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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Product Description

From Amazon

From Author Cheryl Strayed

Oprah and Cheryl StrayedOprah with Cheryl Strayed, author of Book Club 2.0's inaugural selection, Wild.

I wrote the last line of my first book, Torch, and then spent an hour crying while lying on a cool tile floor in a house on a hot Brazilian island. After I finished my second book, Wild, I walked alone for miles under a clear blue sky on an empty road in the Oregon Outback. I sat bundled in my coat on a cold patio at midnight staring up at the endless December stars after completing my third book, Tiny Beautiful Things. There are only a handful of other days in my life--my wedding, the births of my children--that I remember as vividly as those solitary days on which I finished my books. The settings and situations were different, but the feeling was the same: an overwhelming mix of joy and gratitude, humility and relief, pride and wonder. After much labor, I'd made this thing. A book. Though it wasn't technically that yet.

The real book came later--after more work, but this time it involved various others, including agents, publishers, editors, designers, and publicists, all of whose jobs are necessary but sometimes indecipherable to me. They're the ones who transformed the thousands of words I'd privately and carefully conjured into something that could be shared with other people. "I wrote this!" I exclaimed in amazement when I first held each actual, physical book in my hands. I wasn't amazed that it existed; I was amazed by what its existence meant: that it no longer belonged to me.

Two months before Wild was published I stood on a Mexican beach at sunset with my family assisting dozens of baby turtles on their stumbling journey across the sand, then watching as they disappeared into the sea. The junction between writer and author is a bit like that. In one role total vigilance is necessary; in the other, there's nothing to do but hope for the best. A book, like those newborn turtles, will ride whatever wave takes it.

It's deeply rewarding to me when I learn that something I wrote moved or inspired or entertained someone; and it's crushing to hear that my writing bored or annoyed or enraged another. But an author has to stand back from both the praise and the criticism once a book is out in the world. The story I chose to write in Wild for no other reason than I felt driven to belongs to those who read it, not me. And yet I'll never forget what it once was, long before I could even imagine how gloriously it would someday be swept away from me.

Review

"Spectacular. . . . A literary and human triumph." —The New York Times Book Review

"One of the most original, heartbreaking, and beautiful American memoirs in years. . . . Awe-inspiring." —NPR 

"An addictive, gorgeous book that not only entertains, but leaves us the better for having read it. . . . Strayed is a formidable talent." —The Boston Globe

"Strayed's language is so vivid, sharp and compelling that you feel the heat of the desert, the frigid ice of the High Sierra, and the breathtaking power of one remarkable woman finding her way—and herself—one brave step at a time." —People (4 stars)

"Cinematic. . . . A rich, riveting story. . . . Our verdict: A." —Entertainment Weekly 

"Pretty much obliterated me. I was reduced, during the book's final third, to puddle-eyed cretinism. . . . As loose and sexy and dark as an early Lucinda Williams song. It's got a punk spirit and makes an earthy and American sound. . . . The cumulative welling up I experienced during Wild was partly a response to that too infrequent sight: that of a writer finding her voice, and sustaining it, right in front of your eyes." —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"Devastating and glorious. . . . By laying bare a great unspoken truth of adulthood—that many things in life don't turn out the way you want them to, and that you can and must live through them anyway—Wild feels real in many ways that many books about 'finding oneself' . . . do not." —Slate

"Incisive and telling. . . . [Strayed] has the ineffable gift every writer longs for of saying exactly what she means in lines that are both succinct and poetic . . . an inborn talent for articulating angst and the gratefulness that comes when we overcome it." —The Washington Post

"Vivid, touching and ultimately inspiring account of a life unraveling and of the journey that put it back together." —The Wall Street Journal

"Brave seems like the right word to sum up this woman and her book. . . . Strayed's journey is exceptional." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Strayed's journey was at least as transcendent as it was turbulent. She faced down hunger, thirst, injury, fatigue, boredom, loss, bad weather, and wild animals. Yet she also reached new levels of joy, accomplishment, courage, peace, and found extraordinary companionship." —The Christian Science Monitor

"Strayed . . . catalogs her epic hike . . . with a raw emotional power that makes the book difficult to put down. . . . In walking, and finally, years later, in writing, Strayed finds her way again. And her path is as dazzlingly beautiful as it is tragic." —Los Angeles Times

"A fearless story, told in honest prose that is wildly lyrical as often as it is dirtily physical." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Strayed writes a crisp scene; her sentences hum with energy. She can describe a trail-parched yearning for Snapple like no writer I know. . . . It becomes impossible not to root for her." —The Plain Dealer

"Brilliant. . . . Cheryl Strayed emerges from her grief-stricken journey as a practitioner of a rare and vital vocation. She has become an intrepid cartographer of the human heart." —Houston Chronicle

