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Into the Wild
Into the Wild
Author: Jon Krakauer
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four mo...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780385486804
ISBN-10: 0385486804
Publication Date: 2/1997
Pages: 207
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 1062 ratings
Publisher: Anchor
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Into the Wild on + 121 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
As usual, a thoroughly enjoyable and thoughful non-fiction book by Jon Krakauer. I read anything by this author. I have never been disappointed yet. In this book, Krakauer covers the sad, true tale of a young adventurer who pushed himself until he died. Krakauer wrote the original article about Chris McCandless in Outside Magazine before he went on to write this book. He does a good job of piecing together the last 2 years of Chris' life by throrough research, speaking with his family and anyone who was in contact with Chris, and actually going to the places covered by Chris in his travels. Krakauer also devotes a couple of chapters to his own wonderlust as a young man in attempting to climb a mountain. I found this to be very interesting as well, having already read Into Thin Air, about Krakauer's climbing of Mt. Everest during a tragedy filled season which killed 7 climbers.
reviewed Into the Wild on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Really touching and sad story of a upper middle class young man who in 1992 went into the wilderness of Alaska with a desire to live off the land. And he did, however at the end of summer, his body was found in an abandoned bus where he apparently died of starvation. The author, Jon Krakauer bases the story on his own experiences and Chris McCandless's journal found in the bus. The story reminds me of times in my own adolesence when I had a romantic view of living in the wild, living off the land, the thoughts that I could accomplish anything. Good read. It is now a movie also, which I have yet to see.
reviewed Into the Wild on
Helpful Score: 8
Christopher McCandless goes into the wild but does not come back alive.

Such extreme personalities always seem to intrigue the adventure seeking mountain climber Krakauer, so true-to-form he investigates and reconstructs McCandless back story to delve into the hanging questions. What compels McCandless, a young man with apparently everything going for him, to discard anything he can't carry on his back and to head off into the wilds of Alaska? And what might he have learned?

Jon Krakauer knows how to write a compelling investigative story. Short read, engaging, but not a classic or Krakauer's best. Sean Penn directs an even better movie based on his own adaptation of story.
NYbooks avatar reviewed Into the Wild on + 97 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
* * * ½* . Looks into the trip a young man foolishishly took into the Alaskan wilderness uneqipped. The book attempts to examine his actions by comparing it with other famous excursions with similar fates, and gives an explanation into the irony of his untimely demise.

I could have done without the author's personal reflections regarding his own near death experiences. Nonetheless, the book is still a deep, brooding work.
reviewed Into the Wild on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A little slow in the middle but an interesting look at the innerworkings of a man's mind and heart as he goes to / runs from something bigger than himself. The author's life and similar circumstances perhaps shed some light on a true mystery: why did Chris McCandless die in Alaska?
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perryfran avatar reviewed Into the Wild on + 1199 more book reviews
My wife recently saw the movie version of this book and when I heard her description of it, I remembered that I had had a copy of the book several years ago but decided to let it go unread. So I decided to check out another copy from the library because the story sounded very intriguing to me. Krakauer mainly uses interviews to piece together the story of Christopher McCandless who in 1992 after graduating from college decides to abandon his family and travel in the West. He ends up hitch-hiking to Alaska and then walking alone into the wilderness near Mt. McKinley where he ended up dying in an abandoned bus that he was using as a base camp. The book details his wanderings in the Southwest along the Colorado River where he tried to canoe down the river to the Gulf of Mexico. He abandons his car after a flash flood contributed to the battery dying. He then burns the cash in his wallet and sets out on foot. He befriends several people along the way and travels north to South Dakota and works for a grain farmer. McCandless liked being around people but not for long periods. He always has a yearning to be alone and his ultimate goal was to travel alone in the Alaska wilderness. Krakauer gives examples of others with similar passions including himself. When he was younger he scaled a mountain peak in Alaska called the Devil's Thumb by himself.

The story of McCandless was very compelling reading. The biggest mystery about his story was how he died. An autopsy indicated he starved to death but how did this happen when he was able to survive for a few months by hunting and gathering in the wild? Krakauer puts forth a theory about eating wild potato seeds that may have contained a poisonous alkaloid. After the book was originally published in 1996, other theories come to light as discussed in the Afterword to this edition published in 2015. Overall, I thought this was a very readable and interesting telling of the McCandless story and I'll be looking out for the movie version. MOVIE TRAILER
kickerdad avatar reviewed Into the Wild on + 117 more book reviews
"Into the Wild" by John Krakauer is thought-provoking book on various levels. It teases to be the true-life story of a early twenties angst ridden teen who after graduating college treks across America eventually making his way to Alaska. It turns into so much more - and more isn't always better. While I was engaged by the book, it was more the path of the trek of Chris McCandless, our intrepid hero, or anti-hero, depending on your perspective. And Krakauer paints a beautiful portrait of some of the complex environs and circumstances in which Chris puts himself. It was interesting to learn about other pseudo-adventurers who have had stories that somewhat paralleled those of Chris McCandless. I found dealing with the self-indulgent presentation and underlying assumptions distracting. Conclusions were asserted that made you wonder how the author ever got to the point being made, only to find out later he made much more information. The book feels forced, as if the author was trying to hard to make it a more interesting read. And I found the vocabulary indulgent. I am not claiming to be brighter than I am, but I don' frequently run into words I am unfamiliar with. Even if I don't know their meaning I would have at least heard of them and understood them in their context. I am not talking about jargon. I get jargon. I stumbled across words in "Into The Wild" that I had never ever heard of on a very regular basis. There was hard a 4-5 pages where I wasn't asking myself "what the . . .?"
I won't judge Chris McCandless. Like all of us he has his strengths of character and his weaknesses. Whether you think him hero or fool will be totally dependent of which characteristics you value most. Read the book. Observe your reactions. You'll learn about yourself. [3.5/5]

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