Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

by Cheryl Strayed
4.1 404


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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 404 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've rarely liked memoirs or outdoor-adventure type stories, but this is now one of my all-time favorite books in any genre. If you're on the fence about getting this, just give it a try. You will not be disappointed. There's just nothing about this book that I didn't love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this thinking it would be a fun, breezy read. I was wrong and I'm so glad I was. This is an amazing story of self-discovery. It's deep, it's funny, it's bittersweet and best of all, it's wonderfully written. This is truly the best impulse buy I have ever made.
GillianBeck More than 1 year ago
Great Book. Loved it. I dont usually read non fiction but enjoyed this one.
YoyoMitch More than 1 year ago
Throughout history, individuals have withdrawn from society for various reasons. Some do so to find a deeper connection with the Transcendent, others seek communion with the universe, some do so because being near people is too overwhelming. Those who are driven to a time of prolonged isolation are often seeking to escape from or to come to grips with the pain they are presently facing. When Cheryl Strayed’s mother died within 43 days of being diagnosed with Lung Cancer, her life seemed to become unmoored. She started a series of “one, two or three night stands” while proclaiming to love the man she married only three years previously, began dallying with heroin and worked managed to find herself in deep financial trouble without a degree (because she had not written a paper for a Sophomore level English class). In the midst of her making these poor decisions, she became aware, and decided to hike a large portion, of the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2600 mile path that goes from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada. Most who decide to make this monumental hike spend years planning and months training before attempting such an arduous trek. The time from conception of the idea to her setting foot on the trail was six-months. She had a little day hiking experience and her step-father had taught her some camp-craft, beyond that her preparation was an awareness that this was something she had to do. What she learned on this endeavor took her 17 years to distill and put into a book. After reading this very well done memoir, I am delighted she undertook such a task, was able to write so eloquently about it and allowed me to experience the rigors of hiking the PCT in the comfort of my easy chair. When she began her hike, the author was deeply wounded – by the death of her mother, the disintegration of her immediate family, the end of her marriage and the lack of any direction for her life. When she strapped on “Monster” (the name she gave her back pack), she found it weighed nearly half her body weight and that she could not lift it without help. Eventually she both gained strength and learned what she could do without and the load she carried was easier, but it never became as small as what the hikers she met carried. Her boots, which fit perfectly when she tried them on in the outfitting store, proved to be too small causing excruciating foot pain that continued after she obtained boots that actually fit. The reality of the over-weight backpack and the ill-fitting shoes proved to be the metaphor of the book. The load with which she began the life-changing journey lightened, but never left her, rather it became an accepted and acceptable part of her world. The pain she suffered, often with every step, was due to her poor choices, yet she did not allow those choices to stop her from what she had to do. Her time on the PCT was spent walking and remembering moments in her life (told in flashbacks) that had brought her to the place of needing to be alone and had created the “path” by which she would find herself. Some of the memories are heartbreaking, some hilarious, a few perilous but all formed the person that walked from Mexico to the border of Oregon and Washington. The book had a deeply Spiritual flavor to it, although Ms. Strayed lone reference to God was less than Worshipful. She is painfully transparent about her life no excuse nor asking forgiveness for any of the choices she made, only displaying acceptance of herself in the humble Grace found in those who know they are loved in spite of themselves. Anyone interested in: hiking, self-discovery, “spiritual” journeys or want a very good book to read. Ms. Strayed made the 1100-mile hike so interesting that I found myself wondering if I could achieve such a task. Being outdoors (in all weathers), communing with nature (not bathing for weeks), sleeping in a tent in a bag (with little padding), eating el Fresco (dehydrated meals cooked over a small stove), finally arriving at the end of the journey having only four toe-nails left. On further thought, I will read of such deeds from the comfort of my world and be thankful for those who share the trip with me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honest and compelling. Not only explores the true physical anguish of such a journey, but also details the transformation of her inner consciousness.
ElfieLM More than 1 year ago
This was a compelling read. I felt as if I was vicariously hiking with Cheryl, but not bogged down with details of nature. I am amazed by those reviewers here who want to rate Strayed's hike with ones they have taken and criticize her descriptions of pain. Go write your own books if you have a story to tell. This work stands on its own. And as for those who criticize Strayed's self-discovery, I thought her 'unfolding' realization was so well paralleled to story of her family, it was one of the best parts of the book. I became so involved that I had to research the places on the trail. A great read.
LWFIGI More than 1 year ago
This is a true story. It is a story of a young girl, Cheryl Strayed who had a very unhappy upbringing. The one anchor in her life was her faithful mother who died very young and left Cheryl to make unhealthy choices for herself. She took off on a lengthy hiking trip into complete unknown wilderness in Washington State in an attempt to get her head on straight and lacking experience she came up against life-threatening situations that she remarkably got through. This is quite a lengthy and enlightening journey that would certainly open many reader’s eyes. Very interesting and intriguing! However, this is not my idea of a way to get my head on straight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont usually read non fiction but something I read about this book made me interested. I just finished this book and it was great. I coundnt put it down. A part of me would have liked to be with her on her jouney. I would recommend this book to anyone.
efm More than 1 year ago
What a way to find youself by callenging your physical body, and it seems it all has worked out for her thru writing. Good story of overcoming all types of obstacled in our life's path.
