this seems to be the main review for Wild
, a tersely-written, strong work that reveals a very strong personality's 1000-mile hike of the Pacific Coast Trail. the 2012 Goodreads reader's choice award and an Oprah Book Club pick, Wild is fairly clearly a "I am woman, hear me roar" genre pick, but also something in the tradition of long hike books-- [[book: A Walk Across America]] comes to mind, though set in the late 1990s with a young female narrator.
Strayed's key strength is her toughness of mind. she declares in matter of fact tones what would otherwise be person-shattering experiences, i.e., having a mother who keeps her three children in a michigan 2-by-4 house in the woods without running water, and to some degree we read news of Strayed's election to student council or homecoming queenhood as a reaction to this sort of irregular upbringing. comments on heroin which to a high-strung artist would be the obsession of an entire work is to Strayed, oh god, I casually go hooked, and then I decided it wasn't sensible.
much the same tone and attitude mark Strayed's casual decision to hike a thousand miles, and nature's unforgiving attitude towards this flippancy begins on mile 1, where Strayed's gigantic pack including three books, ten contraceptives, and various other luxuries begins to immediately pay a toll on the health of her shoulders. others would give up at this point; still others might consider discarding some of the pack, but Strayed is in the game for the full thousand miles, (roughly half the trail), and the toenails start coming off...
not wanting to spoil the book, I will note that "strong women", obviously, is one of Oprah's main points of interest, and although we can all see the marketing blitz and online advertising selling this work, it certainly deserves a 4/5 or possibly higher, and is written evocatively and well.