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Wild  By  cover art

Wild

By: Cheryl Strayed
Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
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Publisher's Summary

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. After her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than an idea: vague, outlandish, and full of promise. But it was a promise of piecing together a life that had come undone. Strayed faces rattlesnakes and bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and intense loneliness of the trail.

Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

©2012 Cheryl Strayed (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Wild

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Very nice

It makes me feel like to hit the road right now. If you like traveling, very recommendable.

1 person found this helpful

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Good journey story. Not for the faint hearted.

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

Yes I would, but with a few warnings. I liked the journey part of the story. However I felt there was quite a bit of dysfunctional grieving, explicit references to sex, and a terrible story about killing a horse that I could not listen to.

If you’ve listened to books by Cheryl Strayed before, how does this one compare?

I've not read any of her other books.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed her stories of other hikers along the trail.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A few laughs here and there. Definitely cried! Was pretty traumatised by the horse story, I had to skip ahead.

1 person found this helpful

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Nice but very long read

I enjoyed emotional part of the book and description of author's relationship with her mother.

Most of book was a detailed hiking journal, and not very interesting for someone who is not much into hiking.

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Everything makes sense now ...

I’m not entirely sure how many times I’ve cried during the listening to Wild. Beautifully written and I could relate to her in so many ways as I suspect so many of us can. Brutally honest, thought provoking and moving. Thank you Sheryl Strayed.

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Memorable

Strayed takes you through an incredible journey. Every scene is well written - your imagination has no blanks. The audio was clear and enjoyable. It's a book one wont want to pause.

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fantastic book

very inspirational and touching. it's a transformative read where you kind of feel transformed by the end. It has inspired me to walk more often

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I loved it. This was a story that I needed to hear at this juncture in my life.

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Brave women!

Despite her unprepared nativity, she reached deep into herself, to complete this trail with spectacular determination.

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The perfect heroine

I read the book before watching the movie, couldn’t be more grateful. The book is simply beautiful and Cheryl the perfect heroine: honest and imperfect.

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A fulfilling read - without being fluffy

I enjoyed Wild much more than i had anticipated. Always down to earth, Strayed kept me engaged from beginning to end (and the narration is en point).

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  • Colin
  • 01-30-15

An Exceptional Story

I have to start this review by admitting that this book was a total impulse buy for me, based more on interest generated by the many posters on the London Underground promoting the spin-off film starring Reece Witherspoon. It has turned out to be one of the best audiobooks I’ve bought for years.

Following the death of her mother the author finds her life and her family unravelling, and to say she goes a tad off-the-rails would be an understatement. After a few years of this destructive freefall Cheryl decides she must make a change, and a chance encounter with a guide book on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) stirs her interest and she sets about planning a solo hike that will take her over 3 months, and hopefully enable her to move on from her recent traumas.

And you are there at every step, practically walking alongside the author as she talks of the events that led her to be here, a woman alone in the wilderness, miles away from anywhere or anybody. She talks of her childhood, her family’s early struggles, her violent and unstable biological father and, after he had left them, the loving, caring man who became her step-father. The book does a first-class job of being able to talk aloud about the past whilst keeping the listener in the present, with the sights, sounds and grandeur that such an epic trek would entail. You are right there with her at every turn of the trail, savouring every meal, dressing every blister, feeling palpable frustration at every wrong turn when the trail becomes overgrown or disappears altogether. But you will also smile warmly at the kindness of the people you will meet on the trail, their openness and generosity toward a perfect stranger.

Recognition must also go to narrator Laurel Lefkow who does a first-class job; energetic and always engaging, she brings the whole story to life.

At the time of writing I’m still only midway through the second-half of the book, but am totally hooked, and look forward to my daily commute just so I can pull on the headphones and continue my hike through the woods.

An exceptional book, and very highly recommended.

107 people found this helpful

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  • Liz
  • 06-29-20

I hated this book

It's beautifully written and the narration is good. And the parts where she talks about the dreadful life she was walking away from are interesting.

But most of the rest of it - she's just a very poorly equipped hiker making a lot of mistakes. I don't find it particularly inspiring to read about someone who potentially puts rescue workers at risk as she's too incompetent to learn what to take with her on her trip. She writes well and mostly sweeps you along and covers up her incompetence and self absorption - though it's that self absorption is really the point of her long walk.

Im guessing people find it so inspiring because they can't imagine making a hard and difficult walk themselves. That the writing sweeps them along. But if you've ever done serious hiking, her lack of savvy will likely annoy you. And if you've done a lot of serious travelling she will likely appear a naive fool.

It works as armchair travel - there's the blisters without being there. But the urge to reach through the book and shake her for being so stupid is strong

32 people found this helpful

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  • DEBORAH
  • 04-11-15

An Inspiration

Great narrator, the whole thing made me feel like I was Sheryl, I couldn't stop listening, just wanted to know what happened next!

