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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 months 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.


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Published: Random House Publishing Group on
ISBN: 9780307476869
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One of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book. I felt like Krakauer didn't spend enough time on Chris as a person. He seemed more concerned with just telling an adventure story...it was almost like a really long magazine article. It was too impersonal and objective, I guess.more
Well-written and disturbing true story of an odd boy (nearly but not quite a man) who by dint of his hubris ended up dying in semi-remote Alaska. I kept thinking of his poor parents whom he rejected for being too human. A profoundly sad story.more
I listened to this on tape. It seemed really short, suitably I suppose. Made me think about a certain style of obstinence that I will never posess, and the part at which the parents leave a trunk of emergency supplies and a note saying to call home in the bus was the only part at which I truly mourned for McCandless. Or perhaps more so felt sympathetic to his death, and the pain of his family.
I still felt like this was 1/2 of a story, mainly pointing towards the larger ideas of wilderness, survival, sanity and internal struggles much like Thoureau, Grizzly Man, Alaska itself, etc. etc.more
I didn’t really know what to expect of this book, especially with all the hype around it and around its main character and subject - Chris McCandless. I sort of didn’t like him and didn’t approve of his actions from the very beginning. Krakauer however gave him justice I believe and introduced McCandless to the reader as much as he was able to without actually speaking to the young man. The book is written as a documentary or journalist’s investigation and reads very well. Each chapter is preceded by quotations from McCandless favourite books or those he was reading during his Alaskan trip and starred and commented on in the margins, giving a bit more insight into his thoughts. Krakauer goes even further and in one of the chapters tells his own story of climbing Alaska’s Devil Thumb, comparing himself and his own choice of lifestyle to McCandless’. All in all I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others.more
Interesting topic but I couldn't help thinking "what a waste".more
Tough to read, knowing the whole time what the outcome of the book was going to be. Seriously thought-provoking though, and made me a bit introspective. The author did his research and kept me enthralled the entire time.more
Into the Wild is an expansion of an article that Jon Krakauer wrote for Outside magazine about a young man named Chris McCandless. McCandless came from a wealthy family in Washington, DC, but had strong ideals about communing with nature, living a life where everything you owned could be fit on your back, and finding one's true self. Therefore, when he finished with college at Emory University, he cut himself off from his parents, donated the remainder of his college money to Oxfam ($24,000), and took to the road. He eventually abandoned his car, and took to hitchhiking and riding freight trains to get around the country. He became one of America's itinerants.

Eventually, in his pursuit to become one with nature and make meaning of his life, he decides to have one "final adventure" in the Alaskan bush. Chris McCandless goes "into the wild" (hence the name of the book) intending to live off the land. What ends up happening is that he starves to death.

This book presents a chronicle of these two years of Chris McCandless's life, from the time he left Emory University until his death. Krakauer has taken the time to find and interview many of the people that McCandless stayed with during that time, and the book is peppered with entries from Chris's journal and passages in books that he underlined and annotated (books by Tolstoy, Thoreau, and others like them).

This book was interesting, but I was left with the feeling that Krakauer didn't really have enough material to make a whole novel out of Chris McCandless's oddessy. There are several chapters that meander off into Krakauer's own life, and a survery of other individuals that felt it necessary to renounce civilization and wander off into the wilderness. These chapters don't really illuminate Chris McCandless's life so much and feel like filler, to make the book over 200 pages.

Krakauer clearly admires this young man. After reading the two chapers about his own youth and ambitions, it is easy to see why. krakauer clearly possesses(ed) some of the same traits as Chris McCandless, including the same reckless streak. I came away from this book with an entirely different view of McCandless.

Throughout the account, Krakauer talks about all of the letters he received in response to his original piece in Outside, and how most of those condemned Chris McCandless for his arrogance. He tried to persuade the reader not to condemn him in the same way. He has failed to persuade me. The impression I get from this book and from McCandless's own words is that he was a arrogant, self-centeredyoung man who never failed at anything in his life. Sure, there is something admirable in his willingness to give up everything to live out his ideals fully. But there is also something supremely stupid about walking into the Alaskan bush with nothing by 10 pounds of rice, and a .22 caliber shotgun. The reality is that a simple MAP would have saved his life, but to carry a map would have been contrary to his ridiculous ideals.

