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Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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phoenixrivers posted 4/4/2013 19:48 PM

The book is an Oprah's choice and was on the NY Times bestseller list at #1 for a time in 2012. I am triggered by it and see the attention the author has gotten for it as being out of proportion to the behavior which she describes (serial cheating while married at 19, casual sex with strangers including a man who introduced her to herion). Has anyone read the book and come away with a different perspective?

authenticnow posted 4/4/2013 21:07 PM

I read it and really liked it. She was very honest about her self-destructive behaviors and her emotional downward spiral. I thought she showed her vulnerabilities and flaws and didn't sugarcoat what she did.

What do you mean by the attention she got for the book as being out of proportion to her behavior?

rachelc posted 4/5/2013 08:29 AM

I read it - well parts of it - found it boring and abandoned it...
It came highly reviewed and I was disappointed. Her voice is pretty authentic though...

phoenixrivers posted 4/5/2013 08:51 AM

By "out of proportion" I meant that the book is a best seller. I can think of behavior that would warrant a lot more positive attention. For example, Virginia Satir was a social worker who suffered abuse as a child and was able to overcome it without reference to heroin addiction, going on a trip after divorcing her husband nor abandoning her responsibilities. Yet I doubt few outside the therapeutic community know who she is (Oprah, for one), despite having published numerous texts on the subject. For Strayed to be a NY Times best seller illustrates to me how mainstream her behavior seems to be and how celebrated her shallow introspection has come to be seen as therapeutic.

authenticnow posted 4/5/2013 13:05 PM

I understand what you're saying.

I didn't look at it as much celebrated as, people can relate to it. Drug addiction, infidelity, falling to pieces when a parent dies, not loving oneself...I think many people can, sadly, relate to one, if not more, of these issues.

I think people are interested in how the emotional processes work. It doesn't mean they're 'on board' with them or celebrating them, it's just interesting reading for some.

rachelc posted 4/5/2013 14:19 PM

loved her Dear Sugar book - like a compilation of Dear Abby letters...
good advice for wayward spouses in there.

phoenixrivers posted 4/5/2013 18:23 PM

authenticnow, I'm glad you don't seem too put out with my assessment of Wild. In reading your profile, I found the work you've done and the insight you've shared to be superior in tone and honesty to anything in Wild. Frankly I think your story would make a much better book. Think about it.

authenticnow posted 4/5/2013 19:27 PM

Phoenixrivers,

Thanks. I was thinking the same thing---hoping that you'd take my comments for what they were, simply my opinion, and I completely saw where you were coming from.

As far as writing a book, I'd have to use a pseudonym, for sure, and I'd probably make myself 5'7 and blonde .

phoenixrivers posted 4/6/2013 09:51 AM

authenticnow,

Me too. Have fun guessing what parts I'm referring to!

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