Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Book Review - Wild
I downloaded the Oprah bookclub version onto my Nook. One of the first things I noticed as I read through it was highlights done by Oprah. Okay - so these statements/passages were interesting to her or caught her attention, but the heavy highlighting came through as nearly black on my Nook (I have the 1st generation). Lately I sometimes need reading glasses to help me see the words, and with the "highlighting" - it was difficult - even with the glasses (just a personal pet peeve).. probably on a tablet it came through differently.
As to the book itself - overall I enjoyed it. I knew it wasn't going to be humorous like Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods", but also didn't expect her to be a heroin user and at times sex seemed to be the only thought she had - including while she was on the trail (although I do understand she had just experienced the death of her mother - just didn't expect those thoughts while on the trail though). The book begins at a very sad point in her life & I cried right along with her. I did like how she named her pack Monster - that pack was a challenge of its own. There were a couple of places that I totally skipped (Lady's death) just because I didn't want to cry again. Throughout the hike she realizes how unprepared she was for that undertaking (which is an understatement) - she was extremely lucky several times throughout that summer to receive help from kind strangers & even avoided being possibly molested (being a woman alone on the trail was good/bad in her case); I was surprised how she thought $20 would last her from point A to point B - I don't go on those types of hikes, and knew she underestimated her needs. I really thought at one point she would stop in one of the small towns for a while & work as a waitress to get her a few more dollars in her pocket.
I'm glad it was a positive life experience for her & she went on to live a good life, find love & be able to reflect back on the experience to write the book. There were a few things I wished she would have included more of/better descriptions:
- ability to see the other hikers in my mind's eye (her descriptions of them were lacking a bit, or maybe I was reading too quickly)
- she carried her camera all those miles, what/who did she take pictures of? I would have liked to have seen some of those included in the book
- she carried a notebook/journal - some of those actual pages would have been interesting to see - her raw feelings of the day
- did her feet ever recover completely? (Trivial I know - but at times it was the trail vs her feet)
- did her & her siblings ever grow close again? what about Paul whom she felt was her best friend?
(Book cover image lifted from internet)