I think my thoughts are closest to those of Nick Jans, who wrote:

Over the past 15 years, I've run into several McCandless types out in the country. Same story: idealistic, energetic young guys who overestimated themselves, underestimated the country, and ended up in trouble. McCandless was hardly unique; there's quite a few of these guys hanging around the state, so much alike they're almost a collective cliche. The only difference is that McCandless ended up dead, with the story of his dumbassedness splashed across the media ...His ignorance, which could have been cured by a USGS quadrant and a Boy Scout manual, is what killed him.more
Most who read this book are polarized by the main character; he's either an idealist or an utter moron who died through stupidity.

It's a testament to Krakauer's skill as a writer that he manages to leave this question up to the reader, and like all his work, it's a gripping read.more
An interesting story of a young man determined to practice (live) what he preached. Although I do not agree with the extremes this young man went too, I admire his courage.more
Well-written, interesting, disquieting, but overly-romantic account of a man (not a boy, as the author insists on calling him) who wandered into the Alaskan wilderness in search of some type of transcendental experience and starved to death after likely poisoning himself with a fungus on some potato seeds. Alexander Supertramp, as the man embarrassingly referred to himself, was smart, talented, brave (or foolhardy), and also unforgiving, hypocritical, naïve, and supremely self-absorbed (and possibly unbalanced). Moral of the story: unthinking black-and-white idealism, as Supertramp apparently possessed, can be as dangerous as it is alluring to the idealist and, unfortunately, crushing to those who love him. A sad, beautiful, and haunting book.more
Once you have read this book it stays with you for ever.That, to me, is the test of a good book. Chris McCundless died in the wilderness because he ate wild potato seeds. I have not found it recorded in writing anywhere in the world, survival manuals included, that these seeds are deadly. Many of us who reckon to be survivors would have done the same. I certainly would have harvested them and eaten them myself in his shoes............and I would have died. Poor guy had the real courage needed to live his dream...........and it killed him.more
I watched the movie several months ago (and loved the soundtrack) and have found myself thinking back on Christopher McCandless often since then. I finally picked up this book. It helped give me some additional perspective on McCandless and his possible reasons for leaving his home and later leaving society. His story leaves me with a lot of unanswered existential questions (is a lesson learned but not applied a waste, or is the point the learning and not the application?). Any book that leaves me pondering after I'm through reading is a book I like.more
Chris McCandless is a dreamer, an idealist, and on a mission to discover the true meaning of life. This book tells the story of his journey and its tragic end.Chris is not a person I relate to. But I understand his feelings toward his parents - they were overbearing and he wanted his freedom. But Chris also lived in his head and his books. He tried to live out the ideals of Thoreau and Tolstoy by relinquishing all possessions and communing with nature. Chris also moved a bit too quickly and did not have the right amount of common sense. He was able to travel across the United States and live alone in Alaska for four months, so he must have had some wits about him. But he didn't have a good sense of when a risk was too much to take. He was testing himself and the people around him without asking whether he might fail.This is the book that put Jon Krakauer on the map. I saw the movie before I read the book, and so I was familiar with the plot. I was unfamiliar with how strongly Jon Krakauer identified with Chris McCandless - he had an overbearing father and ran off into the wilderness to escape too. I have read Into Thin Air and enjoyed that story very much. This story I enjoyed not just for the incredible journey of Chris McCandless, but to also experience the wonderfully clear and elegant writing of Jon Krakauer. He can tell a riveting story and he has a way with descriptive words that sharply describe a landscape in all its momentous detail.I enjoyed this book. It as a true adventure with a sad, poetic heart.more
In the book Into The Wild Chris McCandles is from a rich family. He hitchhiked all the way to Alaska, burned all the money in his wallet because he was sick of this life style. He then hiked deep into the Alaska bush, and died in a bus. Four months later a moose hunter found his decomposed body. The moose hunter called in a argo and evacuated the body to the main road. Doctors tried to perform an autopsy but because the body was so decomposed they could not find what killed Chris McCandles. Investigators went back to the bus to figure out what could have killed Chris. They discovered that he may have eaten the wrong plant because two plants looked the same but, one was poisonous. In my opinion the book is written in great detail. It describes everything in the woods vividly. Great book.  more
Though I don't buy into the hype of McCandless as some sort of demi-god for going out into the forest, not heeding anyone's advice and dying because of it - this was a good read.more
I picked this up, because I loved the film. The book is more about reporting the known facts than telling a story but is very readable nonetheless. Painstaikingly investigated, thoughful. The author has a lot of relevant personal experience to offer, yet he leaves plenty of room for the reader's own reflection and judgement. I'd say it's one of the rare cases when the book and the film complement each other.more
Read this for class. I didn't actually read it the whole way through but I thought the story was really interesting, even more now that I live in Alaska and I've never even heard of this. I heard about the movie but never really knew much about it.I liked the it was intellectually written with passages that correlates to the events, etc. My teacher said that in the last few chapters that we did not go through we're a little bit diverting from the story because Jon Krakauer was comparing the story to himself, which I wouldn't find very appealing either if he hasn't gone through the same journey as Chris McCandless.more
