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Topic: Into the Wild:

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Subject: Into the Wild:
Date Posted: 10/11/2007 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2006
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The movie Into the Wild based on the book by Jon Krakauer has just opened in theaters and is getting really good reviews. It tells the story of a 22 year old Emory graduate who passes on law school and a secure future to travel around living off the land with basically zero belongings. What do you wish you had done as a new college grad that you regret not doing, or what decision did you make at that time that you are really happy with? Would you ever want to attempt a wandering lifestyle like this and where would you want to go?

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Date Posted: 10/11/2007 1:37 PM ET
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I wouldn't want to be in the wild, but I wish I would have traveled more, before settling down to raise a family.  I dont really have any regrets,  just wishful thinking. 

I enjoy all the book that Jon Krakauer has written.


Last Edited on: 10/21/07 8:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
maurac23 avatar
Date Posted: 10/11/2007 2:29 PM ET
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i loved the book....incredibly interesting story.  i was on a krakauer kick.  can't wait to see the movie

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Date Posted: 10/11/2007 3:37 PM ET
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This is sort of off the topic, but if you are interested in Krakauer topics, the film Everest is a visual companion to his book Into Thin Air. The film is not about him, but refers to him and focuses on the tragedy on Everest in May 1996. The filmmakers were one of the teams up there that year (IMAX crew). Also, Beck Weathers wrote a fascinating book about his experience during that trek called Left For Dead. Its amazing what he went through and that he lived to tell the story.

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Date Posted: 10/11/2007 5:33 PM ET
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LOL! Into Thin Air and Into the Wild are probably some of the only non fiction I have ever read for pleasure.

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Date Posted: 10/11/2007 7:48 PM ET
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I definitely regret not traveling more when I was younger and single.  I certainly wouldn't want to go completely unprepared into a dangerous situation, like McCandless did, but I would have liked to have had an "adventure" like backpacking through Europe.

I'd like to think that I would be happy with a more itinerant lifestyle.  When I went to Alaska a few years ago, I met all sorts of people who live in their motorhomes and they travel when the mood strikes.  They find a town they like, get a job for a while, then move on when the road beckons.  I think that this sort of life would be refreshing and would definitely get you back in touch with who you are as a person rather than as a slave to the comfortable life.

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Date Posted: 10/11/2007 9:19 PM ET
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My DH wandered the US for 2.5 years, after his start-up was bought out.  He camped and lived off the land - literally - catching rabbits and quail, etc.  He said it was one of the most liberating experiences of his life.

I have done just about everything I have wanted to do in my life.  I still have many places to travel, but I haven't lacked for adventure. :)

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Date Posted: 10/14/2007 10:12 AM ET
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I would have loved to go to England and Italy to search for distant family members and learn more about my family and its roots.  I'm hoping when my daughter grows up, we can travel together. 

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Date Posted: 10/14/2007 9:02 PM ET
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Some friends and I used to talk about canoeing a nice long river (something that wasn't too rough, but adventurous) and stopping at various points along the way and camping.  Basically spending a couple of weeks going down the river and camping out.  We also talked about fishing and gathering for most of our food, but bringing along some items to get us by if we didn't catch anything (like MREs).  After reading Into the Wild, I did think that it would be very interesting to go into the wild for a month or so, but prepared -- with proper tools, weapons and some basic food necessities, and certainly not alone.

I had the same reaction after reading Into Thin Air, actually.  I started contemplating Mt. Everest.  I don't think I'd ever actually attempt to summit Everest, but I wouldn't mind going as far as the first base camp and seeing the mountain.

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Date Posted: 10/15/2007 10:39 AM ET
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Just saw this movie yesterday afternoon & I was very moved by it. His loneliness at the end is haunting & heartbreaking. I think I may have to read the book. Which feels backwards, since I've almost always read the book before seeing the movie.

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Date Posted: 10/15/2007 4:54 PM ET
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Last Edited on: 1/31/09 5:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
VeganFreak avatar
Date Posted: 10/16/2007 2:54 PM ET
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I spent three months backpacking in the Appalachians. It was awesome.

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Date Posted: 10/17/2007 9:16 AM ET
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When I did my solo travels to Europe I met many Australians who said it is very common for the young to go on one-year walkabouts.  That they travel and learn more about the world than their own Australia.

"On the walk-about, an arrival is not sought, just the sensation of the movement in travel; A Travelling Futility" termed by D.H.Lawrence.

"A good travelling companion for six-months, so far away from home, is hard to find, especially when one's own interests become so selfishly focused. To travel alone, is to be more approachable, flexible, and open to the experience. An experience that can be shared later, but is wholly yours to explore at the time."  Says one travel site.

McCandless did this one further.  McCandless didn't appear to just want to see the world, he wanted to escape the human construct we call "civilization" and to find some greater truth/reality.  Krakauer speculates it is simple unadorned human companionship that we want need and desire most of all, and suggests that McCandless learned this as well, but too late.


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Date Posted: 10/20/2007 8:11 AM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2005
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I really enjoyed this book and hope the move comes a little closer than 4 hours away from my house!

I was in Alaska this summer and completely understand the appeal of that beautiful state.

I know I am going to cry in this movie, but still can't wait to see it.



Moving Sale!!!!!

2-for-1 on all books!!!

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Date Posted: 10/20/2007 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
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After the Navy, college, and a failed first marriage, I hit the road with one change of clothes, five bucks, and a pocketknife. Cut myself off from my family for three years. Walked out to New York, back to California, down to Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, and finally back to Iowa. Washed dishes, worked construction, slept in barns in exchange for mucking out. I have never been more terrified, and as L said about her husband's experience, I have never felt more free.

