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books pdf Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail By Cheryl Strayed –

3.5 starsWhat 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 s quite engaging I admire her tenacity in finishing what she started, given her cluelessness about backpacking that led to serious mistakes and potentially dangerous miscalculations If you ve never backpacked before, use this as a cautionary tale rather than an excuse to be a ditz Many people with backpacking savvy than Cheryl have lost their lives through poor planning or just bad luck The thing that saves this book is that Cheryl writes well If I can say without unkindness that there s a certain charm in her idiocy, this is what makes her story worth reading And if you have any backpacking stories of your own, you ll connect with so many of the little things that define the worldwide community of backpackers. An Alternate Cover For This ISBN Can Be Found HereAt 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 To Lose, She Made The Most Impulsive Decision Of Her Life With No Experience Or Training, Driven Only By Blind Will, She Would Hike Than A Thousand Miles Of The Pacific Crest Trail From The Mojave Desert Through California And Oregon To Washington State And She Would Do It AloneTold With Suspense And Style, Sparkling With Warmth And Humor, Wild Powerfully Captures The Terrors And Pleasures Of One Young Woman Forging Ahead Against All Odds On A Journey That Maddened, Strengthened, And Ultimately Healed Her 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 trip by a prepared hiker who has no issues, go and buy a guide book about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail I m sure you ll find it very informative Wild is a beautifully descriptive story about loss, pain, nearly giving up, and pushing on I felt like I was right there next to Cheryl, my pack so heavy, my feet bleeding and sore, filthy, hungry and lonely I couldn t believe she kept going, but also would have been crushed if she hadn t I loved every moment of this book and am just blown away by the author s audacity and courage I will probably never be able to go three months in the wild, but I sure loved living vicariously through Cheryl in her Wild. 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. 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 interested in how the author used a rather spontaneous journey along the trail to help herself face demons and come to grips with her mother s death There are moments where her emotions are so clearly spelled out on the page, and then there are times where you have to read between the lines But every step of the way you re alongside her, watching as she learns to accept, to embrace, to let go, and how the PCT weaves through that.This is a book I will most definitely read multiple times over the years I almost regret buying it in Kindle format because I can think of at least five people I d love to loan it to and demand they read it immediately. 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 problem with sleeping around with men and toward the end of her trek she s STILL sleeping with strangers Her body made all these changes but she s STILL the same person on the inside So pardon me for not finding that inspirational.Her mom died and I feel super bad about that But I couldnt really follow Cheryl on her journey because I just can t connect with a half ass femme Nazi It s fitting that she had a hard time reading a real compass because her moral compass was also off kilter Should have read about Bill Bryson s trek across the Appalachian Trail instead. The universe, I d learned, was never, ever kidding It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it backWild is easily one of the best memoirs I ve ever read For two main reasons.1 It is extremely well written This book doesn t have that feeling which non fiction books often give me a feeling that I m stuck in the dreary real world and that I should have read some exciting fiction instead It reads like a novel A novel about grief, and youth, and adventure It s full of memorable characters, drawn so vividly by the author And it proves that true stories can be no less compelling than the most creative fantasy.2 Strayed captures the emotions of a young woman who has lost her anchor in life so very well It s one thing to feel a certain way at times in your life, but it s another thing entirely to be able to find the words to accurately portray how that felt to others.Her story is brimming with raw, visceral emotion Perhaps it is made poignant to me because I have a somewhat similar relationship with my mum and the thought of losing her is not only unbearable, but completely beyond my comprehension how can I possibly exist in a world where she doesn t She and her love are the single reliable constants I ve had throughout my life.But beyond that, my mother like Cheryl s has made me and my siblings the centre of her entire life and purpose She lives and breathes for us She has made mistakes and we have had fights Angry, raging fights that would easily have destroyed a weaker bond And yet, I have never been certain of anything than her unconditional love and her desire for my happiness.Strayed s shared emotions pulled out some deep ones of my own.Beyond the emotional pull of the novel, it is an adventure story that takes us through all the highs and lows of the wilderness Interspersed with little anecdotes about the author s life before hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, it shows everything that Strayed faces in her struggle to sort her life out Everything from bears, rattlesnakes and other people, to dehydration, destroyed feet and the realization that she had not planned her trip very well.Many times she considers giving up, and yet she pushes on It s uplifting, and yet the messages avoid being heavy handed because they are surrounded by so much story and adventure An easy to read, enjoyable book, that is the perfect balance of sadness and hope.