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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0 1) [Kindle Edition]

Cheryl Strayed
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9,112 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $4.62
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE


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. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, The Boston GlobeEntertainment Weekly, Vogue, St. Louis Dispatch 

This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2012: At age 26, following the death of her mother, divorce, and a run of reckless behavior, Cheryl Strayed found herself alone near the foot of the Pacific Crest Trail--inexperienced, over-equipped, and desperate to reclaim her life. Wild tracks Strayed's personal journey on the PCT through California and Oregon, as she comes to terms with devastating loss and her unpredictable reactions to it. While readers looking for adventure or a naturalist's perspective may be distracted by the emotional odyssey at the core of the story, Wild vividly describes the grueling life of the long-distance hiker, the ubiquitous perils of the PCT, and its peculiar community of wanderers. Others may find her unsympathetic--just one victim of her own questionable choices. But Strayed doesn't want sympathy, and her confident prose stands on its own, deftly pulling both threads into a story that inhabits a unique riparian zone between wilderness tale and personal-redemption memoir. --Jon Foro

From Author Cheryl Strayed

Oprah and Cheryl StrayedOprah with Cheryl Strayed, author of Book Club 2.0's inaugural selection, Wild.

I wrote the last line of my first book, Torch, and then spent an hour crying while lying on a cool tile floor in a house on a hot Brazilian island. After I finished my second book, Wild, I walked alone for miles under a clear blue sky on an empty road in the Oregon Outback. I sat bundled in my coat on a cold patio at midnight staring up at the endless December stars after completing my third book, Tiny Beautiful Things. There are only a handful of other days in my life--my wedding, the births of my children--that I remember as vividly as those solitary days on which I finished my books. The settings and situations were different, but the feeling was the same: an overwhelming mix of joy and gratitude, humility and relief, pride and wonder. After much labor, I'd made this thing. A book. Though it wasn't technically that yet.

The real book came later--after more work, but this time it involved various others, including agents, publishers, editors, designers, and publicists, all of whose jobs are necessary but sometimes indecipherable to me. They're the ones who transformed the thousands of words I'd privately and carefully conjured into something that could be shared with other people. "I wrote this!" I exclaimed in amazement when I first held each actual, physical book in my hands. I wasn't amazed that it existed; I was amazed by what its existence meant: that it no longer belonged to me.

Two months before Wild was published I stood on a Mexican beach at sunset with my family assisting dozens of baby turtles on their stumbling journey across the sand, then watching as they disappeared into the sea. The junction between writer and author is a bit like that. In one role total vigilance is necessary; in the other, there's nothing to do but hope for the best. A book, like those newborn turtles, will ride whatever wave takes it.

It's deeply rewarding to me when I learn that something I wrote moved or inspired or entertained someone; and it's crushing to hear that my writing bored or annoyed or enraged another. But an author has to stand back from both the praise and the criticism once a book is out in the world. The story I chose to write in Wild for no other reason than I felt driven to belongs to those who read it, not me. And yet I'll never forget what it once was, long before I could even imagine how gloriously it would someday be swept away from me.


From Booklist

Echoing the ever-popular search for wilderness salvation by Chris McCandless (Back to the Wild, 2011) and every other modern-day disciple of Thoreau, Strayed tells the story of her emotional devastation after the death of her mother and the weeks she spent hiking the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail. As her family, marriage, and sanity go to pieces, Strayed drifts into spontaneous encounters with other men, to the consternation of her confused husband, and eventually hits rock bottom while shooting up heroin with a new boyfriend. Convinced that nothing else can save her, she latches onto the unlikely idea of a long solo hike. Woefully unprepared (she fails to read about the trail, buy boots that fit, or pack practically), she relies on the kindness and assistance of those she meets along the way, much as McCandless did. Clinging to the books she lugs along—Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich—Strayed labors along the demanding trail, documenting her bruises, blisters, and greater troubles. Hiker wannabes will likely be inspired. Experienced backpackers will roll their eyes. But this chronicle, perfect for book clubs, is certain to spark lively conversation. --Colleen Mondor

