Rabid, the book

Rabid the book cover

In 2013, during a 5 month period, Libby Zangle hiked all 2,663 miles of the 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail. In 2014 she published Rabid: The Pacific Crest Tail. ‘Cause Therapy Ain’t Working. There was no endorsement from Oprah; Rabid is not on any best seller list. Libby isn’t famous. She isn’t a hero.

If this paragraph sounds familiar to you, then you read my post Wild, the book, where I wrote:

In 1995, during a 3 month period, Cheryl Strayed hiked 1,100 miles of the 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail. In 2012 she published Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. After an endorsement from Oprah, Wild topped the best seller lists. Cheryl became famous. She is a hero to many people.

There is no similarity between either women or either book.


wild and rabid covers

Unlike Strayed, Zangle was an experienced backpacker when she started the PCT, she hiked the entire trail, she wasn’t a drug abuser, she wasn’t a promiscuous whore, she had no internal demons, she had a good relationship with her parents, she finished college, she was between jobs, she had money in the bank and a stock portfolio.

A strange thing happened to Zangle on the PCT. Non-thru-hikers assumed that because she was a woman hiking the trail alone, she must be just like Strayed. They would ask her if she was hiking the trail because of Strayed’s book. Zangle had never even heard about the book until after she started her hike.

Based on the crazy questions people would ask her, she decided Wild must be about a whacked out person, and before she finished the trail or even read the book, she decided to write a parody of Wild.

Rabid, the book is that parody. Zangle, like Strayed, begins the book in Tehachapi, California, the starting point of Strayed’s hike, although Zangle’s hike started in Campo, hundreds of miles south and the actual starting point of the PCT.

The passages in Strayed’s book that I really hated are the same ones Zangle recounts in paradoxical form.

I don’t know if Zangle is the author’s real name or if she really hiked the PCT, but I am fairly certain she did. There is too much in the book that is accurate and would written by an actual thru-hiker.

The book is a quick read and it is hilarious.

If you have never done a long hike and/or didn’t read Wild, you won’t “get it.” If you liked Wild, don’t read Rabid – you won’t like. If you are a long distance backpacker and hated Wild, you are going to love Rabid.

Just like a DVD that has bonus sections, the last chapter in Rabid is a “Bonus Chapter.” It is Zangle’s hike through Washington state, another section Strayed didn’t walk, but Zangle did. It is a nice finishing touch.

Unlike Wild, the only place you can buy Zangle’s book is on Amazon as a Kindle edition. If you want more information, as usual, Google is your friend.

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