Wild (Movie Tie-in Edition): From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

By Cheryl Strayed
Read by Bernadette Dunne

13.03 Hours 03/20/2012 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9780307970305

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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Summary

Summary

Oprah Pick for Best Memoirs of a Generation

A #1 New York Times bestseller

A #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller

Winner of the 2013 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award

Winner of the 2012 Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Nonfiction

A 2012 Oprah’s Book Club Selection

Winner of the 2013 Indies Choice Book Award for Best Adult Nonfiction

A 2012 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Nonfiction

An 2012 NPR Best Book

Selected for the April 2012 Indie Next List

A Publishers Weekly bestseller

Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Nonfiction, 2012

A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, March 2012

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Stunning . . . An incredible journey, both inward and outward. Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain 
Strayed’s journey was as transcendent as it was turbulent. She faced down hunger, thirst, injury, fatigue, boredom, loss, bad weather, and wild animals. Yet she also reached new levels of joy, accomplishment, courage, peace, and found extraordinary companionship. Christian Science Monitor
A courageous and transforming journey—spirit and body. Ursula Hegi, author of Stones from the River
Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, proves she’s fearless: in life and in her writing…Searing…powerful…mesmerizing.” Publishers Weekly
This is a big, brave, break-your-heart-and-put-it-back-together-again kind of book. Cheryl Strayed is a courageous, gritty, and deceptively elegant writer. She walked the PCT to find forgiveness, came back with generosity—and now she shares her reward with us. I snorted with laughter, I wept uncontrollably; I don’t even want to know the person who isn’t going to love Wild. This is a beautifully made, utterly realized book. Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted and Cowboys Are My Weakness 
“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)
No one can write like Cheryl Strayed. Wild is one of the most unflinching and emotionally honest books I've read in a long time. It is about forgiveness and grief, bravery and hope. It is unforgettable. Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle
“A rich, riveting true story…Our verdict: Grade A.” Entertainment Weekly
Strayed writes a crisp scene; her sentences hum with energy. She can describe a trail-parched yearning for Snapple like no writer I know. She moves us briskly along the route, making discrete rest stops to parcel out her backstory. It becomes impossible not to root for her. Cleveland Plain Dealer
[A] vivid, touching and ultimately inspiring account of a life unraveling, and of the journey that put it back together. Wall Street Journal
In a style that embodies her wanderlust, Strayed transports us with this gripping, ultimately uplifting tale. Elle
Stunning . . . An incredible journey, both inward and outward. Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
In Wild, Strayed recounts the road to redemption—a road buried in snow, crawling with rattlers, and patrolled by bears—with humor and irrefutably hard-won wisdom. Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair 
Wild seamlessly intercuts Strayed’s occasionally harrowing adventures on the PCT—from bear sightings to the hot bartender she picks up in a trailside town—with recollections of her childhood and family, as well as postcard panoramas of the deserts, forests, and snowfields she traverses. Wild is a memoir that’s light on epiphany, but heavy on the importance of keeping moving—even when it’s hard. Even when your toenails keep falling off. . . . beautifully told. Alison Hallett, Portland Mercury 
How long is the journey to happiness? For Strayed, it was 1,100 miles. . . . Layered between tales of the trail are painful yet beautiful remembrances of the experiences that led her there: the heart-wrenching days spent at her dying mother’s bedside; the sadness and guilt she carried about her subsequent unraveling, which led to a divorce; and the attempts she made to escape these emotions through drugs, alcohol and men. . . . Though it’s easy to get lost among the cacophony of voices competing for attention in today’s memoir market, Wild rises above the clatter. Strayed is a brilliant storyteller with an extraordinary gift not only for language but also for sharing the wisdom she earned with each and every step. Spectacular. Kim Schmidt, American Way
After her mother died and her marriage fell apart, novelist Strayed impulsively decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mexican border to just below Canada, in a desperate attempt to regain her footing. With no hiking experience, too-small boots and a too-large backpack (she dubs it Monster), she soloed for three months, encountering rattlers and battling her terror of bears and mountain lions by singing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’ Strayed persevered through punishing loneliness, coping by digging deeper into her own psyche. . . . With grace, wild humor and transcendent insights, she describes her dawning awareness that hiking was making the pain in her life ‘the tiniest bit less hard,’ and as she begins to heal, she also discovers just how strong she really is. Strayed’s language is so vivid, sharp and compelling that you feel the heat of the desert, the frigid ice of the High Sierra and the breathtaking power of one remarkable woman finding her way—and herself—one brave step at a time. Four stars. Caroline Leavitt, People
