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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  261,577 ratings  ·  27,921 reviews
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#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
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Knopf (first published 2012)
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Marifer Reyes I think is perfect for a book club. I like half of it and I totally hate the other part. How? Let me explain. I love all the description of the trail…moreI think is perfect for a book club. I like half of it and I totally hate the other part. How? Let me explain. I love all the description of the trail and to know more about hiking the PCC. But i dont like the main character and all the bad decisions she kept making during the trail. (less)
Whereslora I have read the book since writing the earlier comment and I was very impressed. If she chooses to use different names, that seems irrelevant. Her…moreI have read the book since writing the earlier comment and I was very impressed. If she chooses to use different names, that seems irrelevant. Her book is well written and I'm sure authentic. I'm a hiker and a backpacker. She really had some life changing experiences, and the hike healed her. Very good read. I'm sure the movie will be equally good.(less)
A Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerInto Thin Air by Jon KrakauerIn a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
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7th out of 1,244 books — 2,639 voters
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37th out of 3,037 books — 9,394 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jackie
I finished this book a couple of days ago, and have not been able to get it out of my mind. I was happily coming to Goodreads to give my glowing review, but was pretty annoyed at a few of the recent reviews, so I wanted to address that first. The bravery and honesty that flowed from those pages touched me deep into my soul, and to see her described as dimwitted and self absorbed is insulting to the author and to those of us who were moved by her story. If you want to read about a well planned tr ...more
Cathy
A self-absorbed, ill-prepared woman, 26 years old, leaves her husband (a decent guy) for no good reason, mucks her life up even further with drugs and reckless sex, then engages in some vacuous navel-gazing on the Pacific Crest Trail. As a woman hiking alone she gets all kinds of special treatment and help from fellow hikers. She loses a few pounds, gets some muscles and some sun-bleached hair and calls her work done.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3.5 stars

What kind of dimwit would decide to backpack the Pacific Crest Trail alone with zero backpacking experience? Apparently the same kind of dimwit who would try heroin just because the stranger she spent the night with happens to need a fix.

If you can tolerate essence of dingbat and overlook her lousy choices and even lousier excuses for those choices, this is actually an enjoyable read. You have to roll your eyes a lot while working to the point where she hits the trail, but after that it
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Amanda Hicks
I have read a great many criticisms of this book by people who either expected it to be solely about the PCT itself, or were offended by the author's use of coarse language and discussion of her sexual proclivities. And that's fine; all of those readers were obviously seeking something other than what this book had to provide. Myself, I enjoyed it from cover to cover. A longtime lover of the PCT, I already know about the trail from end to end. I was more interested in how the author used a rathe ...more
Nikiverse
I know what Cheryl felt like on the Pacific Crest Trail because I felt like that reading her book. Neverending. Arduous. But without that whole enlightenment part.

[Warning: Spoilers] Wahhh, I did heroin and cheated on my husband and my life's a mess. Wahhh I'm too tired to even masturbate. Wah! I slept without protection and got an abortion! I lost my toenailz. I have godzilla skin on my hips because my backpack weighs so much! Had sex anywayz. B.T.DUBS I like sex!?!
Seriously: she had this pro
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Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside)
EDIT 4/4/2014: I changed this from two stars to one, because I realized that it's been about two years since I read this book and I still get ragey and fist-shakey just thinking about how much it sucked. So, bonus star deducted. This book sucks on wheels. Read on for more...

Okay. I gave myself plenty of time to cool off before writing this review, because man, was I ever pissed at this book by the time I finished reading it. And I really wanted to love it! I'm a backpacker, and I've often fantas
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Meg
Nov 06, 2011 Meg rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoir
A few years ago I had occasion to re-read HATCHET, by Gary Paulsen. I did not do this on my own, but with a fourth-grade boy who was wholly entranced by it. I had never been a big HATCHET fan myself (I preferred the Little House books, if you wanted to get right down to it), but reading it with this kid gave me a new appreciation for what the book allowed us both to do: live in the terrifying wilderness, live in the terrifying aloneness, live in the brave and cold and the that which seems both i ...more
Rachel
So far, a great read. It's Eat, Pray, Love without all the whining.
Happyreader
So much baggage. As a backpacker myself, I cringed to read about hoisting a backpack so heavy that she could only strap it on while sitting on the ground. How she managed to balance that pack and not let it accidentally fling her off the Sierras, even after Albert put that bag on a diet, is beyond me. And those tight boots that ate her toenails and mangled her feet into a fine pulp!! If nothing else, those boots end up being a fine advertisement for REI’s amazing customer service. While I’m happ ...more
Nancy (NE)
In some reviews, Strayed has been criticized for a number of things. Unpreparedness for the Pacific Crest Trail, risky decisions and miscalculations, as well as reckless living - poor choices in coping with a broken life. Her real father was unstable, abusive and essentially absent. Her mother was quirky. She couldn't provide the basic material comforts of the middle class. On the other hand, her unconventional behaviors are exactly what gave Cheryl her independent, survivor spirit. Her mother d ...more
su
This author is the columnist who writes Dear Sugar? Sugar is wise and funny and real.

