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

Cheryl Strayed
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 humor, 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.


Reviewed: 2019-11-21
Not a big fan of Strayed's style, which read like an instruction manual to me. Luckily, some of what she does to organize and accomplish this long-distance hike are useful as instructions. Aside from her mistakes, which are always useful to read (I think Strayed herself writes something like "you learn more from failure than from success"), her detailed descriptions of the contents of her trail boxes were interesting. I was less impressed with the back story memoir, which felt digressive and disconnected to me, probably because her idea of conveying emotional intensity is to repeat a phrase three times. I suppose Oprah would have been less interested in a straight hiking travelogue though.
Reviewed: 2019-02-22
Women-studies college-dropout Woman messes up her life due to her own poor choices by:

-- Cheating on her husband with random men
-- Doing illegal drugs
-- Getting pregnant by her junkie boyfriend and having an abortion

Blames it on her mother dying three years previous so she decides to hike the PCT where she:

--Has unprotected sex with random men
--Lusts after nearly every man she meets on the trail
--Does illegal drugs
--Nearly dies due to her incompetence several times

Conclusion: After skipping most of the trail, she's still the same trainwreck she was before she started her "thru-hike"

Many of her stories are obviously embellished or just plain made up despite her claims that everything is true (even though she waited 20 years to write this book). She talks about how much she wants to write a novel on the trail and her book make uses of so many cheap literary fiction cliches. Like how many times someone waited until they were almost out of earshot on the trail and then turned around to yell something important at her. Or her farcical encounter with the most stereotypical redneck hunters the world has ever encountered (can't have a good modern women's book without at least a threatened-rape situation). She seemingly spent more time off the trail due to her own incompetence, laziness, or just wanting to hook up than she did actual hiking. Early on, she describes how she desperately wanted to give the male nurse a blowjob in the bathroom of her mother's hospital room while her mom is dying a painful cancer death just a few feet away. I should of just stopped listening there. She bemoans that her family fell apart and doesn't want anything do with her after her mother died. That's probably because she is horrible person that no one can stand be around. I have no idea why this book got so much hype (and a movie). There is nothing redeeming about it about it at all.
Reviewed: 2017-10-31
I liked this book. It made me want to go camping/hiking. It amazes me how she survived with so little for 3-4 months, and it makes me realize how much we can do when we make up our mind that we're going to do it.
Item Posts
@powerawbs completed #wildfromlosttofo... on 2018-08-14
@chrisquick completed #wildfromlosttofo... on 2015-06-24