Biographical novel about Chris McCandless, a smart 23 year old boy who starts an idealistic journey throughout the forests and deserts of the States and Mexico trying to live accordingly to his Tolstoian beliefs, which denounce all kind of material possessions. The adventure ends up in tragedy when his body is found in Alaska two years after his departure. This story aroused a mediatic debate in the nineties in which some people defended McCandless innocent and pure search for spiritual peace whereas others considered him a stupid, reckless and overconfident well-to-do kid from a rich family who wanted nothing else but to draw attention.The novel flows easy and fast, and I can't think of a better narrator than Krakauer, he exposes the facts in an objective way and leaves the reader to form his own opinion about McCandless: a spoiled, immature kid whose life could have been spared or a free mind who found his own way in a frantic world and who managed to leave track.As a romantic I prefer the second option, but I also agree with Krakauer that youth combined with passionate ideals and some deep hidden frustration can lead to oblivion of danger, we humans do easily forget that we are not invincible. After having read this novel, I believe that living to the limit and suicide are not the same concept, and I also think that McCandless thougth the same. He didn't want to die, but died happily all the same, which is an attitude we might all learn something about."Happiness only real when shared""He is smiling in the picture, and there is no mistaking the look in his eyes: Chris McCandless was at peace, serene as a monk gone to God"more
Pretty good. Not as good as the moviemore
This book showed a diffrent side to living and, and griped you in by how diffrent Chris lived his life. It was sad but at the same time makes your the reader feel like he lived a wonderful life. I loved this book.more
The book is an interesting exploration of man's need to journey into nature, particularly at the extreme end of those who would completely abandon civilization to make these life-threatening adventures of survivalism. While the book mostly concerns itself with the tale of Christopher McCandless venture into the Alaskan outback, it often diverges into tales of his personal life and similar case studies of others who tested their mettle against the wild. The book's breezy narrative takes a sharp turn when the writer suddenly interjects his own tale of survival and then a recreation of McCandless' adventure - and both of those tales almost seem to to mock the defeats of the many others the author tells you about who didn't make it out alive. So save for that strange, self-serving finale to glorify the writer's own exploits, I enjoyed the book's simple ruminations on the timeless man vs. nature idea.more
Into the Wild is a terrific recounting of a man lost and trying to find his way. Krakauer's research and reporting is great as usual. He goes along the same path as McCandless and recounts it with perfect detail and puts the reader into the bus in the Alaskan wilderness. A great book for travel fans and fans of a true story that you will finish in one sitting.more
This is a beautifully written portrayal of a real life, tragic coming of age story. It is all about a young man's quest to find himself and the people he meets along the way. The author also recollects some of his own quests of this nature and attempts to point out what went wrong on this young man's journey. This is a must read.more
My review from 2008 - "On rejecting the corporate life":There are so many things our society has convinced us we cannot live without. We can't live without seeing the latest movie, or last night's big game. We can't live without owning a cool car, a good stereo system, a fast internet connection, and an iPod. We can't live without big houses, without adding more space to our big houses, and without owning extra houses for when we need a vacation from our so-hectic lives. We can't live without fast food, without burgers, sodas and fries, yet we also can't live without health food, without nutrient-enriched fruit drinks, granola bars, and yogurt. We can't live without Chap Stick, Tylenol, toothpaste, and shaving cream; digital cameras, chain restaurants, rock concerts, and educational toys for our children. We can't live without 'being number one.' Without watching our favorite team play, without a cool looking pair of sneakers, without owning the most-advanced set of golf clubs, or without becoming an expert at the latest fad in video-gaming. Meet Chris McCandless, or rather, 'Alex' as he has recently rechristened himself. A recent graduate from the prestigious Emory University with a 3.82 GPA, Alex decided to stop being a part of our society. He donated the $25,000 in his saving account to charity, and started to live a life free of expectations, obligations, and all the superficial 'needs' that everyone else seems to spend their time obsessing about. Both the book and the film are marvelously done; the result is a mesmerizing reverie on the difficulty of establishing and sustaining deep, meaningful relationships.more
This book had a lot of potential. Given that the author diddnt have much information to begin with about McCandles, I feel he could have done a better job at captivating the reader. I just diddnt feel much of a connectionmore
The story of the life of Christopher McCandless who aged 24 set off into Alaska on a personal odyssey aiming to survive on what he could gather or trap. Chris was to die only a few months later of starvation losing his personal battle against the elements. His story is carefully told here by Krakauer who not only paints a picture of Chris’s life but also shares his personal experience of the compulsion to rebel against a conventional lifestyle. Reading other reviews of the book, many focus on McCandless, either seeing him as naive, idealistic and misguided, or praising him as a courageous modern day embodiment of Thoreu or Jack London.The real joy of the book for me is that it reveals the paradox that he is both of these at the same instant.We are creating an increasingly myopic society with ever narrowing definitions of what is right. The result is an increasing pressure to conform, and the destruction of diversity. We have overseen the destruction of ‘unworthy’ human cultures and are speaking openly of the inevitability that species for which we’ve found no need will soon disappear.The future has never been less certain, and yet we seem destined to pin our faith on a narrowing set of options.Sad though the subject of this book may seem, it is also a call to each of us to question ourselves about what really matters and the part we should each play.The book has since been turned into a feature film with the same title.more
Captivating, outrageous, compelling, haunting, tragic, beautiful. Jon Krakauer tells us the great story of Chris McCandless with a well penned reconstruction based on Chris' notes, personal experience and well-researched tales of other adventurers but also with love and understanding.more
Read all 141 reviews

