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 »nths later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.
Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.
Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life. Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless. Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.
When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris. He is said to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.« less
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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.
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.
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.
* * * Â½* . 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.
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?
"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]