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

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
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's review
Jul 30, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: books-bars
Read from September 22 to October 05, 2012

Reading "Wild" did remind me why, as a reader, the genre of contemporary memoir isn't the best fit for me. However, I didn't have her life, take that hike, write this book; so that's as much as I'll say on this subject.
Two things really did bother me enough to mention them here. 1) her casual attitude towards her heroin use; though at least she recognized her hypocrisy while chastising her brother about 'shrooms(!) and judging her mother's use of weed(!!). 2) her objectification of practically every man she met on her journey. Even creepy "Hobo Times" guy was sized up as a prospective sexual conquest. "Shoe on other foot" is still a really poor fit.
I am thankful I have Books & Bars around to challenge me as a reader. Without B&B I'd probably not have picked this book to read let alone finished it.
Addendum: Okay, last bit I swear. For me, the best travel writing has the capacity to transport the reader to the destination the author is describing. After some distance, reflecting back on this book, I have to honestly say it didn't take me there. So to label this book a "travel" memoir is a bit of a cheat; unless the travel destination is Cheryl Strayed and not the PCT.
No really, last comment. Saw her at Books and Bars last night. In response to a Q she said she began writing Wild in 2008; the hike happened 1995. She hadn't set out to write her adventure prior to then. So I'm going to cut her some slack about lack of PCT details. Jotting down descriptive narrative was likely last thing on her mind when she started her journey. 3-1/2 stars
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09/24/2012 page 89
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Heidi You know what? I've had a nagging feeling about this so-called travel memoir. Today I read this really great analysis and practically shouted THIS!! http://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/lost...
Absolutely this. Demoted to 2 stars.

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