Reviews

One of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book. I felt like Krakauer didn't spend enough time on Chris as a person. He seemed more concerned with just telling an adventure story...it was almost like a really long magazine article. It was too impersonal and objective, I guess.more
Well-written and disturbing true story of an odd boy (nearly but not quite a man) who by dint of his hubris ended up dying in semi-remote Alaska. I kept thinking of his poor parents whom he rejected for being too human. A profoundly sad story.more
I listened to this on tape. It seemed really short, suitably I suppose. Made me think about a certain style of obstinence that I will never posess, and the part at which the parents leave a trunk of emergency supplies and a note saying to call home in the bus was the only part at which I truly mourned for McCandless. Or perhaps more so felt sympathetic to his death, and the pain of his family.
I still felt like this was 1/2 of a story, mainly pointing towards the larger ideas of wilderness, survival, sanity and internal struggles much like Thoureau, Grizzly Man, Alaska itself, etc. etc.more
I didn’t really know what to expect of this book, especially with all the hype around it and around its main character and subject - Chris McCandless. I sort of didn’t like him and didn’t approve of his actions from the very beginning. Krakauer however gave him justice I believe and introduced McCandless to the reader as much as he was able to without actually speaking to the young man. The book is written as a documentary or journalist’s investigation and reads very well. Each chapter is preceded by quotations from McCandless favourite books or those he was reading during his Alaskan trip and starred and commented on in the margins, giving a bit more insight into his thoughts. Krakauer goes even further and in one of the chapters tells his own story of climbing Alaska’s Devil Thumb, comparing himself and his own choice of lifestyle to McCandless’. All in all I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others.more
Interesting topic but I couldn't help thinking "what a waste".more
Tough to read, knowing the whole time what the outcome of the book was going to be. Seriously thought-provoking though, and made me a bit introspective. The author did his research and kept me enthralled the entire time.more
Into the Wild is an expansion of an article that Jon Krakauer wrote for Outside magazine about a young man named Chris McCandless. McCandless came from a wealthy family in Washington, DC, but had strong ideals about communing with nature, living a life where everything you owned could be fit on your back, and finding one's true self. Therefore, when he finished with college at Emory University, he cut himself off from his parents, donated the remainder of his college money to Oxfam ($24,000), and took to the road. He eventually abandoned his car, and took to hitchhiking and riding freight trains to get around the country. He became one of America's itinerants.