I found this book to be incredibly self indulgent. The first 100 pages was the author whinging about how her mother died when she was 22, and how she would never recover, never stop crying, never stop lashing out at the people around her. Instead of focusing on how lucky she was to have ever had a mother who poured an infinite amount of unconditional love into her, she instead imploded, lost in her own self ind
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Michelle
Despite this book’s stellar reviews and much hype it did not seem like one I’d enjoy. A memoir written by a woman who loses her mother and then promptly takes up heroin and cheating on her sweet husband (who she loves very much). She then decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail despite zero hiking/wilderness experience. I figured nothing to relate to here: the loss of a parent, the drugs, the cheating, and any and all hiking/camping/roughing it…these are all completely foreign to me and also thi ...more
Lizzie
Ok ok good. Everyone's new favorite book: yes, I loved it too.

DO YOU WANT TO HEAR SOMETHING STUPID? During the first half, I wasn't sure how much I liked it. Because I am crazy. Because it is good! It is all good. But it was different, at first, than I expected. I was joking before, that for fans of Sugar (an inevitable readership for this book), there almost needs to be two ratings: one for book-ness, and one for Sugar-ness. By nature, the essays in "Dear Sugar" are written in a way that requir
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sarah gilbert
I have thought these things: I am done with books proclaiming to tell the story of healing when the wounds are so obviously still raw. I am done with struggles-that-are-not-really-struggles, the so-called "first world problems" that make one's eyes roll and ones jaw clench. How did she get so much buzz for this terribly whiny book? I'll ask myself, barely able to get through the first third without hucking it across the room. I thank other reviewers for making the contrast between Eat, Pray, Lov ...more
Regina
Check out this review and others like it at BadAssBookReviews

Wild is getting quite a bit of national buzz, my local friends have been pushing me to read it and as a result, I resisted starting this book. Reading Wild was a combination of a fuzzy walk down a specific memory lane of my early to mid-twenties and a current wish fulfillment fantasy. Author Cheryl Strayed is a few years older than me, her memoir is focused on her childhood, her teen years, her college aged time period and then her m
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Suzanne
Cheryl is one crazy brave girl. Lots of negatives I've read here, yes she trekked inexperienced, but she did so well. I couldn't have done it! I would have been so frightened the entire time that's for sure. I was interested that toward the end of her journey, she realised that ending the trek scared her as much as when she was setting out - she learned so much and began to feel normal on the road, solo. I think a lot of Cheryl's feeling lost, thus steering out on this amazing adventure to seek ...more
Cher
1.5 stars - I didn't like it.

Clearly from the rating, this one did not provide an impressive or favorable reading experience for me. With a fairly high average rating, I am in the minority with that vote. At 315 pages, I feel this could have easily been condensed into 1-2 pages. The memoir basically could be summed up like this:

My mother died. I am mad at her for this. I hate her for this. I miss her. I love my mother. I have horrible coping skills, those skills primarily being heroin, alcohol,
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Carmen
Aug 21, 2015 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes non-fiction
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
Cheryl is dealing with her mother's death badly. In her grief she has a.) not done the final work necessary to get her degree, b.) cheated on her sweet husband with multiple men, c.) as a result of (b) has gotten a divorce, d.) has a kind-of boyfriend named Joe who introduces her to heroin.

After all this, Cheryl feels like she needs to get her head right. So she decides to hike the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail), which is more than a thousand miles long.

She is not a backpacker or an experienced hiker
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Trudi
Finally finished listening to this as an audio. Meh. I have my problems with it. I may or may not review it, we'll see.

***

Alright, I've given it some thought and feel that I should try to capture some of what this book made me feel (and didn't feel as it were). This memoir is essentially two stories that sometimes intersect with each other but more often than not run parallel. One story is Cheryl's 90+ day 1100 mile solo hike of the Pacific Crest Trail when she was 26 years old. The other story
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Kevin
Oh, man. This book has it all. Tragedy, drugs, lust, infidelity, nature, humor, adventure, the human freakin' condition! I loved so many things about this beauty/beast of a book, even though it made me cry at least four times! Damn you, Cheryl Strayed! Can't you see I'm on the bus?!
This book has so many good elements--the slapstick of the Monster backpack, the sweet random friends met on the trail, the heart-crushing divorce, the battered boots and feet, the books read (and burned for warmth!),
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Willie
Strayed's ego manages to outsize even the magnificent Pacific Crest Trail. She's a self-absorbed asshole who manages to use her mom's death as an excuse to spread her selfishness over everyone she knows. She survives her partial hike of the PCT only due to the amazing generosity of fellow hikers who are actually competent.

