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7 of 8 people found this helpful
Love except the food wasn't as good in this book)
on February 17, 2015
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.