Eventually, in his pursuit to become one with nature and make meaning of his life, he decides to have one "final adventure" in the Alaskan bush. Chris McCandless goes "into the wild" (hence the name of the book) intending to live off the land. What ends up happening is that he starves to death.

This book presents a chronicle of these two years of Chris McCandless's life, from the time he left Emory University until his death. Krakauer has taken the time to find and interview many of the people that McCandless stayed with during that time, and the book is peppered with entries from Chris's journal and passages in books that he underlined and annotated (books by Tolstoy, Thoreau, and others like them).

This book was interesting, but I was left with the feeling that Krakauer didn't really have enough material to make a whole novel out of Chris McCandless's oddessy. There are several chapters that meander off into Krakauer's own life, and a survery of other individuals that felt it necessary to renounce civilization and wander off into the wilderness. These chapters don't really illuminate Chris McCandless's life so much and feel like filler, to make the book over 200 pages.

Krakauer clearly admires this young man. After reading the two chapers about his own youth and ambitions, it is easy to see why. krakauer clearly possesses(ed) some of the same traits as Chris McCandless, including the same reckless streak. I came away from this book with an entirely different view of McCandless.

Throughout the account, Krakauer talks about all of the letters he received in response to his original piece in Outside, and how most of those condemned Chris McCandless for his arrogance. He tried to persuade the reader not to condemn him in the same way. He has failed to persuade me. The impression I get from this book and from McCandless's own words is that he was a arrogant, self-centeredyoung man who never failed at anything in his life. Sure, there is something admirable in his willingness to give up everything to live out his ideals fully. But there is also something supremely stupid about walking into the Alaskan bush with nothing by 10 pounds of rice, and a .22 caliber shotgun. The reality is that a simple MAP would have saved his life, but to carry a map would have been contrary to his ridiculous ideals.

I think my thoughts are closest to those of Nick Jans, who wrote:

Over the past 15 years, I've run into several McCandless types out in the country. Same story: idealistic, energetic young guys who overestimated themselves, underestimated the country, and ended up in trouble. McCandless was hardly unique; there's quite a few of these guys hanging around the state, so much alike they're almost a collective cliche. The only difference is that McCandless ended up dead, with the story of his dumbassedness splashed across the media ...His ignorance, which could have been cured by a USGS quadrant and a Boy Scout manual, is what killed him.more
Most who read this book are polarized by the main character; he's either an idealist or an utter moron who died through stupidity.

