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Topic: Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Oprah book club 2.0< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 20 2012, 1:30 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oprah says she loved this book about hiking the pacific trail so much that she had to re-invent her book club and find a way to promote it.  Has anyone read it?

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2012, 3:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, I finished it yesterday morning.  The author hikes part of the PCT to try to sort out her mother's death from cancer, her divorce, her drug use, her sleeping around, and her messed up life.  

I enjoyed the backpacking and hiking parts and was a little bored with all of her personal problems.  Of course, her life turned out well after hiking the PCT...

I've enjoyed other long-distant hiking tales much more than this read.  I'm sure this book will turn out to be a best seller with O's plugging...

Happy Trails,

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2012, 1:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I read it. Some of it was good; a lot of it was not so good. My take on the book was that she was more interested in finding a guy to hook up with than anything else. Like rangersven said, too much personal stuff.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2012, 3:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Still reading at present, but I am greatly reminded of Chis McCandless and his other worldly approach to the reality of the great outdoors.

Hard to tell where she passes from literal description to poetic license, IMO.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2012, 7:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Echo, do you have the book? If not, I'd be happy to send my copy to you, free of charge. And I wouldn't want it back :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2012, 12:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Finished reading Wild and it is an interesting, fairly insightful book even though not that great as a long trail trip report.

The whole point of Strayed's writing is personal experience and growth, so if you don't want to contemplate those kind of issues, and be stimulated to think about them for yourself, don't read this book.  

The whole value of the book is in personal introspection and exploring the nature and possibility of personal growth, IMO.

She may have established a new level of candor regarding sexual attitudes of women out on the trail, and about trail reports exploring sexual behavior that has been almost entirely ignored in outdoor writing!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2012, 5:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Jun. 23 2012, 11:44 am)
QUOTE
Finished reading Wild and it is an interesting, fairly insightful book even though not that great as a long trail trip report.

The whole point of Strayed's writing is personal experience and growth, so if you don't want to contemplate those kind of issues, and be stimulated to think about them for yourself, don't read this book.  

The whole value of the book is in personal introspection and exploring the nature and possibility of personal growth, IMO.

She may have established a new level of candor regarding sexual attitudes of women out on the trail, and about trail reports exploring sexual behavior that has been almost entirely ignored in outdoor writing!

Thanks for your report.  I was on the fence about pursuing this read.  But I think I'll go for it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2012, 11:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am reading it at the moment, and I agree that it is very personal... So far though it is good enough for me to continue reading it...however, I just got I Hike and Trail Tested in the mail a few days ago...  :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 11 2012, 3:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just finished reading Wild.  That girl is totally messed up.  But, maybe I'm caloused (sp?).  I didn't even really enjoy the backpacking part because she seemed so ill-prepaired.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 25 2012, 4:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My wife read it this week and enjoyed it.  Its true that the author was definitely ill-prepared for the trip from what my wife has told me, but given that we are newbies to this, that may have been part of the charm for her.  From what she's told me, its not so much a book about backpacking as it is a book about personal discovery that happens to feature backpacking as a theme.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2012, 11:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(mtngrl @ Jul. 11 2012, 3:02 pm)
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I just finished reading Wild.  That girl is totally messed up.  But, maybe I'm caloused (sp?).  I didn't even really enjoy the backpacking part because she seemed so ill-prepaired.

Agreed.  I haven't read it but spend about a hour in the bookstore thumbing through it.  "Poor little me" rang all through it loud and clear.  What a bunch of drivel.  If I wanted a book about self discovery and reordering your life (which I'm not sure she did), I'd go to the psychology section.  Waste of time from what I read.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 31 2012, 12:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was intrigued by Oprahs enthusiasm and then saw some good reviews. Then when I first opened it, I did like I always do and browsed the back and a few middle sections and wasn't all that enthused so I finished a couple other books first. I took it on the trip to the bay area and started it and was soon in tears. The description of her mothers cancer death was a little too close to home and echoed my experiences with my granma and Dad. Now I'm into it and find it interesting enough to keep going and both intriguing and frustrating. I'm afraid that if she were telling me this in person I'd end up slapping her.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 05 2012, 2:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just finished it and I enjoyed it a lot. I'd mail it on to anyone who might be interested if anyone is. She was messed up and unprepared but still she got off the futon and gave it a go, which is worth the story I think.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 05 2012, 3:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So after all the mixed reviews I figured I'd ought to read this one. Evidently it's popular because I'm waitlisted at the library for one of the copies.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 06 2012, 11:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I picked it up at Costco a couple of weekends ago and am still in the first chapter after the notes in the begining. So far it's held my interest. Talk of packs, gear, boots, trails and just the common jargon we all use has a appeal to me. I'm willing to work through her personal problems to see how she sorted it all out.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 07 2012, 10:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I still haven't finished it... it got deep and I decided to read another book. I am almost done with I Hike (which is a fun read) and then will try to pick it back up...

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 07 2012, 12:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just read the book, and I actually liked it.  The backpacking parts were interesting, mostly because of how inexperienced the author was.  Her candor made it amusing to me.  The other parts about her personal life just made her sound incredibly pathetic and a total loser-- unfaithful to her husband, a heroin addict, etc.  I had to take those parts with a grain of salt.  I guess the book intrigued me more because I was about to backpack for a few days on the PCT myself.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 07 2012, 9:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds like a backpacking version of "Eat, Pray, Love" which I didn't find all that fascinating.  I guess I'm just not a bandwagon book kind of girl  

I don't follow Oprah or her book club, but read about this book somewhere and added it to my Amazon wishlist - under the 142 other books that I'll read someday :


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 07 2012, 11:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It certainly wasn't because of Ophra that I bought the book. I was at Costco and, as is my usual routine, I walk up and down every aisle and the center, too. It was the title and short blurbs on the back cover that caught my attetnion.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 10 2012, 6:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I mailed it on to Tomas.  Hope you enjoy.

