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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.

Featured Article: The Best Hiking Audiobooks


Hiking is a time-honored way to appreciate and learn about nature while improving your physical and mental health. But even if you can't get out on the trail yourself at the moment, these hiking audiobooks will give you a greater appreciation for the sport. Hiking's broad appeal and long history have formed the basis of many compelling works of nonfiction. They run the gamut from intense stories of survival and perseverance to gentle explorations of the healing power of nature. Each of these hiking audiobooks is perfect whether you are out on a hike or sitting behind the wheel of a car.

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What listeners say about Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

19 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Walk,sleep,tired,happy,hungry,pain -- then repeat

What would have made Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart better?

Unlike most other adventure books this story concentrates only on what the author was thinking while walking during this long hike.

I lasted through the first thousand miles hoping that something would happen. But nothing does. It's almost like Groundhog Day, the same thing over and over again. How many times does one have to hear about the questioning as to whether enough food is being carried?

For example,we never learn anything of significance about the people that are encountered along the way other than for some very superficial stuff. Did we ever learn why any of them were hiking? As for the trail angels, why do they do what they do? There is never any discussion of the different areas that are traversed other than to offer a physical description. No history, no explanation as to why the geography is the way it is, nothing about the indigenous people, and in fact no explanation as to what the PCT is or why it's there.

Whenever there was an opportunity, and there were many, to talk about anything but herself, that path was not followed which really made the book boring for me.

Overall, I felt like I was listening to someone read from their Franklin Planner.

What was most disappointing about Carrot Quinn’s story?

nothing happened.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Not much. Very benign.

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

Boredom

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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

27 people found this helpful

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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!

25 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Like an infinity of switchbacks...it just never ended

Recently I hiked Mt. Whitney. They call the descent from the saddle “The 99 switchbacks” because it’s a seemingly endless back and forth and back and forth, while the valley below seems impossibly out of reach-never getting closer no matter how long I walked. That’s what this book felt like. There was no story, just a series of narration about what Carrot ate, how well or badly she slept, and how she felt about whatever sexual entanglement was occupying her mind. And every time I checked the remaining time,
the end was nowhere near.

And it felt...dishonest, in a way. The author talked a lot about eating ice cream and hamburgers...then in a later chapter reveals that she’s lactose intolerant and has issues with gluten so if she ate like that she’d be dooming herself to days of diarrhea. Tough to buy that she’s going to hike long distance in that conditions. She didn’t have long pants and only wore shorts...but talks about being in extreme cold...says she read all the right books but seems to be surprised by each mishap...”what is Hiker heaven...I didn’t even know” is the kind of pretentious wide eyed innocence that shows up throughout and rings...if not false...at least disingenuous.

I’ve never read a book about hiking that made me less interested in experiencing a similar trek or “nope”ing so hard at the idea of traveling with the author. When she’s with people, she loves them until she can’t stand them...then misses them on the trail (all within about 24 hours from meeting them). She manages to get into a cutesy lesbian thing with another hiker but trades snowflake-experiencing-Tinder level sexting when they’re apart on the trail and the other woman is flirting with a different hiker...and telling her about it. It’s like reading every cliche about millennials and their inability to disconnect, FOMO and general angst, but applied to a 2600 mile hike to Canada.

Bottom line: I called in evac and bailed with about 1/3 of the book left. I’d rather re-listen to Wild for the 10th time than hear the minutiae of another day of “I’m starving...I ate too much...I’m lonely...I hate people” angsty day on the PCT.

27 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

15 people found this helpful

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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.

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.

5 people found this 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.

7 people found this helpful

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No real info

The author jumps around, without much background or info on where she is, and history or backstory. You don't even know WHO she is, or what is her story, besides a bit about a van and an internet addiction (who doesn't these days??). It's mostly a rambling journal about food and walking. No explanation. It's OK to listen to. Nothing special or informative about the trail.

2 people found this helpful

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a book about how you are hungry if you don't eat

it turns out if you don't buy food, or bit it and trow it away, you won't have food, you will be hungry, and if you don't eat properly you will feel and be sick.
we also find out in this book that if you don't have proper clothes, when it rains, you get wet, and, hear this, then you get cold and you could die.
Also, the proper way to deal with fever, exhaustion, infection and starvation is to walk 25 miles for no reason and not seek or accept help.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jon234
  • 06-13-20

Not the best hiking related book I’ve listened to.

I prefer ones where you learn about the other hikers and their stories and maybe a bit more about the trail itself. She mentions a few other hikers but hardly anything about them apart from their trail names. She focuses more on what she and everyone else ate on the way. She also seems to skip quite quickly from one part of the story to the next without telling you what happened in between making it harder to follow.

With other hiking audio books I’ve listened to (apart from ‘wild’ which is similar to this one and ‘a walk in the woods’ both of which I didn’t rate very highly) I’ve wanted to keep listening to them and get to the end because I was enjoying them and wanted to find out what happened next, with this one I just wanted to get to the end so I didn’t have to listen to it anymore. I always try and listen to all of them to the end in case it gets better and to be fair the last hour of this one was probably the best bit (I will admit to skipping some of the more cringeworthy parts of the book though).