It's a testament to Krakauer's skill as a writer that he manages to leave this question up to the reader, and like all his work, it's a gripping read.more
An interesting story of a young man determined to practice (live) what he preached. Although I do not agree with the extremes this young man went too, I admire his courage.more
Well-written, interesting, disquieting, but overly-romantic account of a man (not a boy, as the author insists on calling him) who wandered into the Alaskan wilderness in search of some type of transcendental experience and starved to death after likely poisoning himself with a fungus on some potato seeds. Alexander Supertramp, as the man embarrassingly referred to himself, was smart, talented, brave (or foolhardy), and also unforgiving, hypocritical, naïve, and supremely self-absorbed (and possibly unbalanced). Moral of the story: unthinking black-and-white idealism, as Supertramp apparently possessed, can be as dangerous as it is alluring to the idealist and, unfortunately, crushing to those who love him. A sad, beautiful, and haunting book.more
Once you have read this book it stays with you for ever.That, to me, is the test of a good book. Chris McCundless died in the wilderness because he ate wild potato seeds. I have not found it recorded in writing anywhere in the world, survival manuals included, that these seeds are deadly. Many of us who reckon to be survivors would have done the same. I certainly would have harvested them and eaten them myself in his shoes............and I would have died. Poor guy had the real courage needed to live his dream...........and it killed him.more
I watched the movie several months ago (and loved the soundtrack) and have found myself thinking back on Christopher McCandless often since then. I finally picked up this book. It helped give me some additional perspective on McCandless and his possible reasons for leaving his home and later leaving society. His story leaves me with a lot of unanswered existential questions (is a lesson learned but not applied a waste, or is the point the learning and not the application?). Any book that leaves me pondering after I'm through reading is a book I like.more
Chris McCandless is a dreamer, an idealist, and on a mission to discover the true meaning of life. This book tells the story of his journey and its tragic end.Chris is not a person I relate to. But I understand his feelings toward his parents - they were overbearing and he wanted his freedom. But Chris also lived in his head and his books. He tried to live out the ideals of Thoreau and Tolstoy by relinquishing all possessions and communing with nature. Chris also moved a bit too quickly and did not have the right amount of common sense. He was able to travel across the United States and live alone in Alaska for four months, so he must have had some wits about him. But he didn't have a good sense of when a risk was too much to take. He was testing himself and the people around him without asking whether he might fail.This is the book that put Jon Krakauer on the map. I saw the movie before I read the book, and so I was familiar with the plot. I was unfamiliar with how strongly Jon Krakauer identified with Chris McCandless - he had an overbearing father and ran off into the wilderness to escape too. I have read Into Thin Air and enjoyed that story very much. This story I enjoyed not just for the incredible journey of Chris McCandless, but to also experience the wonderfully clear and elegant writing of Jon Krakauer. He can tell a riveting story and he has a way with descriptive words that sharply describe a landscape in all its momentous detail.I enjoyed this book. It as a true adventure with a sad, poetic heart.more
In the book Into The Wild Chris McCandles is from a rich family. He hitchhiked all the way to Alaska, burned all the money in his wallet because he was sick of this life style. He then hiked deep into the Alaska bush, and died in a bus. Four months later a moose hunter found his decomposed body. The moose hunter called in a argo and evacuated the body to the main road. Doctors tried to perform an autopsy but because the body was so decomposed they could not find what killed Chris McCandles. Investigators went back to the bus to figure out what could have killed Chris. They discovered that he may have eaten the wrong plant because two plants looked the same but, one was poisonous. In my opinion the book is written in great detail. It describes everything in the woods vividly. Great book.  more
Though I don't buy into the hype of McCandless as some sort of demi-god for going out into the forest, not heeding anyone's advice and dying because of it - this was a good read.more
I picked this up, because I loved the film. The book is more about reporting the known facts than telling a story but is very readable nonetheless. Painstaikingly investigated, thoughful. The author has a lot of relevant personal experience to offer, yet he leaves plenty of room for the reader's own reflection and judgement. I'd say it's one of the rare cases when the book and the film complement each other.more
Read this for class. I didn't actually read it the whole way through but I thought the story was really interesting, even more now that I live in Alaska and I've never even heard of this. I heard about the movie but never really knew much about it.I liked the it was intellectually written with passages that correlates to the events, etc. My teacher said that in the last few chapters that we did not go through we're a little bit diverting from the story because Jon Krakauer was comparing the story to himself, which I wouldn't find very appealing either if he hasn't gone through the same journey as Chris McCandless.more
