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#170012 - 10/01/12 10:12 AM Wild (Cheryl Strayed)
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
This is not the sort of book you read if you want to know about life on the trail.

If you like introspective and emotional journeys, this is good. But don't expect any info on the JMT section of the PCT - she skipped most of the Sierra. She doesn't include facts of the trail unless it presents an obstacle, like not having water for a forty mile stretch, or her horrible awful wrong-sized boots.

It's good to know REI will send you replacements if you are on the PCT and the boots don't fit right. (They never got the old ones back tho. She threw 'em off a cliff.)

(Also not a book for dedicated LNT folk.)
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#170014 - 10/01/12 11:20 AM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: lori]
Ewker Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Tennessee
Saying all of that do you think it is a good book or not?

Based on the reviews I have read most people enjoyed it. I have a few other books to read before I get this one for my kindle.

Sometimes a lot of books that talk about the trail all the time aren't that great.

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#170016 - 10/01/12 11:41 AM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: Ewker]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
It's a well written books. Good or not depends on your expectations.

I hiked myself back from a major loss as well - her experiences do not resemble mine, but I can relate.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#170018 - 10/01/12 12:34 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: lori]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 846
Loc: Michigan
I read the book and was not impressed. Note that it is just my opinion and others enjoyed the book. She realized that she had a drug problem yet she continued to use drugs. She realized that she had a problem with relationships with men yet she kept a large supply of condoms just in case she got a chance. It reminded me of the rock star who is viewed as a hero because they are trying to kick their drug use but has a relapse from time to time. It is like the teenage boy who brags that he can drink 6 beers and still satisfy three girls in one night. Again: This is MY opinion.

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#170019 - 10/01/12 12:59 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: GrumpyGord]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Let's just say this was a book I had difficulty setting aside the professional to read.

I'm a therapist.)
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#170026 - 10/01/12 04:02 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: lori]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I only looked at the book on the shelf, but her account of watching the sun rise over Mt. Hood while in the depths of Eagle Creek Canyon was, to say the least, a wee bit strange. As anyone knows who's been here, there is no view of Mt. Hood from down in Eagle Creek! Also, Mt. Hood is due south of there. That was more than enough to dissuade me from buying the book.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#170027 - 10/01/12 06:44 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1337
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Hey, if John Wayne can get the sun to set in the east in The Green Berets, anything is possible! (One of the most outstanding cinematic blunders I've ever seen - and I'm a big fan of the Duke.) smile

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#170029 - 10/01/12 08:40 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: OregonMouse]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
I only looked at the book on the shelf, but her account of watching the sun rise over Mt. Hood while in the depths of Eagle Creek Canyon was, to say the least, a wee bit strange. As anyone knows who's been here, there is no view of Mt. Hood from down in Eagle Creek! Also, Mt. Hood is due south of there. That was more than enough to dissuade me from buying the book.


I'm reading the book now. From her point of view, that was an accurate description. Maps and a compass were a mystery to her and she often didn't know where she was.

It's not a backpacking book. It's a personal journey book. I'm enjoying it. Still, it shows that someone who knows little about backpacking can have quite a journey.


Edited by Gershon (10/01/12 08:41 PM)
_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#170065 - 10/02/12 05:21 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: Glenn Roberts]
anicinabe Offline
member

Registered: 10/10/11
Posts: 61
Loc: Ohio
I love that scene...Proof that the Duke could move heaven and earth lol

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#170602 - 10/15/12 04:59 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: lori]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1143
Loc: Washington State, King County
I'm halfway through the book now, finally got it from my local library. My reactions are similar to what others have written here, which surprised me a bit given how popular the book has become. I don't think I'm well equipped to perceive the book in a typical way.

In addition to all the messed-up-life issues pre-hike, and some that came along on the hike, it just struck me how utterly unprepared she was. Certainly impressive to keep going with such handicaps, but my overall feeling is that anyone can have an "adventure" if they set their hand to something challenging with no meaningful planning or preparation.

I guess what bugs me is the level of angst and drama that then come out of that. The PCT can be a challenging trail at times, but mostly it really is just a lot of walking. Seeing a bear, almost stepping on a rattlesnake --- that stuff happens. Someone who hasn't hiked much might find that to be really dramatic. It really isn't. I've had the occasional dramatic moment on the trail, but to fill a book with such when you've hiked less than half of one such trail ... I think you have to overhype at least a bit.

