- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (February 9, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250081971
- ISBN-13: 978-1250081971
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 25.3 x 241 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 82 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wild by Nature: From Siberia to Australia, Three Years Alone in the Wilderness on Foot Hardcover – February 9, 2016
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"A vibrant epic, this wondrous book is, at its core, a story of resilience. Marquis is industrious, and I recommend this book to all people seeking to discover the massive magnitude of their own potential power. A triumph!" -Aspen Matis, author of Girl in the Woods: A Memoir
"Destined to become a classic in the travel writing genre. The descriptions of time and place are just detailed enough to become animated with life, and the author's courage is inspiring." -Library Journal (starred review)
"Tough women explore the great outdoors alone: But while Strayed (author of Wild) is an amateur hiker, Marquis is a pro." -Entertainment Weekly
"Straightforward and forthright, this is adventure writing as it was meant to be." -Booklist
“A National Geographic Explorer of the Year in 2014 recounts her journey with the clear-eyed resolve and keen observational skills that make her a successful solo trekker.” ―Book Page
About the Author
National Geographic Explorer SARAH MARQUIS has been profiled in The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic. During the last twenty-three years, Marquis circumnavigated the globe on foot once and then stopped counting. She’s been covered for solo expeditions in many countries, such as Australia and South America, and her first long walk was the famous Pacific Crest Trail in the United States.
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Top customer reviews
I've also walked with woman hikers. Jennifer Pharr Davis in CALLED AGAIN and Patricia Herr in PEAK BAGGING, and Cheryl Strayed's WILD, just to name a few.
And I mention all these titles for two reasons. One to let you know what literature is out there if you are just getting started with your own armchair adventuring; and two, to show that I have a fairly good grasp of what the literature looks like. Which is to say that I almost know what I'm talking about.
So WILD BY NATURE...
The first thing I noticed was that you can tell that an American didn't write this book. The author is Swiss I believe and speaks French. Certainly her sentence structure and thought processes seem European to me. So that was not lost in converting this book to English. Her world view though is different and that took some getting used to.
The second thing I noticed, and which is of a lot more importance is that the book is not written like a diary or a reconstruction of a story based on a diary. It's more remote, like she had no written record to call upon, and maybe that's why I never felt like I was there with her. When I climbed with Viesturs I felt the cold and the lack of oxygen. I didn't feel the 104 degree heat of Mongolia.
And what is more distressing than the lack of immediacy is that the author has edited out thoughts and actions. A perfect example of this is the scary night visits she experienced when in Mongolia. For some reason men on horseback would show in the middle of the night at her camps no matter how hard she had tried to stay hidden.
We are told about these strange and frightening occurrences but only in the vaguest terms. Not what the men said or did or how she reacted to them. When did they go away? What did they want? She doesn't tell us. Which I'm afraid is a cheat and not the way to go about writing this sort of thing up, imho. If there's something you don't want to address then for heaven's sake don't bring it up. It's not like we'll know the difference.
Which brings my third and final point to the fore. There's some jumpiness in the telling. I'm used to reading the diaries of settlers so I'm comfortable with jumps in time in that format. But as I said this isn't a diary so the jumps are a little strange and unwelcome.
And perhaps this ties into some of the continuity problems. One example is where she tells us her personal philosophy is to never stay in one spot for more than one night unless it is an absolute emergency. Then a couple of pages later she stops for 3 days and has a nice rest with a tour guide.
She then tells us that she plans to ask him why the Mongolians are behaving in such an unexplained fashion -- women taking off their tops when in her presence and the men appearing in the middle of the night. She and the tour guide have a good laugh over these questions but we aren't let in on the answers.
WHAT DO I REALLY THINK ::: I think this book has features of interest but that it's going to frustrate quite a few reviewers. One should definitely read a sample chapter before purchasing.
Most recent customer reviews
Take an adventure of something grand and focus on that.Read more
I was surprised that Siberia only took up a couple pages in the book - and didn't even appear until maybe half to...Read more