For The Bookies, my IRL Book Club.
I first wanted to read it after hearing about it on The Sophisticated Dork’s blog where she raved about it to the positive. I had just finished the audio of Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and had been wondering if women ever went on these quests for spiritual enlightenment – not that that is specifically what Into the Wild is all about – only speculated – nor that Wild is about a female wanderer attempting to get away from it all. Still, I thought they might be good companion reads.
Second, Oprah opens up her book club again and selects this book.
Then, our book club selected it. I admit to being rather eager to vote for this.
I chose audio because I am really enjoying the ability to ‘read’ books AND do other things like mow the lawn. Audiobook-reading is the BEST!
It’s about how this young woman who was having trouble getting over the death of her mother from cancer decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
However, upon announcing to Twitter that I was now beginning Wild on audio, the feedback was less than flattering; I got the impression it was lots of sex and too much poor-me whining.
For the record, I did think she was incredibly stupid for embarking on this journey so woefully unprepared. Who gets to the start of the path and hasn’t even ever figured out how to fill her backpack and whether or not you can lift it? Seriously?!
On one hand, she did try to move on and get her life back on a more healthy track despite being a slut and a heroin addict. But on the other, she slept around heedlessly and she screwed up her marriage to what seemed like a helluva nice guy. A point in her favor was that her reading choices were eclectic and inspired. And she did manage to plan for care packages to be mailed to stops along the trail – that showed forethought. And packing all those condoms for the trip could be construed as responsible planning. “Be prepared” is a good-motto. However, filling her campstove with the incorrect fuel was boneheaded.
Yes, sex is mentioned a LOT, but she didn’t really have but one hook-up along the PCT. Yes, I was keeping count.
I just failed to get a sense of how arduous and amazing it could be to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Sure, she complained about her toe nails falling off and her letting the boots fall off the cliff. It was hot, it got cold. She admired the deer who bounded into her path and the lovely massage from the frogs. She avoided getting snake bit – yay! But the trail, I wanted more of the trail.
This review is sounding almost as negative as the impression I got beforehand but I didn’t find it all that bad. It was easy to listen to. The narrator’s voice was believable and engaged.
She had adventures and she survived. Many people think she was incredibly brave.
As for it being a female companion read to the male psyche of Christopher McCandless and his Alaska Odyssey? um, NOT REALLY.
For a great review and 5-star rating from a friend whose opinion I value, read Kim’s at Sophisticated Dorkiness.
For a quick review from another blogger who often charms and delights (warning, she wasn’t impressed), try Softdrink’s at Fizzy Thoughts.