First Bryson and now this. I wish thru-hiking books that become popular could be written by folks that actually thru-hike (hike the whole trail), and even better if they did it a bit more like a mature and intelligent person would. But perhaps it's those who come least prepared and have more trouble as a result that write the books that non-hikers can best relate to???

Maybe I'll like this book better as I get into the second half.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#170603 - 10/15/12 05:17 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: BrianLe]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Brought up in a panel discussion on gear trends at the recent ALDHA-West gathering (Brian, were you there?): Wishes on the part of the panelists that folks like Andrew Skurka and Justin Lichter would write about their adventures instead--per Ron Moak of Six Moon Designs, "Anyone can write a gear guide."
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#170607 - 10/15/12 06:01 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: OregonMouse]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Cheryl was on NPR last week, the Diane Rheem show.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170654 - 10/16/12 02:46 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: OregonMouse]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1143
Loc: Washington State, King County
Quote:
"Brought up in a panel discussion on gear trends at the recent ALDHA-West gathering (Brian, were you there?)"

I remember hearing that comment --- I was there. In fact, I've got proof! :-)
I'm the bald grey-bearded guy to the far right in the photo from this:
Stepping up into the ranks of Triple Crown hikers

I sort of agree with the comment, or rather, I agree that the field of gear-focused books by experienced hikers has become richly populated. The other thing about gear-focused guides is that they inevitably get out of date pretty quickly; just turn to almost any random page in a copy of "The Complete Walker" by Colin Fletcher for an example of this.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#170664 - 10/16/12 04:36 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: BrianLe]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I was the one who asked the last question of the panel (about spinnaker). I had to leave shortly thereafter so didn't get a chance to look around for familiar names on name tags.

I previously congratulated you on your CDT finish and the Triple Crown, but congrats for the award itself!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming....


Edited by OregonMouse (10/16/12 04:37 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#170719 - 10/18/12 11:26 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: lori]
MGtraildog Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/14/12
Posts: 7
Just finished this book. Wild is a good read. Its hiking alone from a womans perspective. Its about feelings, fears ,hopes- but then thats mostly what backpacking is- a chance to get away and work out the things in your head. Its a way to find out what and who you are.

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#170724 - 10/19/12 08:52 AM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: MGtraildog]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By MGtraildog
Just finished this book. Wild is a good read. Its hiking alone from a womans perspective. Its about feelings, fears ,hopes- but then thats mostly what backpacking is- a chance to get away and work out the things in your head. Its a way to find out what and who you are.


It's not about hiking. That's the funny thing.

I was a bit disappointed, frankly, that it wasn't more about the hiking. A friend told me about it, I bought it, and then he confessed later on that he skipped whole sections of the book about her past.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#170730 - 10/19/12 11:25 AM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: lori]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1143
Loc: Washington State, King County
My wife started reading it and despite somewhat-negative comments from me beforehand, she's enjoying it.

I think this might be a bit like sight-impaired people encountering an elephant. We come at something like this from different vectors, with differing expectations. With my sort of unconscious expectations and backgrounds, I was far from impressed, but given where it is on the best-seller list and my own spouses impression so far, clearly there are a lot of people who like the book!
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#170732 - 10/19/12 12:16 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: BrianLe]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 846
Loc: Michigan
I may have to read the book again to see if I missed something. Looking at it as a hiker I was disappointed because it was not really about hiking. As a book about confronting your personal problems it seemed to me that she ended the hike with pretty much the same problems that she had when she started. It looked like her outlook changed quite a while after the hike and not necessarily because of the hike. YMMV

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#171019 - 10/28/12 01:40 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: GrumpyGord]
rionada Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 493
Loc: Hervey Bay, QLD Australia
I just finished it and I have to agree with most that it's not really about the hiking - it's about her personal problems (of which there are many - mostly self inflicted IMO).

It was actually a combination of humorous and painful to read about her gear. I kept thinking "when is she going to ditch those ridiculous boots?". It was clear that the size of the boot wasn't the problem - it was the lack of preparation to ensure that what she put on her feet would be durable and COMFORTABLE. And then, of course, there was the issue of pack weight...

All in all I found it worth reading, but not by much.
_________________________
i really don't think that applies to me.

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#171026 - 10/28/12 04:17 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: BrianLe]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Brian- YOU are the logical one to write a book about the real experiences of thru-hiking! I really enjoyed reading your journals. I would buy a book written by you.

