Jim's Reviews > Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
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's review
Mar 15, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, the-west

A catalog of the hardships of travel in the 21st century typically includes jet lag, cramped seats, long layovers and overzealous TSA agents. For modern American travelers, there’s a giant latte and overpriced cinnamon bun waiting for us at every stage of our journey to remind us how easy we have it. Thankfully, there are those who seek out the road less traveled and report on what they find there.

In her memoir Wild, Cheryl Strayed, whose name reads like a sentence, couldn’t have made things harder on herself. With a pack that was too big and boots that were too small, she embarked on a journey to hike 1,100 miles along the Pacific Coast Trail alone.

Strayed needed the space. Coming on the heels of a devastating divorce and in the aftermath of her mother’s death, Wild chronicles Strayed’s attempt to navigate the mess she’d made of her life. Metaphors pop up like blisters: There’s the compass she doesn’t know how to use, the road maps that lead her astray and encounters with wildlife of both the four- and twolegged variety. But the most formidable adversary is the trail itself.

“Until now, I hadn’t truly understood the world’s vastness—hadn’t even understood how vast a mile could be—until each mile was beheld at walking speed.”

Wild is more than a long walk in the woods. By turns heart-wrenching and harrowing, Strayed’s journey reads like a modern epic punctuated with unforgettable scenes fraught with suspense: her mother’s passing, the shooting of a horse, a creepy hunter. Strayed matches anecdotes from her life to the new self she forges on the trail to create a nuanced narrative.

Redemption stories may be familiar territory, but Wild is the rare memoir of how to mend a damaged soul that’s shattering to read.
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Reading Progress

03/15/2012 page 28
03/31/2012 page 100
30.0% ""Alone wasn't a room anymore, but the whole wide world, and now I was alone in the world, occupying it in a way I never had before.""
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Melanie Page I think this is the most perfect summary of the book that I've read: "With a pack that was too big and boots that were too small, she embarked on a journey to hike 1,100 miles along the Pacific Coast Trail alone."

message 2: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Thanks, Melanie!

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