Biographical novel about Chris McCandless, a smart 23 year old boy who starts an idealistic journey throughout the forests and deserts of the States and Mexico trying to live accordingly to his Tolstoian beliefs, which denounce all kind of material possessions. The adventure ends up in tragedy when his body is found in Alaska two years after his departure. This story aroused a mediatic debate in the nineties in which some people defended McCandless innocent and pure search for spiritual peace whereas others considered him a stupid, reckless and overconfident well-to-do kid from a rich family who wanted nothing else but to draw attention.The novel flows easy and fast, and I can't think of a better narrator than Krakauer, he exposes the facts in an objective way and leaves the reader to form his own opinion about McCandless: a spoiled, immature kid whose life could have been spared or a free mind who found his own way in a frantic world and who managed to leave track.As a romantic I prefer the second option, but I also agree with Krakauer that youth combined with passionate ideals and some deep hidden frustration can lead to oblivion of danger, we humans do easily forget that we are not invincible. After having read this novel, I believe that living to the limit and suicide are not the same concept, and I also think that McCandless thougth the same. He didn't want to die, but died happily all the same, which is an attitude we might all learn something about."Happiness only real when shared""He is smiling in the picture, and there is no mistaking the look in his eyes: Chris McCandless was at peace, serene as a monk gone to God"more
Pretty good. Not as good as the moviemore
This book showed a diffrent side to living and, and griped you in by how diffrent Chris lived his life. It was sad but at the same time makes your the reader feel like he lived a wonderful life. I loved this book.more
The book is an interesting exploration of man's need to journey into nature, particularly at the extreme end of those who would completely abandon civilization to make these life-threatening adventures of survivalism. While the book mostly concerns itself with the tale of Christopher McCandless venture into the Alaskan outback, it often diverges into tales of his personal life and similar case studies of others who tested their mettle against the wild. The book's breezy narrative takes a sharp turn when the writer suddenly interjects his own tale of survival and then a recreation of McCandless' adventure - and both of those tales almost seem to to mock the defeats of the many others the author tells you about who didn't make it out alive. So save for that strange, self-serving finale to glorify the writer's own exploits, I enjoyed the book's simple ruminations on the timeless man vs. nature idea.more
Into the Wild is a terrific recounting of a man lost and trying to find his way. Krakauer's research and reporting is great as usual. He goes along the same path as McCandless and recounts it with perfect detail and puts the reader into the bus in the Alaskan wilderness. A great book for travel fans and fans of a true story that you will finish in one sitting.more
This is a beautifully written portrayal of a real life, tragic coming of age story. It is all about a young man's quest to find himself and the people he meets along the way. The author also recollects some of his own quests of this nature and attempts to point out what went wrong on this young man's journey. This is a must read.more
My review from 2008 - "On rejecting the corporate life":There are so many things our society has convinced us we cannot live without. We can't live without seeing the latest movie, or last night's big game. We can't live without owning a cool car, a good stereo system, a fast internet connection, and an iPod. We can't live without big houses, without adding more space to our big houses, and without owning extra houses for when we need a vacation from our so-hectic lives. We can't live without fast food, without burgers, sodas and fries, yet we also can't live without health food, without nutrient-enriched fruit drinks, granola bars, and yogurt. We can't live without Chap Stick, Tylenol, toothpaste, and shaving cream; digital cameras, chain restaurants, rock concerts, and educational toys for our children. We can't live without 'being number one.' Without watching our favorite team play, without a cool looking pair of sneakers, without owning the most-advanced set of golf clubs, or without becoming an expert at the latest fad in video-gaming. Meet Chris McCandless, or rather, 'Alex' as he has recently rechristened himself. A recent graduate from the prestigious Emory University with a 3.82 GPA, Alex decided to stop being a part of our society. He donated the $25,000 in his saving account to charity, and started to live a life free of expectations, obligations, and all the superficial 'needs' that everyone else seems to spend their time obsessing about. Both the book and the film are marvelously done; the result is a mesmerizing reverie on the difficulty of establishing and sustaining deep, meaningful relationships.more
This book had a lot of potential. Given that the author diddnt have much information to begin with about McCandles, I feel he could have done a better job at captivating the reader. I just diddnt feel much of a connectionmore
The story of the life of Christopher McCandless who aged 24 set off into Alaska on a personal odyssey aiming to survive on what he could gather or trap. Chris was to die only a few months later of starvation losing his personal battle against the elements. His story is carefully told here by Krakauer who not only paints a picture of Chris’s life but also shares his personal experience of the compulsion to rebel against a conventional lifestyle. Reading other reviews of the book, many focus on McCandless, either seeing him as naive, idealistic and misguided, or praising him as a courageous modern day embodiment of Thoreu or Jack London.The real joy of the book for me is that it reveals the paradox that he is both of these at the same instant.We are creating an increasingly myopic society with ever narrowing definitions of what is right. The result is an increasing pressure to conform, and the destruction of diversity. We have overseen the destruction of ‘unworthy’ human cultures and are speaking openly of the inevitability that species for which we’ve found no need will soon disappear.The future has never been less certain, and yet we seem destined to pin our faith on a narrowing set of options.Sad though the subject of this book may seem, it is also a call to each of us to question ourselves about what really matters and the part we should each play.The book has since been turned into a feature film with the same title.more
Captivating, outrageous, compelling, haunting, tragic, beautiful. Jon Krakauer tells us the great story of Chris McCandless with a well penned reconstruction based on Chris' notes, personal experience and well-researched tales of other adventurers but also with love and understanding.more
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