[A] poignant, no-holds barred, kick-ass memoir that will grab you by the throat and shake you to your core. . . . Strayed seamlessly weaves events on the trail with memories, good and bad, that explain why this hike had to be. And so it goes, for 1,100 miles and three arduous months—through injuries, hunger, thirst, strangers met, kindnesses shown, ice and snow, some hilarity, much suffering, almost quitting and much learning. . . . this powerful and raw, deeply felt, often humorous, and beautifully written memoir turns hiking into an act of redemption and salvation. Shelf Awareness  
Strayed has enjoyed acclaim as an extraordinary essayist for 15 years. . . . Wild tells how, when she was 22 with her life in disarray, she impulsively decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone, from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon. The idea was that it might help her put things back together. Like the Adrienne Rich poem ‘Power’ that bolsters Strayed after the trail nearly breaks her on her first day out, Strayed has power in reserve. It used to take her younger self by surprise—like so many of her encounters and revelations along the trail. Strayed reclaimed herself with she claimed that power on the Pacific Crest Trail. Today, she owns it, and she knows how to use it. We’re feeling it now. Brian Juenemann, The Register-Guard 
Ardent. . . it is voice—fierce, billowing with energy, precise—that carries Wild. By turns both devastating and glorious, Strayed uses it to narrate her progress and setbacks on the trail and within herself, occasionally flashing back to fill in the events that brought her to this desperate traverse. . . . By laying bare a great unspoken truth of adulthood—that many things in life don’t turn out the way you want them to, and that you can and must live through them anyway—Wild feels real in ways that many books about ‘finding oneself’ do not. The hike, rewarding though it is, doesn’t heal Strayed. . . . Strayed waited close to 20 years to publish her story, and it shows. Though many of the things that happen to her are extreme—at one point she hikes in boots made entirely of duct tape—she never writes from a place of desperation in the kind of semi-edited purge state that has marred so many true stories in recent years. Such fine control over so many unfathomable, enormous experiences was no doubt hard-won. When she  finally reaches her destination, she’s completed her hike, but her mother is still dead, her marriage is still over, her family and home still lost forever. She spends $1.80 of her last $2 on an ice cream cone. The ice cream is wonderful, but it’s not the answer to anything, and she knows it. . . . Strayed is someone you want to listen to as she walks on. What she offers up are many, many new questions far more valuable than any platitudes about self-discovery, and it’s in these that the heart of her story lies. Melanie Rehak, Slate 
Cheryl Strayed was a novice hiker when she decided to embark on a solo trek along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), a scenic footpath that zigzags over the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains for 2,650 miles between Mexico and Canada. Her poetic memoir Wild opens with the impetus for her journey: the sudden death of her mother just 49 days after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Despondent an disoriented in the wake of her loss, Strayed self-destructs. . . . Not sure what she is in search of, she sets off for the PCT with a guidebook, a collection of poems and an ice ax she doesn’t yet know how to use. During the harrowing three-month journey that ensues, she starts to make sense of her loss . . . In this compelling chronicle, she does just that, meeting kindhearted fellow travelers along the way as well as two terrifying hunters, several rattlesnakes, a bull and, in the end, someone she can finally begin to admire: herself. Liz Welch, More
Raw, heartbreaking, humorous, ‘Wild’ is an apt title in many ways—evoking not just the pristine rugged-ness of [Strayed’s] 1,100-mile hike from the Mojave Desert in California to the Columbia River on Oregon’s northern edge, but also the untamed emotional landscape that Strayed is desperately trying to escape. In flashbacks along the trail, she relives the jagged memories she is fighting to outrun: abuse, adultery, and the death of her mother—a loss that left her so grief-stricken she once broke down and ate her mother’s cremated remains. . . . If the emotional baggage isn’t enough, there is the actual bag Strayed struggles to carry: a ridiculously enormous backpack so overloaded with nonessentials she dubs it ‘Monster’ and can hoist it only by finding ways to get her legs underneath it. Such bursts of levity come just often enough to blunt Wild’s darkest moments. Wild succeeds in reminding us that there’s always something to be learned from anyone who, however lost, keeps putting one foot in front of the other. Brian Barker, Portland Monthly Magazine
Strayed recounts her experience hiking the PCT after her mother’s death and her own subsequent divorce. . . . She takes readers with her on the trail, and the transformation she experiences on its course is significant: she goes from feeling out of her element with a too-big backpack and too-small boots to finding a sense of home in the wilderness and with the allies she meets along the way. Readers will appreciate her vivid descriptions of the natural wonders. Karen McCoy, Library Journal 
Shattered by the death of her mother and the breakup of her marriage in her mid-twenties, Strayed attempted to hike 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone as a way to piece herself back together after so much loss. . . . The portrait of her mother, a free spirit once married to an abusive man, is heartbreaking. As are her accounts of the extraordinary bonds that sprung up among hikers sharing provisions and offering help. Whole Living 
