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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty, engaging account
This witty story will appeal to readers of Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods", essentially being the equivalent story on the other coast of the US. Dan White doesn't have Bryson's panache, but his story is engaging enough to paper over the cracks there - and, unlike the other book, there is a real sense of the emotional journey as well as the physical. Would love to...
Published on 23 May 2011 by Charlie Ntamark

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not always so entertaining
A bit more about the trail and a little less of an insight into the crazy world of the authors head would have been nice. There are genuinely funny parts along the way, and the author shows a willingness to paint him self in a bad light but he often comes across as petty, if not cruel, and parts that I suspect were meant to be humerous just left me cold.
Still an...
Published on 20 Aug 2011 by Maxieduncan


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty, engaging account, 23 May 2011
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This witty story will appeal to readers of Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods", essentially being the equivalent story on the other coast of the US. Dan White doesn't have Bryson's panache, but his story is engaging enough to paper over the cracks there - and, unlike the other book, there is a real sense of the emotional journey as well as the physical. Would love to read more from this author but can't find anything!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A travelling Woody Allen?, 29 Jun 2012
By 
Ce Moore - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind - and Almost Found Myself - on the Pacific Crest Trail (P.S.) (Paperback)
This is a journey that turns into a confession... the landscape in which the story is set is impressive, the adventures are plentiful and the human side of the story shocking.
Dan is a travelling Woody Allen: he's both funny and self-obsessed, and like Woody, he's clever enough to disguise his self-serving nature behind a thick layer of good manners and human insights.
I cannot say that I liked the outcome of the story but I have to admit that the story is well written and gripping: what more should a reader want? Heroes too? Why not?
Dan is not a heroe, he's just human, and maybe not even of the best kind...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not always so entertaining, 20 Aug 2011
A bit more about the trail and a little less of an insight into the crazy world of the authors head would have been nice. There are genuinely funny parts along the way, and the author shows a willingness to paint him self in a bad light but he often comes across as petty, if not cruel, and parts that I suspect were meant to be humerous just left me cold.
Still an entertaining read and one that ultimately I did enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An inner journey of 2,650 miles, 19 Jun 2010
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind - and Almost Found Myself - on the Pacific Crest Trail (P.S.) (Paperback)
"Socialization is a series of corrective electrical shocks administered for bad behavior. You learn from experience not to babble to yourself or say idiotic things that will bring cocktail parties to a standstill or make your girlfriend bar the door to her bedroom. In the woods, all corrections cease, and peculiar tendencies grow thick as kudzu." - Dan White, on the Pacific Crest Trail experience

The Pacific Crest Trail stretches 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada across California, Oregon and Washington. Approximately 300 people attempt the entire rout each year; approximately 60% succeed. At 20 miles per day, it'll take the average hiker ... well, longer than a 4-day weekend. Author Dan White and his girlfriend Allison gave it a go.

THE CACTUS EATERS is an armchair travel essay for those like me whose best effort to date is a blithe 5-mile skip down the Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Trail - and then a 5-mile haul back up 3,000+ feet of elevation - in a single day. While no couch potato, I'm a lump compared to a PCT trekker.

Though the Trail passes through King's Canyon N.P., Devil's Postpile N.M., Yosemite N.P., Lassen Volcanic N.P., Crater lake N.P., the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Rainier N.P., North Cascades N.P., and more scenic wilderness areas than you can shake a walking stick at, don't think for a moment that White's narrative is a scenic tour for the mind's eye. While Dan expressively and humorously describes the predicaments and hardships of the trail - heat, dehydration, dirt, unwashed body stink, giardia infection, hungry bears, tick infestation, cactus spines, eccentric fellow hikers, clogged water filters - his description of natural wonders is pedestrian at best. Rather, THE CACTUS EATERS eloquently reveals the author's inner, personal evolution from being an unaccomplished, insecure nebbish to a nebbish that finished what the vast majority of people wouldn't even attempt. For that, an undeniable honor is due. (Mind you, White's nebbishness is expressed with such self-deprecatory candor that it translates to a certain charm.)

Though the author lugged an elaborate camera over hill and dale, the lack of any photo section is perhaps the book's biggest shortcoming. Indeed, the absence of even a single picture of his faithful, intrepid, and long-suffering companion, Allison, is astounding. Did she not give permission for such to be included, or is White so self-absorbed that it didn't enter his mind to include one? If the latter, it would indicate a boorish thoughtlessness that relegates him to the category of Jerk. In any case, I'm knocking off a star for that solitary, unforgivable omission.

THE CACTUS EATERS is an engaging testament to what an individual can accomplish given sufficient motivation and too much free time. In its paperback format, it might even be compact and light enough to toss in the backpack for the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!, 17 July 2008
By 
Teresa (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind - and Almost Found Myself - on the Pacific Crest Trail (P.S.) (Paperback)
I bought this book in a book store in Houston, Texas, USA. I was on holiday and needed something to read for my flight home. I picked the book up and slightly concerned, thought to myself why would anybody choose to walk from Mexico to Canada? I had to find out.

Once into the first few pages, I was instantly addicted and captivated.

Walking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) - the foot path from Mexico to Canada - is serious stuff, the book is so well written and so full of humour, that at times you forget the dangers that the author finds himself in.

This book is very funny, every page was hilarious. You are introduced to other PCT hikers along the way, each with thier own stories to tell.

I would recommend this book to everyone. It was a fabulous read. I have never felt so strongly about a book before. This book will not disappoint.

Enjoy the walk! I did.
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