Are you wondering if she's pretty? Oh my, yes! Never mind that on the back flap she looks like someone's daffy aunt. Strayed never tires of relating the unending river of compl
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Kiki
Heartbreaking, uplifting, soul-cleansing. The absolute epitome of a memoir. I don't like to say this, because I don't like the hokey phrasing, but this book has changed me.

I'd never heard of Dear Sugar, or in fact Cheryl Strayed at all before I picked up this book. I doubt I would have even touched it if I hadn't spent the winter working a seasonal job at a big-chain book store that never ever seemed to have enough copies of this book. We'd be making displays or filling feature bays and on the
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Pinder
Apr 14, 2012 Pinder rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Pinder by: Kevin Fanning
People think that if you leave town, all your problems will be fixed. I've had that talk with friends, trying to convince them to stay, because there's not going to be a single epiphany in some foreign city that fixes you. It's going to be hard work and dedication, working on your life, or job, or hobby, just something, that gets you on the right path. Cheryl Strayed escapes her life, and literally walks that path.

That first chapter is crushingly eloquent. I've lost a parent, and she so perfectl
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Emilia Marty
I just finished this book, which I bought because I enjoy day hiking, have been to the High Sierra and desert environments, and love good writing about hiking and mountaineering, from Joe Simpson’s books to A Walk in the Woods. I have to say that I am mystified by the positive reviews, particularly in magazines such as Backpacker and Outside. In fact, based on my own experiences hiking, and the author’s often vague and contradictory depiction of her hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, I believe her ...more
Ted
The breaking of so great a thing
should make a greater crack.

Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra


4 1/2



Cheryl Strayed on the PCT, 1995

The words at the top are the author’s epigraph to the first part of her book.


Short review

This book, published in 2012, tells the story of three months of the author’s life, in the summer of 1995. Superficially the book is something like Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. Both books tell of backpacking along one of the longest trails in the U.S., Bryson on the Appalach
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Madeline
"I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it. That I could bear the unbearable. These realizations about my physical, material life couldn't help but spill over into the emotional and spiritual realm. That my complicated life could be made so simple was astounding. It had begun to occur to me that perhaps it was okay for that I hadn't spent my days on the trail pondering the sorrows of my life, that perhaps by being f ...more
BrokenTune
"Nothing did. Nothing would. Nothing could ever bring my mother back or make it okay that she was gone. Nothing would put me beside her the moment she died. It broke me up. It cut me off. It tumbled me end over end.
It took me years to take my place among the ten thousand things again. To be the woman my mother raised. To remember how she said honey and picture her particular gaze. I would suffer. I would suffer. I would want things to be different than they were. The wanting was a wilderness and
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Trish
This year so far (and it is only March!) has been my annus horribilis so I found my braindead exhausted self listening to Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of her time on the Pacific Crest Trail at the recommendation of a friend. I’d had no inclination to read this book before, not being taken in by the book blurbs, but I am capable of being led at this point.

Strayed’s success should buoy her. She has found her audience.

What made me most annoyed, perhaps, was that by the penultimate disc in the audio re
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K
Whoa. This is a hard book to rate and review.

Basically, this is Eat, Pray, Love meets Into the Wild and, like both of those books, it's very tempting to judge and criticize the memoirist/protagonist and to blur the boundaries between reacting to the main character and reacting to the book. After reading both Eat, Pray, Love and Into the Wild, I read many dismissive goodreads reviews complaining about Liz Gilbert's self-absorption and Christopher McCandless's self-destructive stupidity. I had act
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Chuck
The Problem: Strayed's mother dies of cancer at age 46. Strayed goes into a tailspin, turns away from a loving and supportive husband in favor of one-night stands, and shoots up some heroin to boot.

The Solution: Strayed gets divorced and takes an extended solo back-packing trip on the Pacific Crest Trail. Lack of fitness, knowledge, money, and experience are not deal-breakers.

The Outcome: Strayed finds inner peace, eventually marrying again, having kids, and becoming a successful writer.

The Asse
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Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, will be published by Knopf in March 2012. It will also be published in Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Her novel, Torch (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) was a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award and was selected by The Oregonian as one of the top ten books of the year by writers from the Pacific Northwest. Strayed’s writing has appeared i ...more
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“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I'd done something I shouldn't have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I'd done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't do anything differently than I had done? What if I'd actually wanted to fuck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn't have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?” 385 likes
“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.” 343 likes
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