What to say? What to say? I find myself in a bit of a connundrum. on the positive side, I think Cheryl Strayed is a fantastic writer; her adjectives alone make me grin with glee (who outside of a hematology lab even knows what "crenulated" even means?) On the other hand, I found her story simply too convenient, too perfectly "Hollywood", too unbelievable. Do I think she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail? Absolutely! Do I think it happened exactly as is written? Not a chance. As a work of fiction, I would have given this book four stars but as a memoir I am reluctant to give it higher than three.
After her mother's death, Cheryl Strayed, lost her way. Cheating on her husband and doing drugs weren't filling the hole her mother's death caused. On an impulse she decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in the hopes that along the way she could find herself again. While the book has it's moments, this isn't as lighthearted as Bill Bryson's <i>Walk in the Woods</i>. She pushes herself to extremes and doesn't always make the wisest choices. Still it was an interesting trip.
A good read for anyone who loves hiking or has ever felt a little lost in life. Strayed recounts her attempt to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail through a series of narrative anecdotes and personal recollections.
I loved the book, (and the movie)!
I don't often read just for pleasure, but this was a wonderful journey. When I got to the last twenty pages, I didn't want it to end.
I hadn't seen the movie, but was excited for the book. I love the outdoors and was glad that this book told it like it is (and didn't gloss over the hard parts of hiking/ backpacking). Great read!
Cheryl, the author did a great job in describing what it felt like to hike over 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, with no experience behind her to find herself.
I loved this book, couldn't put it down.
In a brief, sudden moment of inspiration while visiting an outdoor recreation store, Cheryl Strayed impulsively decides that hike the Pacific Crest Trail -- alone -- is just what she needs to get her life back on track and to find herself again after several years of personal hardship and tragedy.
Excellent travel writing! I rarely laugh out loud while reading, but the scene with the tiny frogs had me giggling in bed, trying not to awaken my spouse. As was my experience reading 'Planetwalker' (John Francis), another highly recommended title, 'Wild' book made me want to do nothing more than to lace up a pair of boots myself, throw on a backpack and hit the trail -- any trail. Though I'll likely never make it to the PCT myself, I feel as though I've experienced it vicariously.
I thought this book was ok. The journey as a whole that the author endured was interesting, but reading about her days on the PCT became a bit boring to me and I had to force myself to finish. This may be because I watched the movie before completing the book, but I fast-forwarded through most of the movie as well.
Cheryl Strayed sets out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother dies. She is inexperienced at hiking, and can’t even pick up her backpack at first. She makes some very dangerous mistakes like not being prepared for ice and snow and then later running out of water in extreme heat. While she sets out on her journey alone, she finds unexpected camaraderie with other hikers along the trail.
Great discussion about the book last night at Markham Village.
We are still accepting new members to our Wednesday night group.
If you are interested please talk to a staff member.
A fun and inspiring read. Don't think watching the movie will be just as good.
Returned without reading. It was due and people were waiting. I'll try it some other time.
I read this book during a hospital stay after pulling it off the bookshelf of the ward library. All around I was impressed by this diary of self-discovery along one of the most challenging paths on the planet, the Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed writes the story very well and makes the kinds of personal revelations many of us would not imagine doing under similar circumstances. I would highly recommend it.
I have yet to see the movie but can definitely recommend the book. It's hard to translate all the information and nuances from a novel to film but it's kinda' fun to relive the story on the big screen (if it's done well). I grew up on the West Coast and have lived in or visited all three U.S. states the PCT runs through so it was almost nostalgic to read about Cheryl Strayed's epic hike; truly awe-inspiring scenery but would not be inclined to 'live' on the trail for three months!
Grief does strange things to people. After her mother dies, Strayed goes off the rails in a big, self-destructive way - reckless sex, divorcing someone she loves, experimenting with heroin - but then, profound pain, like a hand held on a hot stove, can lead to damaging and irrational behaviours. Her decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail despite lack of experience and knowledge, is a kind of invitation to life, a way to reboot, to create a watershed experience which allows for a before and after. This compelling read is about finding a way to continue living; a kind of psychological trail guide for the rest of us.
With all the hype surrounding this book, I had some major expectations. The story was very real and I felt an instant connection with the author simply because she shared so much of her life and how much she struggled with a lot of things that came up.
I think this is a great inspirational book for someone who needs a little bit of motivation to turn their life around. It talks about how she went from bad to worse and how she got better through her adventure. But other than that, I felt like it was more of a memoir and I felt the storyline kinda lacked. You could tell she was putting down a lot of her thoughts, and although helpful, I found the whole thing rather fragmented.
In the end, it was an interesting read but I felt like I wished for more out of it.
I was moved by this book. Cheryl Strayed deftly writes about several of the most difficult experiences one can have: the loss of a parent at a young age, the loss of a primary parent, divorce, and drug use. Even though she made a rather impetuous decision to walk the PCT with little experience, she DID it! I found myself grounding into her story and rooting for her, with every set-back. A wise friend told me that the only way to get through something is to keep walking through it to the other side. After reading Wild, I find myself looking at long hikes for my next vacation. Happy trails!
In terms of hiking memoirs, I would call this one 'fair'. 3/5.
Cheryl Strayed is indeed very entertaining. Her honesty is refreshing. She is brutally honest. She is human, and I love that. I loved most of the book, in fact.
However, it ended so abruptly that it felt as if I ran into a wall rather than finish a book.
I listened to the audio book -- LOVED it. Something I'll never do myself but it was fun to go along for her ride and I can only imagine how changed she was.
il est en biblio a Lamèque en francais.
(Le livre qui a inspire le film de Jean Mar vallée, code B 796.51 STR
I liked this book and look forward to seeing the movie on DVD (love Reese Witherspoon). It actually held my interest even though I am not a fan of this genre. I thought her honesty was refreshing. I am a bit surprised she didn't encounter more potentially dangerous situations than she did - being a woman all alone on the trail.
I would recommend this book although I still don't understand why people have a compulsion to punish themselves to this degree - like I don't understand the proverbial idea of climbing a mountain because it's there (not a good enough reason for me!).
I liked this book a lot! Her life seems very dramatic, but I can definitely relate to her struggles on the trail. I was amazed at how she seemed to keep her fears in check all by herself like that. A very inspiring memoir.