It was easier to disappear 50+ years ago. You could work for cash, no SSNs needed every time you turn around, no I-9 forms. There were times when it was hard for me to remember my real name, and there were times when I was probably more than a little bit crazy. Christmas was hard, the first year.

I hurt my mother horribly, and I'll always wish I could take that hurt back, but otherwise I would not trade the experience for anything. I learned that - even back then - people throw away amazing amounts of perfectly good food and clothing. Garbage areas around a college or university are gold mines. I learned that frostbite is a gift that keeps on giving your whole life through. I learned that I could do darned near anything for one shift. I learned that if you look and smell clean, you will be trusted, at least for awhile. I learned that most people are kind, and will do the right thing if you give them the opportunity. I also learned that pure evil exists, and you better listen to your gut when it's telling you to turn and run.


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Date Posted: 10/20/2007 3:19 PM ET
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Lester, that was beautifully written.

I rode my bike through Europe for 6 weeks back in 1977.  I was with a group and we stayed in youth hostels.  It was the best time of my life.  I would love to do it again.  I know I would appreciate it  more at this age.

I read Into the Wild awhile ago.  I believe that book led me to Call of the Wild by Jack London.  I would be curious to see how I would handle "roughing it".  I always thought I would make a pretty good pioneer woman.  I don't need much...I don't think.

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Date Posted: 10/20/2007 7:57 PM ET
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Saw the Sean Penn film.  I recommend it.  See it on the big screen to see the wonderful photography.  It is also like a Penn tribute to the beauty of America.  Lead actor was a perfect casting in my mind.  Well conceptualized.  A rare case of movie better than the book.

Last Edited on: 10/20/07 8:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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Date Posted: 10/21/2007 1:13 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2005
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YouTube video about the book "Into the Wild"


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Date Posted: 10/31/2007 3:46 PM ET
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I wish I had been less serious about life in general and less shy.  I married an extrovert, so I'm pretty much over the shy part - and wish I had realized much younger that everyone isn't judging you - basically, they're worried about themselves!  I would have liked to travel more with my sister.  We travel together now, I wish we had started much earlier in life!

AimeeB avatar
Date Posted: 11/3/2007 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
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As an Alaskan, being where this actually took place, I feel like he must have had a mental illness. There was no reason for him to die. He was not so far from civilization that he could not have found help. He could have burnt the tires on the bus, they make huge clouds of black smoke, someone would have come looking. I hope that this movie does not cause a bunch of crazy college kids to do something like this. There are all ready kids here walking out to the bus and back crossing the rivers, because of the book. Please remember that this movie is making this look better than it was. This boy died. His family will never see him again, and unless you have all of the materials you need mentally and physically you should never attempt it.  His death was not something that should have happened and now Hollywood is making money on it. Making him out to be more than a boy with problems.

In Alaska people live like that and survive, because they are prepared.

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Date Posted: 11/5/2007 6:03 PM ET
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I wonder, have you seen the movie, Aimee? There's a lot of different viewpoints.

When I read this book about 10 years ago, I remember thinking CM must have been very depressed and inadvertently commited suicide, so I somewhat agree with Aimee.  Then I saw the movie with my 24 yr old son Saturday;  I came away realizing there were so many factors in the situation.  His sister's "voice" throughout the movie obviously indicated the genetic brilliance and  accompanying family problems. I do admire the family for participating and sharing their story. 

Needless to say, my son and I had different opinions about the author's message and CM's intent.  Additionally, my son read the book much more recently - this summer - and reminds me of CM in subtle ways. 

While I thought the movie was incredibly sad, my son disagreed.  Which demonstrates our perspectives.  He went to Colorado to live about 2 years ago and was extremely unprepared....financially, emotionally, etc.  Without a cell phone, we had no way of keeping in contact.  We heard from him at Thanksgiving and not again until Jan/Feb, when my husband called his employer and learned he was no longer working.  We had to do some investigating to find out he was with a friend in Denver.  He was fine, came home that May, and went back to Colorado this past spring (we saw the movie together on his 2nd visit home).  To put it in his words, "He's matured."

As Lester said, the 'not knowing' caused his father and I incredible anguish.  Which led me to relate to CM's parents' concern and POV, and my son identified with CM. 

The movie was incredibly bittersweet...very thought provoking!


AimeeB avatar
Date Posted: 11/7/2007 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
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I do understand everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I respect that. I wish I could send you some of the articles that have ran in the paper since this has come about. I guess it is because we live here and know what it is like, most Alaskans think the same way I do. He had a mental illness. The book and movie leave out quite a bit of his writings to make it more sellable. What family wouldn't want their loved one to be turned into a folk hero? It is better than the alternative right? Him being mentallly ill? 

I am willing to agree to disagree. I do hope that people can seperate some of the truth from Hollywood fiction and remember that there are two sides to every story. There are people doing what CM did everyday, some live and some don't. Sean Penn just dosen't make movies about them.

I am so gald you found your son, I am a mother also and I can imagine your heartache.

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Date Posted: 11/9/2007 2:05 AM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2005
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It was a good book because I kept trying to get into this kid's head. I haven't seen the movie because I've read the book twice and that usually spoils it, but I hear its good so I may give it a try. There is a little bit of that Wanderlust in all of us i suppose. As far as something I'd like to do but never did, i would like to hop a train, see what I see along the way, and see where I end up. There are some good books about that too!

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Date Posted: 11/14/2007 6:52 AM ET
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Last Edited on: 2/11/15 2:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
murder101 avatar
Date Posted: 11/19/2007 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2006
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I haven't seen the movie yet but LOVED the book. I've actually read it twice!

                                           Happy ThanksGiving All


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