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Store Alternate title How to be a Compete Idiot Hiking Edition Cheryl goes off on a bender shortly after her mother passes She ruins her marriage with repeated adultery and ultimately becoming a knocked up druggie Then she aborts the kid and goes hiking Yes, you read that right.She gets on the Pacific Crest Trail as a way to find herself By getting lost Oh the irony Many, many inspirational quotes have been posted and shared throughout the web thus I will share the two that stood out to me most The first one is found during her mother s stay in the hospital and requests for morphine from the male nurse Sometimes he gave it to her without a word and sometimes he said no in a voice as soft as his penis Frequently, Cheryl paused the narrative to admire masculine men that she met on the trail or remembered screwing with while married to her husband This nurse had the unfortunate fashion choice to wear scrubs a little too tight while he was tending her mother on her death bed It felt so wrong on so many levelsThe other quote that stood out to me was during a female empowerment moment During which she recalls the control she has over men, despite being dirty, bedraggled and stinky She is a woman When i was a child of eleven and I felt that prickly rush of power when grown men would turn their heads to look at me, or whisper, or say, hey pretty baby, just loudly enough that I could hearWhy Just Why. She s constantly getting lost, never has the right gear and always is in painI wanted to shake her So much. Despite going into gory detail about losing her toenails, developing welts and bruises, she plays off being extremely ill prepared and dumb by jokingly calling herselfA big fat idiot This book tried to make her journey into a positive experience by showing just how much everyone admired and appreciated the work she put into hiking It was ridiculous They all treated her kindly like a badass princess coughcough Mary Sue I m glad I read this solely so I could squash my curiosity.Audiobook CommentsShe did not narrate her own autobiography Pet Peeve.Blog Instagram Twitter 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 impossible and necessary To dig into the vast resources of human resourcefulness, knowing that no matter the outcome, you did exactly the best you could do WILD is that, but for the grown up me It is brave and cold and terrifying and, above all, compassionate A woman finding her way Reading it I was pained for and with Cheryl, wincing at setbacks and feeling elated at successes Rooting for her to get to the end of the trail as well as to the bottom of her grief It s a lot of walking but somehow never repetitive, with stories of trail life wound around stories from her pre PCT journeys While sometimes I was frustrated to be pulled off the trail, these pre trail stories were always rewarding The story of Lady the horse was particularly moving and visceral it set me on a good cleansing cry of my own, but Hold on, wait Don t think this is a sad book It is not a sad book at all It is maybe one of the few and only truly happy books that I have read Everything painful is written about with warmth and something I just, I don t know if I have a good word for it I have a couple not good words Reality Actuality Something See, it s not this awful thing happened, and I have written well about it, and I have settled the accounts and all is fine high five But rather this thing happened, and it was hard, and that is what things are Things are hard They are not impossible and far away and only written about in memoirs where people do incredible things The things that happened to Cheryl felt like things that have happened and will happened to me They are present Your water will sometimes be filthy and you will be able to fix it your water has been filthy and you will be able to fix it your water will sometimes be nonexistent and even then you will survive your water has sometimes been nonexistent and even then you have survived Because while I will probably never hike the PCT, because while I will probably not go through the things that Cheryl went through on her way to the PCT, I have had my own share of what I ve had And her chant, her present tense chant on the trail I am not afraid, I am not afraid is the kind of chant any one of us might have, doing any one of the hundreds of things we must do to live our lives That is what this book is about, to me It s beautiful I want to give it to people Yes. 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 died in her mid forties and the threads of what little family Cheryl had disintegrated Married to a perfectly good man, but wed very young, in her grief, she eventually resorted to heroine abuse and promiscuity I think those readers are missing the point This is not a how to book Although there are some brief informative sections about the history and development of the PCT, as well as fleeting references to equipment It is not a back to nature book She writes picturesque but unsentimental descriptions It is not a self help book She s not espousing any means to self discovery It is a eloquent story of how one rather mixed up young woman used this journey Alone, she is able to dig deep into her past and her fears There comes a point in everyone s life when we have to forgive our own mistakes and accept how they define us The struggles along the trail gave her the strength and clarity to face who she really is and what she is capable of It resonated with me After having taken a road trip in the mid 70 s, from Minneapolis, to Whitehorse Yukon Territories, back through Edmonton, across the Rockies to Vancouver and down Route 1 to San Diego before going home The experiences most definitely frame who I am.