Product Details

  • File Size: 2249 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307476073
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (March 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IQZB14
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
830 of 876 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Story Great, Oprah Edition Awful June 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If I had known that every few pages I would have to see passages underlined by Oprah I would not have bought this edition. Not only does it bump me out of the narrative, but it deprives me of experiencing the book on my own; instead forcing me to think Oprah's underlines are the important parts. It makes what could otherwise be a beautiful story feel like a cheap used textbook. I should at least be able to hide the obnoxious underlining and get to experience the story on my own.

I love the story, and I love Oprah, but I hate having her perspective forced on me as I read. I'll never buy an Oprah digital book again.
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969 of 1,036 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey within a Journey December 30, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Why read "Wild: from Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail"? In a nutshell, because Cheryl Strayed is brutally honest about her weaknesses as well as her strengths, because she writes magnificently, and because she speaks for so many women who have suffered similar insults and assaults and have never had such an articulate writer to tell their story. Her first twenty-six years constitute a life often lived but rarely told. The hundred days before her twenty-seventh birthday make up the substance of the "Lost to Found" journey within a journey -- the unifying theme of this book, a theme of personal confrontation and self-willed rebirth in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

If you are able to read even the Prologue you will see evidence of Strayed's unique voice. If that is unavailable and you're still on the fence as to whether to buy this book, I urge you to go to cherylstrayed.com and read some of Strayed's essays. Perhaps her raw honesty will seize hold of you as it did me and give you no choice but to get the book.

This is not to say that everyone will love this book or its author. Readers will respond very differently. Some will be as enthusiastic as the 5-star reviewers and some as unimpressed as the 3-star (there are no lower reviews at this point, which is a testament to the books' quality). Strange as it may seem, I see the perspectives of those who are enthusiastic and those who are dissatisfied and believe that both the accolades and the criticisms are legitimate. It is a sign of considerable courage to hike 1,100 miles alone, while it is a sign of great weakness to wallow in personal sorrow while toying with drugs and ruining a marriage.
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641 of 711 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Problems if the reader is not in the target audience August 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had mixed reactions to this book.

As a disclaimer, I would like to point out that I am not in the target audience for this book. I am 58 and male. I read the book because I am a backpacker. The book sells mostly to young, slim (probably athletic) women. Why do I make this assertion? I went to Cheryl Strayed's event and book-signing. 95% of the large audience (Ms. Strayed is a rock star) fit this target market. The other 5% probably came for the electronic, new-age musician.

If I were in the target market, if I had identified more strongly with Ms. Strayed (or her 24-year old self), I would probably have loved this book. If you can identify with Cheryl Strayed, then you may love this book.

If you cannot form this bond, you may dislike the book because of the follow reasons:

1. The language and metaphors are fairly pedestrian. I kept thinking, I have heard that analogy or phrasing in many books (often self-help books, no accident that Ms. Strayed was a self-help columnist). The author usually avoids obvious cliches, but if you reflect upon media discussions that focus on personal growth, you will recognize most of the language. For example, the author loves the adverb, "profoundly." She also uses some obvious tricks to make the writing seem compelling: sexual obscenities (not an objection for me, but more of an author tic) and exaggerating verbs -- "destroyed" for tired and "shattered" for distraught or depressed. Not terrible, but not Joan Didion or Dave Eggers.

2. Cheryl Strayed likes metaphor as the primary tool in story-telling (call it approach A). She made this comment in the event that I attended. Many authors, however, focus upon precise, sensory detail to show depth of character, point of view, voice and story development.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheryl strayed... March 17, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Cheryl Strayed is a capable writer and as I finished the first few chapters I became a fan. I began recommending the book to my friends and family. Her description of her mother dying of cancer was beautifully written and hit like a gut punch. I thought, wow, this writer has potential.

