Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review of Wild by Nature: From Siberia to Australia, Three Years Alone in the Wilderness on Foot by Sarah Marquis

I recently read Wild by Nature the English translation of the original French Sauvage par Nature written by Sarah Marquis.

I remember shortly after I finished my PCT record hike hearing about Sarah's remarkable 3 year pedestrian journey across Siberia, Asia, and Australia. I felt an incredible sense of awe at her accomplishment and thought, "My hike was nothing in comparison to that!"

Obviously, I was excited to get my hands on her book and read it.

Although I enjoyed it, I was somewhat disappointed. It was certainly an interesting story of her journey, but it seemed to lack depth of detail. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it seemed like the literary equivalent of trying to explain a vivid dream to someone else. More than once I felt like I was catching a tiny glimpse of the vibrancy of the experience she was describing, but then the words melted into vagueness.

Because of my own journeys, I was able to read between the lines and catch at the things she was seeking to describe. I also could identify with so many of the emotions and the circumstances. I enjoyed reading of her experiences and feeling a connection and a familiarity with them, even though they took place in other countries. There is an expression in Tanzania that says, "Same, same, but different." I often felt the sameness, even though the people and places were different.

Overall, I'd recommend the book to anyone who enjoys reading about adventure.

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