Also, who hasn’t seen the Wild book cover and thought “Huh, that sounds cool.”
I’ve put off reading this for a long time because, frankly, it was made into a movie and the access to the film, even if I haven’t seen it, trampled my personal hunger to read the book until I saw the spine at the library.
I’m extremely picky about books being made into movies. If I’ve read a book, love a book, had a piece of my soul crushed up and put back together by a book, held it to my chest and I was done and kissed the cover and thought thank you, thank you, thank you after reading a book, it causes me great distress to think about how my personal experience will convey into a film. Example: I’d read The Perks of Being a Wallflower a few times prior to the movie being made. I had the entire vision for how the characters looked, how they acted, their voices and hair and clothing. Those things become so particular to each individual and it is difficult for me to reconcile watching a film and those details changing. It feels like bits of heartbreak.
Perks was a great movie, extremely loyal to the book, but still. It changed my memory of experiencing the book. However, I do enjoy the reversal–I like reading a book after watching a film. Of course you know what is going to happen, but there’s a richness to the writing that provides the extra layer of understanding and wonder. The Fault In Our Stars was like that for me–I saw the movie, loved it, read the book, and loved it harder.
Anyway, I’m reading Wild and it’s a rich, decadent experience. Strayed’s voice is so approachable, I feel like I’m walking with her. She captures the minutia of everyday experiences of what one would perceive to be redundant events–for example, a paragraph or two spent on the random jingles she would get stuck in her head from commercials while she hiked. Thinking about songs and trying to remember the words and all of those goofy, strange things one does when they don’t talk for an extended amount of time and the mind wanders.
One of my favorite experiences this far reading Wild is the following paragraph, which has nothing to do with trails or hiking or movies or books, it just made me not feel so alone on bad days:
“Paul and I fought and cried and shook the car with our rage. We were monstrous in our cruelty and then we talked kindly afterward, shocked at each other and ourselves. We decided that we would get divorced and then that we would not. I hated him and I loved him. With him I felt trapped, branded, held, and beloved. Like a daughter.” (55)