Wild has been on my To Be Read list for such a while. I bought it on my Kindle when it was on offer and so I bought it. It took another few months to work up to reading it and literally 3 months to read! I admit I cheated on it a bit and read two books in between because I needed a break from the book to read other things. Reading the book was my own wee adventure.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed is an autobiographical book detailing Strayed’s 1000 miles long trek along the Pacific North Trail. Okay, when I first read the blurb I thought, okay a book about walking… fun! I wasn’t initially sold. It wasn’t until I watched the Gilmore Girls Revival and Lorelai Gilmore goes on her adventure to recreate it that I thought hmm maybe there is more to the book. This did, however, mean that when I started reading the book all I could do was picture Lorelai Gilmore as Cheryl Strayed.
Some may call Strayed inspiring others would say irresponsible, going on a massive hike with so little experience. However, this is what makes the story interesting. What Strayed doesn’t have in hiking experience she has in other life experience. She’s gone through a lot of heartaches, bereavement, drug addiction and divorce and that was just in a few years before taking on the PCT. The book follows a nonlinear timeline, with flashbacks to significant times in her life and how that has impacted her life. It is these flashbacks that are the redeeming features of the book. I did find at times the book a little slow. I was speaking to my mum about this when I was halfway through the book, and she says she really enjoyed the book because she was about to start an adventure touring Scotland, so I can get it from that perspective.
Strayed is a likable character although at times you think, what are you doing?! It’s the same relationship I suppose I have with Lorelai Gilmore. At times you admire her at other times you are frustrated with her. In this case, however, some parts of the story almost sound too mad to be true! Even though they are. I think I like mostly the journey that Strayed takes in her own grief and there are some qualities in her actions that anyone who has lost a loved one can totally relate to.
After reading the book, I apprehensively decided to watch the film. Starring Reece Witherspoon, as Cheryl, I didn’t know how this would pan out. However, she did a really good job of portraying Cheryl. Films never live up to the book. I knew that going into the film and so my expectations were low. However, the film was actually quite good. There weren’t too many differences in the plot, at least nothing totally major that changed the story. Ultimately I would argue watching the film had about the same impact on me as the book. It was good but I probably wouldn’t watch it again. I am not sure if I would recommend Wild, it was okay. Although not groundbreaking I think it is a good read if you are needing some inspiration about tackling a challenging task. Although arguably, the film is just as good!
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