"A deeply honest memoir about mother and daughter, solitude and courage, and regaining footing one step at a time." —Vogue

"Strayed's relationship with her environment is humble and respectful, not exploitative. The landscape she travails is not a prop for her self-actualization, but a real, physical world that bewilders her, a world in which she learns she can survive bewilderment. . . . Strayed bears the torn feet and bruised back of a true pilgrim. Hers is high-voltage prose that challenges any preconceived notions about what it means to be a woman alone, and what it means to journey. . . . Wild will gather you up with its tenderness. It will flay you with its honesty." —Los Angeles Review of Books

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4417 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (March 20 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IQZB14
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,201 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When Cheryl Strayed decided to hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), she was floundering in her life and needed to throw herself wholeheartedly into a quest. In the solitude of nature, Strayed wanted to ponder her life, to grieve the death of both her mother and her marriage and perhaps even to gain some closure. This beautifully written and contemplative memoir deals with loss and grief but also depicts a primal fight with the world.

"Wild" tells awe-inspiring anecdotes about a monstrously heavy backpack (aptly nicknamed Monster), lost boots and surviving for 100 miles on 62 cents. It describes horrible unpreparedness and inexperience. It suspensefully highlights a constant search for enough food, water and energy to take one more step. Above all, Strayed writes with frank, raw emotion and bubbling grief. She neither minces words nor tries to place herself in the best possible light. But instead of judging Strayed, the reader sympathizes with her because of her appealing, refreshing honesty.

Ultimately, "Wild" explores the themes of both human weaknesses and untapped reserves of strength. Strayed had an amazing journey on so many levels and her intense, vivid descriptions and powerful narrative certainly strike a chord with readers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cheryl Strayed's remarkable book, Wild, details her amazing courage and fortitude in her struggles to overcome her memories of a difficult childhood, the early death of her mother and a dangerous dalliance with hard drugs.
Driven by a need to prove herself to herself, she sets out on her own to walk the Pacific Crest Trail burdened my a monsterously heavy pack and a naive appreciation of the difficulties that lay ahead of her.
Anyone who has done any hiking and has paid the price of ill-fitting boots and blisters, will suffer along with this remarkable woman.

My only complaint about this book is that I found it impossible to put down.

ASIN:0307592731 Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)]]
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By Louise Jolly TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 25 2012
Format: Hardcover
Story Description:

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|March 20, 2012|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-307-59273-6

Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection.

A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe - and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, 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 faces 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 humour, 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.

My Review:

This was a phenomenal memoir! A page-turner that I read in a day and a half packed full of drama, suspense, emotion, and great fortitude. Cheryl Strayed showed unbelievable strength in pushing herself to the limit on this solo walk of eleven-hundred miles across the Pacific Crest Trail. Her ability to stare down the pain of her feet during her walk was unbelievable. That alone would have forced me to give up.

Wild is a memoir you won't soon forget nor will the character that Cheryl showed during this incredible solo journey. I'll most definitely be recommending this to everyone.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has transformed my prejudices, absolved my inaccuracies and opened my mind to writing about the outdoors. As soon as I knew "Dear Sugar" would be writing a memoir, I ordered a copy and haven't regretted it since. Cannot wait to read it over and over again.
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Format: Paperback
So this is one of those cases where perhaps I should have read the back of the book before starting it. I was expecting a mountain adventure book (like The Will to Climb or Touching the Void) instead I got a self-discovery story (more along the lines of Eat, Pray, Love except the food wasn't as good in this book). So right off I was looking for something that doesn't exist. She doesn't get lost, she doesn't fall into a ravine, she doesn't even get raped (although she thinks she's going to be raped a number of times although that might be because she's overly interested in her own sex life).

I found this a very difficult book to enjoy. I've read Eat, Pray, Love and enjoyed it far more than Cheryl Strayed's story. The main reason being the character of Strayed herself in the book is really, really hard to like. The book opens with a very long lament about the loss of her mother to cancer at far too young of an age, then moves into her failed marriage and relationship and her inexperienced and idiotic choices to set off unprepared on the Pacific Crest Trail. The fact that nothing happened to her on the trail had more to do with sheer luck rather than any kind of skill or intelligence on her part. She's lucky she didn't end up putting search and rescue personnel in danger with her blunders and stupidity.

Her narrative of her time on the trail is punctuated with stories of her aching feet (she bought boots that were a size too small), her enormous backpack, and her fantasizing about almost every man she meets on the trail (she claims to have a higher than average sex drive for a woman ... or at least she has less control than most women and probably more STDs).

This is just my reaction to the book. Oprah loved it. They are making a film out of it starring Reece Witherspoon. So if you enjoy self discovery book, you may wish to give it a go. For me, I won't be reading any more of Strayed's work.
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