At 26, Cheryl Strayed realized she was lost. Divorced, still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, she made the radical decision to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail—from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington state—by herself. Her account of that journey is one of the most thrilling memoirs in years.  Why is Wild such a standout? For starters, there’s the tale’s sheer ballsiness: Strayed was an inexperienced hiker when she set out alone, unsure of how to read a compass.  When she lost her boots, she wrapped duct tape around her feet and kept hiking. It’s fascinating to imagine  Strayed taking on black bears and rattlesnakes and impassable snowfall (to say nothing of sexy, dark-haired guitar players and lecherous rednecks with knives). But more impressive is Strayed’s writing. Wild will undoubtedly be compared to Krakauer’s Into the Wild, but unlike its tragic cousin, Wild is not about an idealistic young person trying to escape the world. It’s about an idealistic young person learning to live within in. Reading Wild, you think: Here is a woman speaking in her own voice about trying to heal her soul—by getting her ass kicked in the woods. . . Clear, honest, and quietly riveting. Kimberly Cutter, Marie Claire 
After the untimely death of her beloved mother from cancer, Cheryl Strayed, 22 at the time, was left with an all-encompassing grief and a disintegrating marriage. Directionless and searching, an impromptu decision set her compass north. North from the Mojave Desert through California, north across Oregon, and north still through Washington state across the vast, beautiful, and unforgiving stretches of the Pacific Crest Trail. Having never gone backpacking before, Strayed embarked on an 1,100-mile, three-month solo hike that tested both her physical and mental endurance, and ultimately restored her sense of self. A deeply honest memoir about mother and daughter, solitude and courage, and regaining footing one step at a time. Antonina Jedrzejczak, Vogue 
“Spectacular…A literary and human triumph.” New York Times Book Review
“Incisive and telling…[Strayed] has the ineffable gift every writer longs for of saying exactly what she means in lines that are both succinct and poetic…An inborn talent for articulating angst and the gratefulness that comes when we overcome it.” Washington Post
“I was on the edge of my seat…It is just a wild ride of a read…Stimulating, thought-provoking, soul-enhancing.” Oprah Winfrey
“Strayed’s language is so vivid, sharp, and compelling that you feel the heat of the desert, the frigid ice of the High Sierra, and the breathtaking power of one remarkable woman finding her way—and herself—one brave step at a time.” People (4 stars)
“An addictive, gorgeous book that not only entertains, but leaves us the better for having read it…Strayed is a formidable talent.” Boston Globe
“Cinematic…A rich, riveting story.” Entertainment Weekly
“Brave seems like the right word to sum up this woman and her book…Strayed’s journey is exceptional.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Devastating and glorious…By laying bare a great unspoken truth of adulthood—that many things in life don’t turn out the way you want them to, and that you can and must live through them anyway—Wild feels real in many ways that many books about ‘finding oneself’…do not.” Slate
“A deeply honest memoir about mother and daughter, solitude and courage, and regaining footing one step at a time.” Vogue
“Vivid, touching, and ultimately inspiring account of a life unraveling and of the journey that put it back together.” Wall Street Journal
“Strayed…catalogs her epic hike…with a raw emotional power that makes the book difficult to put down…In walking, and finally, years later, in writing, Strayed finds her way again. And her path is as dazzlingly beautiful as it is tragic.” Los Angeles Times
“A fearless story, told in honest prose that is wildly lyrical as often as it is dirtily physical.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“This isn’t Cinderella in hiking boots, it’s a woman coming out of heartbreak, darkness, and bad decisions with a clear view of where she has been…There are adventures and characters aplenty, from heartwarming to dangerous, but Strayed resists the temptation to overplay or sweeten such moments. Her pacing is impeccable as she captures her impressive journey.” Seattle Times
“Strayed’s journey was at least as transcendent as it was turbulent. She faced down hunger, thirst, injury, fatigue, boredom, loss, bad weather, and wild animals. Yet she also reached new levels of joy, accomplishment, courage, peace, and found extraordinary companionship.” Christian Science Monitor
“Brilliant…Cheryl Strayed emerges from her grief-stricken journey as a practitioner of a rare and vital vocation. She has become an intrepid cartographer of the human heart.” Houston Chronicle
“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

Reviews

Reviews

by Lauren M 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Read it before the movie!

I really enjoyed this book. You’re re-living the heartbreak and drama of a rough time in the author’s life intertwined with her jumping headlong and ill-prepared into a PCT hike, which made for a great storytelling blend. The author is self-aware and doesn't pull punches about her past mistakes. It’s refreshing and real to hear someone tell their story so openly. I’m looking forward to the movie with Reese Witherspoon. This type of story with it’s personal narrative flashbacks and in-the-moment adventures is well suited to audio, and I think it’ll be a good fit for film as well. Well narrated and paced, definitely a memoir that doesn't drag too much.

Author

Author Bio: Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed is the author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail and Tiny Beautiful Things. Her stories and essays have been published in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, The Rumpus, the Missouri Review, Best American Essays, and elsewhere.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 13.03
Audience: Adult
Language: English