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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2015
I read and enjoyed North of Normal so thought I'd buy this book since it kind of sounded like something similar. Unfortunately, while it is well written, as you would expect since the author is apparently a professional writer, it is shallow to the point of being difficult to stomach. What is really amazing to me is how the author is being held up as being "courageous" and "inspirational" by those whose lives are presumably similarly vacuous and who aren't in a position to drop everything for 100 days to go for a long hike, but really, really, really wish they could. Not sure how "overcoming" what is basically the same Bohemian lifestyle most young people live for a few years until they grow out of it or the premature death of a parent which literally millions suffer annually makes you courageous but in this day and age words like courageous and "hero" have lost all meaning. And yes I do have the right to judge her because she wrote a book about her experiences that she wants people to buy so she made the subject matter of her book (i.e., her life) open for debate and discussion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2012
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2014
Reminded me of Eat, Pray, Love. Great basis for a story, but much too much complaining. I almost gave up reading it. Found it more interesting once I got past the first one third of the book.I wished for more content about the trail since I had never heard of it and looked forward to learning more about it.
I found the author's lack of thought process and experiences painted her in a bad light and therefore I could not relate or care about her experiences.
The constant complaining alienated me from the get go.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2012
Just finished Wild and really enjoyed the book. Whilst I initially wondered whether reading such a large book on one person's journey would have it's 'boring' stages I was enchanted. I saw myself in the author, in her struggles, in her desire to achieve something that was hers. This book isn't just about a journey, the writing is descriptive, she has a talent at drawing her reader into her story and the images are fleshed out so that one's imagination is engaged. I really loved this book - felt very connected to it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2012
I enjoyed WILD more so because it was a good summer read since I try to find physical activity to strengthen my body. It reminded me of a book with a German Shepherd hitch hiking the Rockies read in my teens. What a economical way to get us reading the books worth global connection. Bravo on this book I am grateful to have read such a good book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2014
When my partner and I first began reading this memoir, we were hoping for something more profound. Instead, we found a character who was on the verge of self-destruction, understandably, but who bumbles toward a maturity and self-awareness that ends up being trite and difficult to believe.
Stupidity and courage should never be seen as one and the same; Cheryl makes very few good decisions, is completely unprepared and while she points out her follies, she seems to revel in them, as though saying, "look at me! I did something ridiculous and got away with it and am now famous for it!" Repeatedly, people try to give her advice and she ignores it time and again. Strangers along the way are exceedingly generous with her, yet we do not see her at any point giving back; there is no sense of paying it forward. We found this to be baffling in a book that is meant to be about self-discovery and self-betterment. Given her past troubles with drugs, cancer in the family and a lost youth, she never mentions helping anyone to get past their troubles even once the book is complete.
The book is also oddly lacking in detail at certain points for both the hike and her ongoing relationships with important people in her life. She makes no effort to attain people's contact information along the trail, which you would expect her to have done given these were people who were in theory pivotal in her spiritual recovery.
Simply not a very modest, uplifting personality to follow. Memoirs are, of course, somewhat self-centred as they come from one particular voice. However, truly good memoirs elevate the goodness (or badness) of those affecting the protagonist and then humbly highlight a learning experience for the author. One good example would be Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes." Sadly, Cheryl does not inspire. Hopefully, Reese does a better job in the upcoming movie instead of maintaining the book's obliviously narcissistic tone.
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