But as I progressed through the book I felt a gnawing sense that this was not a work of pure fact, and prone to flights of fancy and embellishment. The dialog seemed contrived and wooden at times as the book wore on. Her apparent desire to saddle up with just about any guy she bumped into seemed curious at first, began to wear thin later, and was off-putting by the end. Some encounters read like more a cheap Harlequin romance novel than reality. By the time she encounters bow hunters on the Oregon Crest Trail, she lost me. They admire her sinewy legs under her tight jeggings (I'm embellishing for effect here). They're hiking for the day but they're carrying huge backpacks. They've each consumed a six pack of Pepsi but they're dehydrated and disoriented. They leave but one of them returns to leer at her and accuse her of lying about where she was going to camp. As I read the scene I felt like I was watching Burt Reynolds in Deliverance, "You got a nice mouf". Like someone that's told you a string of faintly troubling white lies, the stink of poor credibility finally overwhelmed me. I got the sense that she created plot devices and embellished stories as a means to punctuate her experiences north of the California border.

I've hiked much of the Oregon and Washington Pacific Crest Trail system. So I'm familiar with what it's like to be on the trail for 3-4 weeks at a time. And there are elements of Strayed's book that resonated.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
As an avid outdoors person when I was younger I really enjoyed this book. Very well written. I could easily relate to Cheryl Strayed and her need to find herself. Read more
Published 37 minutes ago by Stephanie Schneiderman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What an inspiring book! A must read!
Published 2 hours ago by C. Child
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
An inspiring read that turns the pages. Great for a weekend. Made me want to go outside for a walk!
Published 2 hours ago by Joseph Beveridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Very suspenseful always waiting to see what will happen next. She's very brave to do this on her own, but obviously needed to do something before she self destructed herself. Read more
Published 3 hours ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Trail Name "Lonesome Dove" a former AT Thru Hiker in 1998
I often found myself back East on the trail with Cheryl's writing...With the daily up's and downs and simplicity of trail life was brought very real in her words as I plan to... Read more
Published 3 hours ago by chris spohr
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie. The author was able to transport me along each step of this heroic adventure. Read more
Published 10 hours ago by L. Alexander
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
The book is much better than the movie. It's great read.
Published 10 hours ago by Barbara Advey
4.0 out of 5 stars Walking is a good way to relieve
The book give an indepth detail of what it takes to walk the pct. The PCT has alway been a place very few people can go. Walking is a good way to relieve stress
Published 11 hours ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
I really enjoyed tagging along on the PCT and it helped me do a little soul searching as well. I also lost my mom, my best friend. Read more
Published 11 hours ago by Sara W.
5.0 out of 5 stars We both enjoyed the book
Reading Wild brought me back to my hiking days and the time my husband and I were going to try extended hikes, even bought most of our stuff we'd need but health reason we never... Read more
Published 12 hours ago by Aletha A Zahler
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More About the Author

Cheryl Strayed is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller WILD, the New York Times bestseller TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS, and the novel TORCH. WILD was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0. WILD won a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, an Indie Choice Award, an Oregon Book Award, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and a Midwest Booksellers Choice Award among others. The movie adaptation of WILD will be released by Fox Searchlight in December 2014. The film is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and stars Reese Witherspoon, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby. Strayed's writing has appeared in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Salon, The Missouri Review, The Sun, Tin House, The Rumpus--where she wrote the popular "Dear Sugar" advice column--and elsewhere. Strayed was the guest editor of BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2013 and has contributed to many anthologies. Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages around the world. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their two children.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#100 Overall (See top 100 authors)

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Oprah's underlines
I am curious about this as well, as I don't really want the book skewed by someone else's opinions... I want to experience it myself.
11 days ago by Jennifer Wood |  See all 2 posts
What is your favorite memoir?
I really liked Diablo Cody's memoir, Candy Girl, a year in the life of an Unlikely Stripper. It's funny, sharp, and insightful. It's the only book she's ever written, she mostly does screen plays and is best remembered for her movie "Juno".
Nov 6, 2014 by Larry Dunlap |  See all 3 posts
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