L.A.Carlson-writer More than 1 year ago
Raw and Remarkable. This story's rich palette begins in Minnesota as Strayed's mother is dying of cancer at the Mayo Clinic. We see green in the color Cheryl is wearing as the doctor bluntly informs them her 45 year old mother has a year to live. Imagine yourself at 22 and hearing this news-what would you do? Strayed is the middle child and an unaware champion of strength only she doesn't really know it yet. It's obvious there is love here; the kind we all want-it just ends way to soon. Cheryl then wonders around for the next 4 years doing what you might expect; the color here is black until she stumbles upon a book about the PCT-The Pacific Crest Trail. She doesn't have a clue what she's getting herself into but her descriptions of her backpack; Monster, her feet and boots, the messages she receives from the people she meets along the way and her constant struggles with hungry and lack of money will have you seeing a wonderful rainbow of colors and cheering at the same time. I had the pleasure to meet Strayed in 2007 as she promoted her first book Torch at Magers & Quinn in Mpls. She contacted me and invited me to come after I had written a review of Torch. I will tell you she was funny, warm and one of the few writers I've encountered who took the time to personally respond; others like Anna Quindlen, Joe McGinniss and Lisa Bloom did not. I've been waiting for what she would do next and this book is worth the wait. BRAVO!
ADysart More than 1 year ago
I am about to do a long distance hike, so this book grabbed my attention on the shelf. So glad I picked it up! It was a good, easy read... very funny and moving at the same time. I very much related to Cheryl's childhood and saw myself in her. Great narrative. Highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. I actually felt like I was walking in her shoes... er... boots. I almost cried at the end - both for what she went through and because there was no more to read!
laneyh More than 1 year ago
Too many F-bombs for my taste. If an e-book could be returned, this is one that I would return.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All in all a great book. The story keeps the reader interested with tales from the trail and very revealing and very real emotional insight as to why the author took this journey. Very inspiring too. It will make you want to either attempt the same feat of hiking the Pacific Rim Trail or work on one of your own personal challenges.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Neither the account of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail nor the emotional transformation appears true to me. The description of the actual hiking, and the various struggles she faced, is blatantly contradictory, and I wonder whether there was any fact-checking performed. The writing about her emotional life is extremely melodramatic and at times simply senseless. If you want to read excellent writing about hiking and climbing, try Joe Simpson's books, starting with Touching the Void. For a wonderful, entertaining account of hiking on the Appalachian Trail by an inexperienced backpacker, get A Walk in the Woods. But this book is the kind of nonsense you'd find in a lower-quality Oprah Magazine article.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book, much more than a trek, raw and honest
Stone More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this book! I've been reading about it everywhere and have so many other books I want to read but when Oprah picked this as a book club I had to get it and I am so glad that I did. It is an amazing adventure of her struggles and her strength and determination. I highly recommend this book!
hotshots More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I recommended it to my daughter and several others. I loved her character. I never knew there was a Pacific Crest Trail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a book club read or I don't think I would have finished the book. It is difficult to believe that anyone would be so stupid as to set out on a hike this treacherous with no experience or preparation. If you like whining then this is the book for you. Knowing that the trail is long, treacherous, and requires great stamina a person would be sure to at least practice putting on their backpack and taking even a few steps around their house. The profanity, drug use, whining, are just a few reasons I would not recommend this book to anyone. If the author really did walk this trail why are there no descriptions of the things she saw along the way? Yes, there are a very few such as the ones near the end of the trail and this leads me to believe that maybe she just walked short distances and not the distance she claims. Another thing that is unbelievable is that she could just change her name to a new made up one simply by writing in a new one on her divorce papers. The narrative jumps around from criticizing her mother to relating in great gory detail the shooting of her mother's horse. That scene had no place in the book and was much too graphic. I like Reese Weatherspoon but will not pay money to go to a movie about this book. I honestly don't understand the rave reviews for this drivel and don't believe she hiked all those miles on a trail that is rugged even for experienced hikers.
Shadows_Dana More than 1 year ago
This could have been a great story, but, for a woman "finding herself" the tone was a flippant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poorly written, profanity, shallow. I was looking forward to A great discovery book while enjoying the scenery, Let down on booth accounts. I wonder if she was still in a stoned state when she wrote the book. It was disjointed and inconsistent. Complete waste of time!
MissSmithers More than 1 year ago
I was excited to read this book and see the movie coming out with Reese Witherspoon, but I know I'll never see the movie. Too many f-bombs, talk of using heroine, and, frankly, talk of things that I just don't want to know about people--things that are far too private. I kept reading, thinking that redemption would come for this writer, but in the end, although I was glad she survived and found the peace she sought on the trail, it felt like a deadline was due and she hurried through the rest of the journey and then summed up years of her life in a paragraph or two. Just disappointing.
CuriousGeorge1 More than 1 year ago
I loved the setting of this story. The mountains of California and the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Having hiked parts of the Pacific Crest Trail I could identify with much of what Cheryl was going through physically. Her emotional transformation along the trail was described so brilliantly honest, that the reader must in some way go through their own emotional transformation while identifying with Cheryl's. Brilliant!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt stop reading till the last page. it was really a good read. Love it
ChristineLucysMom More than 1 year ago
I was captivated from the first few lines. She lost her boot while hiking.....what would you do next? But as I read you begin to see what a person can do and what a person can do without. I had never read an "Oprah's Book Club Edition" before; didn't know what I was getting myself into. As it turned out I liked and enjoyed that feature. Many of Cheryl's feelings were relatable as I have lost my mother in the last few years as well. You are very brave, "Queen of the PCT".