Rating ***** (5 stars) This is one book that I saw the movie before I read the book. I actually saw the movie years ago when it was out. It was a random decision when I happened to have a day of work and decided to go see a movie. It is not something that happens often to me. I wanted to read the book since that day. Then I did not. I finally managed to pick it up this year. In many ways I am glad that I waited, the movie was only a distant memory allowing me to focus on the book as a book.
This book is a memoir, and I adore memoirs. The great aspect of memoirs is that the people in them are far from perfect. No perfect person has material to actually write an engaging memoir. Although, there is no perfect person. If we wrote out our lives we would all be a mess to some degree or other. Strayed may be a bit more of a mess. She is young, impulsive, and alone. So, she does what any irrational person would do and decides to hike the Pacific Coast Trail with no experience.
I found the writing engaging, I think her flow worked out beautiful. I was drawn into Strayed's personal struggles, her really bad choices, and her hiking experiences. She drew on her emotions from the event and presented them in a raw open way. I enjoyed every aspect of this novel.
I also admit that it made me want to go hiking. Not crazy outdoor backpacking, but getting back into nature away from the reality of the world.
Augusten Burroughs is one of my favorite authors. He is raw with exceptional writing, and he makes me feel less bad about my childhood.
I am not exactly sure why I picked up his book on Christmas in late February. I think it was seeing the santa on the cover about to flash everyone. Yet I did pick it up, and finished it.
This book is unique from burroughs other works. It is a collection of short stories that focus on his memories of Christmas. The stories are told chronologically starting when he was a child to closer to adulthood.
This is not my favorite novel by Burroughs. At times it becomes quite crude. I had to stop listening to it at work as I wouldn't have wanted anyone to accidently hear. Specifically I have a hard time with the story about him sleeping with an older gentleman in a santa suit after a heavy night of drinking. After finishing the novel I see a more complete picture of the events. It was a not great period in his life, and the stories represent that.
Trevor Noah is one of the few non-book YouTube channels that I watch. When I saw that he released a memoir I purchased it right away. This book is the story of Noah's childhood in Africa. He was born to a European father and an African mother during the Apartheid where his birth was a crime. The book is a story of his life, what it was like to live in South Africa between cultures. Unlike most comedian memoirs this book is not funny. There are parts that are humorous, but it was not to give a comedic perspective of his life. Rather, I found it more informative. I wonder if it is a response to him seeing what is happening in America and wanting to bring awareness. Even if that was not the intention, it is what I took away from the book.
The book itself is extremely well written. Noah's voice is apparent in the book. The narration was captivating. It was mostly chronological with some skipping back and forth between sections of his life. It was very easy to picture his family, his home, and his childhood. Noah has an amazing way of telling a story that captures you and keeps you going for the entire tale.
This site may contain affiliate links, these links refer back to products. They do not cost the consumer any additional money. They do help fund the blog. In addition, some books may be provided to the site for free in exchange for an honest review, others come from the library, others are obtained for free off Amazon, some come from my private purchase. Regardless of how the books were obtained all reviews are my honest opinion.