We are a nation addicted to spill your guts, everything done wrong books. It is unfortunate that well planned, well executed aventures are considered "boring". I read the Bryson book and did not like it. I have not read "Wild". Not my type of reading, even if the setting were something other than backpacking. I really feel these sensational books written by people who do not even finish the trail belittle the many who are successful.

Same with most climbing books (and more so movies). The poorest planned expeditions tend to turn into epics and those who come out of it alive then write a book. I am just not into rewarding stupidity. The worst climbing movies are the ones about Everest expeditions. And who can forget Sylvester Stallone in the Alps! How rediculous.

It takes a very skilled writer to chronical the "ordinary" and make that a true epic adventure. Every person who has completed a thru-hike has a history, hopes, fears, obstacles overcome, insights, revelations, moments of suspense and introspection.

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#171030 - 10/28/12 08:37 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: MGtraildog]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By MGtraildog
Just finished this book. Wild is a good read. Its hiking alone from a womans perspective. Its about feelings, fears ,hopes- but then thats mostly what backpacking is- a chance to get away and work out the things in your head. Its a way to find out what and who you are.


I'm responding again to comment - as a woman, and a backpacker, I have a completely different perspective than Cheryl Strayed, who was not a backpacker, and a mentally ill woman.

At least, she was when she did the hike. She may or may not be struggling with the same issues currently. I'd hope that she is not because her behavior and her wildly fluctuating emotional state, which directly influenced her decision making process, can't be much fun to deal with...

Backpacking for me is NOT about fears, hopes and etc. It's what I do to go home.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#171035 - 10/28/12 11:53 PM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: lori]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Lori- I could not agree with you more! Turning inward or trying to figure out what's wrong with my life is the LAST thing on my mind when backpacking. It is pure escapism. I am 100% focused on my surroundings and simply "doing". I "feel" my surroundings with such a heightened awareness that I become the mountains. When younger I used to think I would figure out grand things when backpacking but it has never happened - way too into the experience, the moment. My mind actually becomes incapable of huge philosophical thought - from an intellectual standpoing it sort of turns to mush. I become a pretty simple person - eat, walk, sleep, feel sunshine on my skin, route-find, watch my step, observe everything, camp chores.

PS Lori, I would have thought that you would have been sent out on the search and rescue going on.

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#171038 - 10/29/12 12:51 AM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: wandering_daisy]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1143
Loc: Washington State, King County
I think there are just a whole lot of books out there already that boil down to "the story of my thru-hike", and every year I'm pretty sure that more people who do a thru-hike feel the urge to write yet another book about it. It's such an amazing experience for them that it's easy to overlook the fact that hundreds of people do a multi-month thru-hike every year.

Maybe the CDT could use another book (and/or film); there are a ton for the AT and quite a number for the PCT too. Unless you're a known author (like Bryson) or manage somehow to get good marketing (Strayed), I don't think there's likely to be a very good market for such. The right author with the right approach might well prove me wrong (and I hope so).

I'd say also that writing is a craft that for at least most people takes a great deal of work and practice to even begin to get good at. I think I'm just smart enough to know that I can't sit down and casually dash off the great American novel on my first try --- far from it.

All that said, I have been working on a different kind of book, partly as a sort of bucket-list thing and partly because I see at least a small niche available that perhaps even I can do at least an okay job at (?). The great thing about the age of ePublishing is that the barriers to becoming an "author" are much lower. The awful thing about it is the same thing of course --- with the result that a whole lot of poorly conceived, poorly written, and/or poorly (or just not) edited "books" are out there now in the ePublishing world.

I'm hoping to add one to that ocean by the end of this year. A fun project anyway!
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#171048 - 10/29/12 06:26 AM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: BrianLe]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Brian,

I read a good bit of one of your journals which is online someplace. It would be a good book just the way it is with very little editing. If you want any help with mechanics of publishing on Amazon, let me know.

Don't expect to get rich. but it's fun to watch the little royalties trickle in.
_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#171053 - 10/29/12 10:16 AM Re: Wild (Cheryl Strayed) [Re: wandering_daisy]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
If you mean the one in SEKI, they haven't called for mutual aid help, and I'm not part of either the SEKI or Inyo team.

There is an active search going in Sierra National Forest out of Courtright as well - the trouble is that I am not able to commit to three days of search due to work obligations, and they are requiring it.

Send out your prayers to all the search teams currently deployed - weather is coming, and while volunteers will be pulled out if it gets bad they are still looking. They are racing to beat the weather and need to find those two subjects.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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