As a writer, I love the idea of Oprah discovering my books, OTOH, since I write for kids, doubt it will happen. Because of course, if she read them she'd be delighted, UH, well, maybe not.


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(Echo @ Aug. 10 2012, 6:28 pm)
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I mailed it on to Tomas.  Hope you enjoy.

As a writer, I love the idea of Oprah discovering my books, OTOH, since I write for kids, doubt it will happen. Because of course, if she read them she'd be delighted, UH, well, maybe not.

I'm in scout camp this week and unfortunately it hadn't shown up before I left. Once I finish reading it, I'll happily pass it to somebody else.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2012, 3:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I finished it last night and I would say that it was worth the read.  Not the best book I've ever read to be sure, but was still satisfied in the end.  Certainly there are plenty of points where she's talking about her personal problems and at times those can be a bit much (there were a couple of sections that I skimmed a bit as a result).

Fair warning though, it really isn't so much a book about backpacking.  Her tales of her life on the PCT are as much a supplement to her personal battles as anything.  For the most part though I wasn't annoyed by the personal sections.  While its true that she did not exactly behave perfectly during the periods described in the book, I can certainly relate and did not find it necessarily unbelievable.  While I may not have gone so far off the deep end when my father passed due to cancer, I certainly had my bad periods (including nearly losing the woman who would become my wife).  It certainly won't be for everyone, but I did find it entertaining none the less.  

By the way, although the tales of her life on the PCT were not necessarily the point of emphasis of the book, I did think they made it that much more enjoyable.  I think it was perhaps particularly enjoyable for my wife and I since we are so new to this hobby that it was good to hear about her experiences . . . especially since the only real bad experiences were with non-backpackers.  

Unfortunately, I cannot send it to anyone since we got it on Kindle.  :(
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 24 2012, 1:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.  Some of her personal stuff was a little tedious to read through but for the most part I found it interesting.  And because she was very attractive (see the back inside jacket), she had plenty of guys helping her out.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 24 2012, 1:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I finished Wild yesterday afternoon on the bus ride from work. I only read while on the bus because it's an hour a day I can devote just to reading.

What author Cheryl Strayed (her real name) proclaimed pretty much right up front was that hiking the Pacific Coast Trail was to be a healing walk and a discovery walk. She simultaneously healed her wounded psyche and shaky self-foundation by putting on the pack and heading out to places she'd never before in a manner she had never practiced.

She was wounded by the death of her mother, the decision to end her marriage and her choices of men; one of whom she started doing heroin with. The hike, and all that the long trails encompass, allowed her to rebuild self-definition in a way no psychiatrist, book or friend could do.

For someone having no experience with backpacking, let alone a two-month trek, she did pretty well. Mistakes included boots too small, pack too big and heavy, lack of research and no conditioning. Things she did pretty good with included scheduling mail drops, listening to other hikers along the way, gearing up and keeping her head shown by making relatively good decisions.

It all worked and at the end of the trail, at The Bridge of the Gods, she became whole and in the process laid for herself a strong foundation. How she did it is told in an easily read script. And, for us backpackers, there are plenty of instances we all have experienced. It's not a book about backpacking. It's a book about the healing that comes from nights alone, in the wild, where wits and wonder, pain and exertion can rewire and redefine who we are.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2012, 4:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

just bumping this up

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I am reading this book right now. What a slog! I mean, she is a good writer I'll give her that, but the self pity "woe is me" attitude is just so friggin' annoying. I just have a really hard time feeling any empathy for her what-so-ever. I really hope the actual "hiking" portions of this book start taking center stage, otherwise I'm afraid I might put it down.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2012, 12:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am reading this book right now. What a slog! I mean, she is a good writer I'll give her that, but the self pity "woe is me" attitude is just so friggin' annoying. I just have a really hard time feeling any empathy for her what-so-ever. I really hope the actual "hiking" portions of this book start taking center stage, otherwise I'm afraid I might put it down.

Good review. Hope you came to your senses and put it down. Gotta go now. My mother just died and I need to divorce my spouse, sleep with lots of women, shoot some heroin,hike the PCT, get a book deal, go on Oprah and prove that a self absorbed, highly educated and good looking woman can make it in this world! OMG, a man write this book it would not get published!
Can't wait for the movie!
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(BaseballNut @ Nov. 18 2012, 12:06 am)
QUOTE
I am reading this book right now. What a slog! I mean, she is a good writer I'll give her that, but the self pity "woe is me" attitude is just so friggin' annoying. I just have a really hard time feeling any empathy for her what-so-ever. I really hope the actual "hiking" portions of this book start taking center stage, otherwise I'm afraid I might put it down.

Good review. Hope you came to your senses and put it down. Gotta go now. My mother just died and I need to divorce my spouse, sleep with lots of women, shoot some heroin,hike the PCT, get a book deal, go on Oprah and prove that a self absorbed, highly educated and good looking woman can make it in this world! OMG, a man write this book it would not get published!
Can't wait for the movie!

yep

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Who has the copy of the book that was / is making the circulation round? I was on the list but I think either someone droppe the ball on forwarding the book to the next person or the list got lost.
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