Wild: Book summary and reviews of Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild

From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

by Cheryl Strayed

Wild
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2012
    336 pages
    Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Book Summary

A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe - and built her back up again.
 
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: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.
 
Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

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Book Awards

  • award image Indie Booksellers’ Choice Awards, 2013

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A candid, inspiring narrative of the author's brutal physical and psychological journey through a wilderness of despair to a renewed sense of self." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. Her account forms a charming, intrepid trial by fire, as she emerges from the ordeal bruised but not beaten, changed, a lone survivor." - Publishers Weekly

"This book is less about the PCT and more about Strayed's own personal journey, which makes the story's scope a bit unclear. However, fans of her novel will likely enjoy this new book." - Library Journal

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Reader Reviews

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Barbara H.

A Shared Journey
I sent Wild to a friend who has done the Pacific Crest Trail. Wanting to know what the trip must have been like for her, I had to read it myself. I would say it is one of the most engaging books I have read this year.
Cheryl Strayed was wild and went to the wilds to straighten out her life. The trip was arduous; sometimes even dangerous. She met other hikers along the way, immediately forming bonds with them. Other hikers and outsiders proved to be helpful to this hiking neophyte. She had to overcome lost boots, poorly fitting boots, lack of money and experience, and often lack of the necessary equipment. The reader takes every descriptive step with her, never forgetting the beauty she is surrounded by. When she stopped in Oregon and the book ended, I was both happy for her and sad for myself--the trip had ended.

Tally

WASTE OF TIME
Booorrrrriiiiiiiiinnngggg!!! I want my money back, I want my time back, and I want to burn every copy of this book!!!
It's the most boring anti-climactic thing i've ever read. Whiney, uneventful, lame, oh, and did I say BOOOOOOOORRRRRIIIIIIINNNNGGGGGGG!!!!!
If someone made a career writing books like this, i'm in the wrong business. My 5 yr old writes more interesting stories!!
But anyway, if you like wasting your time and money, buy and read this book!

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Author Information

Cheryl Strayed Author Biography

© Robbie McClaran

Cheryl Strayed's award-winning stories and essays have appeared in more than a dozen magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, Allure, Elle, and Nerve. Widely anthologized, her creative nonfiction has been selected twice for The Best American Essays, and Joyce Carol Oates singled her out for the opening piece in The Best New American Voices 2003. Raised in Minnesota, Strayed has worked as a political organizer for women's advocacy groups and was an outreach worker at a sexual violence center in Minneapolis. She holds an MFA from the Syracuse University Graduate Creative Writing Program. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Since 2010, Cheryl has also been responsible for The Rumpus (therumpus.net) "Dear Sugar" column.

Author Interview
Link to Cheryl Strayed's Website

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