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888 of 947 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey within a Journey
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...
Published on December 30, 2011 by Gentleheart

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543 of 580 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Story Great, Oprah Edition Awful
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...
Published on June 3, 2012 by Krista Chesal


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars and I would not recommend it., October 4, 2014
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What could have been an interesting story was ruined by mediocre writing. Many of the attempts to insert symbolism and deeper meaning or reflection in the novel were done so clumsily it caused me to grimace with embarrassment for the writer. Overall, it was a struggle to finish, and I would not recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I enjoy self discovery, October 13, 2014
I enjoy self discovery, real life stories. But I don't like whiny, blame everyone else sob stories, which is what this is. One of the worst books I've read in years. I'm not going to write an exhaustive review, because honestly I just want to forget about this book completely. Consider yourself warned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Can someone tell me what all the fuss is about?, November 11, 2014
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If it weren't for Oprah. it's hard for me to imagine how this would have become a best-seller. It's decently but not wonderfully written, a strange mix of colloquial and overflown language, not to mention a hefty dose of cliche including her (late) mother being on the other side of the river. The author is very honest about her shortcomings, which are many, but they are not particularly original or interesting. She has a troubling tendency to tell rather than show with her writing, which makes most of the book emotionally remote. The only real exception was her description of the situation involving her mother's horse, which did bring me to tears.

But those aren't the important weaknesses of the book. The problem is that the book's very premise of redemption through this very difficult hike falls flat. The author's sudden epiphanies--which conveniently occur in the last miles of the hike and the last pages of the book--feel pat and forced. Worse, they seem to come just about out of nowhere. You can't feel where they come from and can't feel them along with the author. There is no wisdom, no originality.

Particularly troubling was my sense that for all of the honesty about her past and her really just horrifically stupid blunders on the trail, that she was not really honest about how much of the trail she covered. Far more description goes into her stops OFF the trail than the time spent on it. She does a sort of travelogue "highlights of the trail" thing where she delves into the occasional meeting up with someone else, or the occasional rattlesnake or other creature, or broad descriptions of seeing many pretty sunsets or lots of wildflowers or being surrounded by trees. She's traveling by foot; you'd think she'd be noticing much more detail. I don't want to accuse her of anything, and I could well be wrong, but if I am, that's perhaps a worse indictment of the book, that she could have traveled so much of the trail without the reader feeling has though he or she can see or feel much beyond Strayed's missing toenails.

It's not a horrible book, but it is certainly not worth all the attention that has gone into it. I'd rate it as better than Eat Pray Love, but in my eyes, that's not high praise.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars self indulgent and disgusting, February 9, 2014
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I thought the story was very good. It's always great to read about tuff women. But why so many F-bombs? You could leave out all the swearing (and mentions of masturbation, etc) and still have a great story and not alienate any reader. I'm going back to classic literature where fantastic stories are told by writers who are intelligent enough to express themselves without profanity or even unnecessarily giving the reader a glimpses into things like private hygiene. "Inserting a vaginal sponge". Really!?! REALLY!?!? That added absolutely nothing to the story. I kept reading to the end because I was interested enough but didn't care as much.

I just read some other reviews and was reminded of a lot of other self indulgent discusting behaviors in the book. Not a person I'd want to learn anything from or be inspired by. Change my 3 stars to 1.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About transformation, not just backpacking., April 9, 2012
This review is from: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Hardcover)
This book is not just a reminiscence of a long-distance backpacking trip. I have been a backpacker for 40 years, but never had time or inclination to try one of those thousand or more mile treks like the one Cheryl did over 20 years ago. But my interest in backpacking led me to the book. It is a stupendous read. It describes eloquently what I have found to be true about "hitting trail" with your house on your back, whether it is for a few days or for months: First there is the adventure of it. Some of that adventure comes from making mistakes and this author made plenty. But getting out into the wild places is going to be an adventure even if you make no mistakes. And that is doubly true if you dare to go alone (dangerous, and not recommended, of course). Then there is the unadorned pride at doing something physically and mentally challenging. And of course there are those many flashes of beauty and majesty you get when you are out for a good trek into real wilderness. This author conveys all of that with a grace and style that will keep you reading, even if you have no intention to backpack or step into a wilderness. But she also goes beyond all of the above. She manages to tell her story of personal transformation that occurred during that summer of backpacking the PCT. Her transformation is one that will be of great interest to many other women, but men will be moved by it too. Read this book. Then go find your own wilderness to experience and maybe end up being transformed, as Cheryl was. To me this was a great spiritual book, written by a gifted artist, with a life story that will bring joy and maybe a little pain to most readers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rediculous, April 1, 2013
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Someone planning on hiking the Pacific Coast Trail should see what not to do.
It seems unbelievable to me that Cheryl did know the fundamental rule of wearing a pair of shoes (in this case, a pair of hiking boots) before you actually wear them "for real".
If she hadn't been good looking, her story would have been entirely different.
This makes "girls" look bad. Definitely not for the independent women.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I want to escape, April 20, 2012
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This review is from: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Hardcover)
I think I might have enjoyed it more if I had listened to it on a long car ride instead of investing the time to read it. I, probably like many others who purchased this book, generally enjoy this type of writing. I would think it an archetypical feeling to want to escape to an adventure to re-establish one's foundations in life. However, I often found myself wanting to escape from the Strayed's writing. It was monotonous and self-loathing. Nonetheless, Strayed did keep me interested enough to trudge through writing to see if it got better. There are far better narratives out there for the time; this will drag you along with it to see what happens next, but like passing so many bends on the trail, your disappointed when all you see is another tree.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Untrustworthy, Unlikable, Deluded Narrator, September 14, 2014
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I have seldom had such a visceral reaction to a book; I hated this. I forced myself to finish it, waiting for a flicker of personal growth or self-awareness to redeem this untrustworthy, unlikeable, deluded narrator--it never came. Shun this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wild: or the Tale of the $2000 REI Bill, November 24, 2014
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Wild is not a book you will want to read when you are dissatisfied with your job, your relationship or pretty much any major aspect of your life. The idea that an adventure is out there for all of us if we just go look for it is so enticing you might just pack up your 9-5 and trade it in for the open road. That promise of adventure is the major selling point of the book and in it's best moments it captures that promise, delivering some especially harrowing scenes (the twizzler and the water filter scenes comes to mind). In its worst moment, it comes across as if Lena Dunham was trying to write her version of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road". Cheryl is an immature traveler but resolutely ignorant of her own shortcomings. There were times I wanted to chuck the book against the wall because of how infuriating Cheryl can be as a character. Maybe it's because I'm not the target audience (26M) but parts of this book just came off as glib and irreverent (i.e. her drug problem that lasted all of ten pages and then forgotten for most of the book). I can respect and even envy her decision to drop everything and head out on a great adventure but I found myself annoyed more often than not by her decision making.

Despite some shortcomings I found in the overall tone of the book to be enjoyable but the truly extraordinary sections of the book are few and far between.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Disappointed, December 29, 2013
I have rarely had such a 'wild' adverse reaction to a book. Quite quickly I did not like this person. Secondly, I am from Oregon and her description of her trek is "re-created" to put it mildly. That is really about all I have to say about the author and the book. Too bad it got the hype it did. I recommend instead A Walk Across Oregon for an authentic outdoor story.
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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (Hardcover - March 20, 2012)
$26.95 $20.69
In stock on December 23, 2014
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