19 people found this helpful

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  • K. Sewell
  • 06-10-19

Our yearning for adventure

My guess is that this story touches many readers' yearning to toss off their shackles, their troubled relationships and their possessions and just set off into the void for the great unknown.
Personally I didn't think this particular story was that remarkable. Brave yes, entertaining in places, but also dragging on.
Many a humble woman has made incredible journeys, the stories which make you sit at the edge of your seat from first page to last. For example little known Helen Thayer, the first woman to trek solo to the Magnetic North Pole at the age of 50. Her hair raising encounters with hungry polar bears, the loss of her food and fuel in a vicious storm, the arctic temperatures of -50, pulling all her gear on a sled... with no back-up. She wrote about her 27 day adventure in Polar Dream. Later she crossed the Gobi Desert, another amazing adventure. Or sailor Ellen McArthur who holds the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe, sleeping only 20 minutes at a time over 71 days, and looking death in the face many times over.
Personally, I have my own: I hitchhiked around SouthAmerica as a 19 year old, a journey that took a year, with some pretty wild and dangerous adventures along the way, especially staying with primitive Amazonian Indians, and finding myself in Chile at the moment of Pinochet bloody coup.
I don't knock Cheryl's courage, but it is perhaps her skill as a writer that makes this book so popular, more than the actually feat of her trek.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Purpleoak
  • 08-10-14

Amazing story

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

I love many aspects of this book - the independence to strike out on her own. Her pure honesty of her feelings and emotions through out. The rawness of her experience.
What I found difficult to listen to was the level of pain she has felt through the tough parts in her life. I found it really difficult to listen to in parts, tears rolling down my face - this experience in some ways overwelmed the rest of the story.
Worth a listen and maybe bypass the really gritty bits if you like me don't want to fall asleep crying!!

15 people found this helpful

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  • Lock
  • 02-05-15

Brilliant

Very good, written well. always wanted to know what happened next. Made you think if you could do a similar project it took a lot of guts to take on such a dangerous journey

10 people found this helpful

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  • P D
  • 07-10-13

Gutsy and feminine, hart worming tale

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

Just what I have dreamt I would like to do.

What other book might you compare Wild to, and why?

The Way

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

no

Any additional comments?

Loved the no nonsense way she came to terms with life and the way it was written,

10 people found this helpful

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  • M Davis
  • 03-28-15

wow

or inspiring story by what it seems a strong independent woman loved it amazing I 100% recommend it. just amazing

9 people found this helpful

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  • Graham
  • 05-13-19

Excellently written and narration perfect.

The author being a writer and a traveller second is always the preferable attributes for a travel book. This is the case here - with the book being a great combination of travel journalism and self analysis/improvement.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amy
  • 02-08-17

A very average read, on the verge of boring...

I found the book to be full of an egotistic woman who has made several bad choices in life, full of self pity and blame for others, occasionally throwing in how much of a horrible wife/ person she is just for good measure of to possibly balance it out a bit.

The 'Hike' of the PCT didn't seem much of a hike in most of the book, with bypasses and hitchhiking becoming a trend.

Also some of the statements she claims seem a little blurred or maybe questionable. I could not find any information about certain things she mentioned in the book when I researched it myself which makes me question how factual this really is. I have done some hiking myself (by no means an expert) but she also comes across as a complete idiot too, and dangerous. To go into a trip like that without being prepared is selfish and irresponsible, and yet she feels it should be something to be admired?!

The narrator was ok, and it was pretty easy listening, but it's not a book I would listen to again or recommend.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Luke
  • 01-30-15

Up there with into the wild.

Enjoyed this one immensely. For me it was up there with into the wild another book I loved the spirit of. I thought the performance matched the quality of the story and I can't wait to see the movie.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Tat
  • 12-17-14

What a wild ride

The pace of this is wonderful- I love a good pilgrimage novel and this gave me plenty to consider and enjoy.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kelly
  • 04-13-15

What a great story

Throughout this book I grew to love Cheryl and her life. I am going to miss this book and the storytellers voice.
Can't wait to see the movie now.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lorraine Sorensen
  • 03-31-15

Wow!

Beautiful and sad and exciting and gut-wrenching. A story that will stay with me. So glad to have read this.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Graeme
  • 03-31-15

like a caterpillar surviving to become a butterfly

a great adventure trailing from sorrow and leading through mountains and deserts to one's self.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Belinda A. Booth
  • 03-26-15

Enjoyable not

Enjoyable and mostly interesting story of this brave and capable woman's recovery from depression and almost wrecking her life. Occasionally became a bit too slow but then would bounce back. Excellently narrated with lots of emotion evident. Worth listening to.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica Jacobs
  • 03-23-15

loved it

Loved every minute listening to this book. Narrator was outstanding. and captured the story beautifully.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • nicolle
  • 03-21-15

Amazing

Written from truth, love and fear. Loved every second of this book.
Thank you for your courage, and openness. X

2 people found this helpful

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  • Shane
  • 03-19-15

Good yarn

Good story, I found myself wondering what would happen next which kept me coming back for more.
Love the performance of the reader.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Olivia Dale
  • 03-17-15

fantastic!

loved this book. I downloaded it so I could read/listen to it before watched the movie and I wasn't disappointed.

2 people found this helpful