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • L J Bearpark
  • 09-10-18

Not the best!

Unfortunately the book has no real content it’s mainly walk sleep eat. Which I appreciate is most what the PCT is but you don’t really get to know the much about the author!
But then what do I know so make up your own mind! Probably do it with your free credits tho!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathon
  • 02-28-18

Horrific

14hours of my life lost listening to this twisty, whiney sod go on about food, blisters, and some dude who clearly isn't interested in her! If you want an adventure book look elsewhere!

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Dane
  • 06-19-21

I wanted to like it so much....

I started this book a few years after reading Wild and expected a similar novel - my first mistake - it isn't, not even close. It is so very different for so many reasons, one being the time between Wild and this novel was written and secondly the maturity of Cheryl Strayed in her book versus Carrot Quinn in this.
Throughout I felt like I was listening to a teenager whine about absolutely everything but mostly about not feeling well and about a boy. This is a woman who decides to hike the path on a whim, or it sounds like it is on a whim, yet has all the best equipment and frequently, especially in the beginning eats at restaurants and spend most of her time with lots of people, who, when she is not with them texts and moans about missing, like it's spring break in college and she is 17 worried what her friends are doing without her. Imagine my surprise when I googled her and found out she was in her 30s on this hike - my second mistake - had I stayed in the belief she was 17 I'd have forgiven much more of her whining, knowing she was 30 I just felt it was plain annoying and immature.
She never has enough food, refuses to carry enough water and quite frankly balances on what's sensible and safe, yet she still keeps wondering why she is feeling unwell, when on the trail she seems to live of gatorade and fritos, complains she is gluten intolerant, ignores it then again wonders why she is feeling unwell, and the number of times she mentions her blood sugar after eating a candy bar, jeez...
I was fed up after an hour, but with all the good reviews kept telling myself it must get better, it never did, just one long whine about feeling unwell, eating 'handfuls of trail mix' and obsessing about a boy who wouldn't sleep with her.
The book needs a really good edit, too many repetitions, though every so often a brilliant sentence or statement will occur, it's ruined by being repeated four times on the same page.
This book is not a hiking book, it is a book about a girl meeting friends and chasing a boy that just happen to take place on one of the most famous hiking trials in the world, yet the hiking is secondary to everything she does, and that was probably what disappointed me most, I am not surprised she hiked the PCT again shortly after, unless she omitted a whole lot in this book, most of the time she didn't pay much attention to her surroundings.
I finished it - my third and final mistake - I wish I had stopped after the first hour, it didn't get better or more interesting...

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin Gill
  • 09-08-20

Beautiful story - Beautifully read

An inspiring tale of endurance. Drawing imagination of the hardship of trekking the PCT. Friendships made continue from trails end. Erin Spencer reads beautifully a story of a woman who’s early years are marred by neglect. The listener will be appalled by a description of Carrot’s heartless mother. The fact that Carrot survives everything thrown at her is inspiration to us all.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Miss Roslyn J Mcgarry
  • 03-27-21

A great read for anyone who has thru hiked

A great read for anyone who has thru hiked or for those thinking about going on an adventure and want a taste of the trail.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 03-27-17

Enjoyable

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

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-21-18

Too much sex!

A well performed recollection of a through hike experience. Just too much sex for me!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MichaelB
  • 05-27-21

Stopped listening....

The narrator was great and the book was doing OK until the sex started. I lost interest and didn't finish the book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-30-20

I really love hiking story's

I loved this one the most, the only bad thing is the end came too quick. I loved the little sexy bits and raw nature of of the story cause let's face it your going to pop, swear and have sex in that 6 months no point fairying around it.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jac
  • 06-03-20

Needs heavy editing

Completion of such an amazing walk would be a considerably more interesting read of many of the day to day, and necessarily repetitive events, had been omitted.
Heavy editing could have improved a good story considerably.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-20

Incredible

Beautifully written, I didn’t want it to end. Definitely pulled on the heart strings and made you feel you were out there on the trail.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-20-20

eye rolls

I loved the hiking and adventure escapism, but carrot really annoyed me as a person. so scared to be her own person and do anything with any one. I found myself eye rolling every few minutes when she'd whine about wanting to stay with her "friends" or her repeated questions "what is...." was a constant one. she felt too people please-y. Great book but carrots not my kind of person :)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • lisa
  • 09-24-18

Insiteful

Great to hear what the big walk is like. An amazing achievement. The narrators voice suited this story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-18

A great tale.

This was a great tale of a walk along the PCT, expressed with heart. Recommended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-17-18

An adventure

Stomping and starving to the next re-supply and pizza binge. Sounds ridiculously perfect. Although my hunger anxieties peaked almost every chapter.
Narrator took a little getting used to.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-23-18

The perfect workday commute companion

This book was great! A day by day account of the PCT, with the highlights, low lights, and relationships along the way. A great read for times when you feel caught in the 9-5. A reminder to step away from it all and live!