Book Review: ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed

*Written in 2014.

Being someone that wants to do some long distance hiking in the future, primarily the Appalachian Trail, I really felt the need to read this book.

Granted, the author hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, which seems even more challenging and treacherous. Regardless, I wanted to really feel and read through an intimate account of someone else’s experience doing this for the first time.

Cheryl Strayed’s Wild is an insanely fantastic book. It is certainly an intimate and thorough account of her journey, not just on the Pacific Crest Trail, but in discovering herself.

Leading up to her journey, her life was wrecked by several events: the death of her mother, the failure of her marriage to a man she still loved, the loss of family members in her life, the loss of her favorite horse in a very violent manner, as well as a cocktail of drug abuse and infidelity. In the end, she needed an escape and a way to rediscover herself. The answer for her was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: a journey that she was underprepared for but went on to survive.

Cheryl’s tales are pretty amazing. She encounters bulls, rattlesnakes, bears, insane snow, dangerous icy mountains, starvation, dehydration, as well as severely sore and mangled feet. She also meets a lot of interesting characters and goes on to discuss her time with these people in great detail. The characters in this book really come to life, not because they are actually real but because their voices are each unique and different and well recreated.

This is one of the better books that I have read this year. In fact, I’ve found myself reading it a bit slower than usual, in order to really take it all in. I guess I can look forward to the fact that this is being adapted to film and should be released later this year.

Rating: 9/10
Pairs well with: A Walk In the Woods and Appalachian Trials.

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