyed and appreciated the occasional moments of true vulnerability she showed when she talked about her childhood and things like that. I wish there had been more like that.

Overall I feel that I understand more about what the hike will be like. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the trail and the weather and the struggle.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Michelle
  • MERCED, CA, United States
  • 03-15-17

A Diary from the Trail

Would you consider the audio edition of Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart to be better than the print version?

The narrator brought life to the words that I cannot imagine would have been the same in my head had I read the print version. She was sincere and inquisitive as I imagine Carrot to be.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart?

It is easy to focus a lot on the brief romances Carrot has while on the trail, they are exciting and leave you with many questions. But this is not a story about finding romance, it is a story about figuring out one's self when taken out of the every day. The part of the story that stuck with me the most is the friendships she developed with Spark and Instigate. Learning how Carrot handled various illnesses and ailments while on the trail was also an intriguing part of the story. Her trip to the dentist and to the doctor for antibiotics really put things into perspective how out of the normal every day American routine she was on the trail.

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

The title is a perfect tagline for this book.

Any additional comments?

The book changes tone about half-way through. This is because the "book" was originally written as a blog. With half of that blog being written on the trail. The latter part of the book was written after Carrot had completed the PCT. Because of this, there is a shift from focusing on gear and blisters, to more thoughtful quiet moments that include Carrot's reflections on her own childhood- surely inspired and in sync with her thoughts on the trail.<br/><br/>This book is a gift. I have never thru-hiked myself but am attracted to stories where people step out of the every day routine. It is written like a diary and Carrot really brings you into her world and to the trail with her words. I followed along on her blog that still includes pictures from the trail while I listened to the book. I highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Story....

There needs to be a Part 2, maybe not non-fiction, but would love to have Carrot and Ramon (sp?) meet up again, like a chance encounter on a hiking trip in the future, on another trail, maybe another country. Love Instigate and Spark as side characters in the story. What about Hair Tie? (sp?) Could she reappear in Part 2??

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Margaret
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 01-28-17

Agony and Ecstasy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend Thru-hiking Will Break Your Heart to the adventurous, and especially to hikers.

What aspect of Erin Spencer’s performance would you have changed?

Erin Spencer's performance portrays the central character, Carrot, very well. However, her mispronunciations (Tuolomne Meadows, Seamus) are distracting, and when the author specifies the accent of one character or another, Spencer does not even try to produce it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I'd had the time I would have listened to it in one day.

Any additional comments?

I liked the detailed description of the trail, but the power of the book came in the second half, when the author's personal feelings were more in evidence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This book made my heart sing

I felt the appeal of thru-hiking thanks to the author's sincere appreciation of nature and beautiful expression of her experiences. The reader was so convincing, I didn't realize she wasn't the author until halfway through the audiobook. Thank you for providing a transcendent listening experience while I walked my dog along concrete and asphalt. Thank you for sharing your beautiful approach to life and its challenges and gifts. I loved this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Perfect for me

While not a perfect piece of literature, it was beautiful, insightful, and oh so enchanting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 03-27-17

Enjoyable

Really enjoyed this book. A snapshot of life on the trail for a thrill hiker

0 of 2 people found this review helpful