1.04.2008

BOOK REVIEW: INTO THE WILD


Chris McCandless graduates from college, destroys all his possessions, and treks across North America for two years, ultimately dying in an abandoned bus in the Alaska wilderness. I am not giving anything away by telling you the end of the story. Jon Krakauer, the author of "Into the Wild", reveals Chris' tragic ending during the first few pages of the book. At first the book is a little confusing because Krakauer jumps around Chris' story so much, and I caught myself wondering why he just doesn't tell it chronologically. However, once he starts connecting Chris' story to his own, as well as those of other young men who left society and suffered similar fates, it all starts to click. The last few chapters are extremely intense as Krakauer pieces together eyewitness accounts and Chris' final journal entries in an attempt to determine what led to his death.

The real question of the book is whether or not Chris McCandless is a hero or a wacko. (Alright, so it might not be that cut and dry, but I started to feel that it was that way towards the end.) Erik and I listened to the book on CD during our Christmas travels and we had countless conversations about how Erik could totally relate to him and I kept thinking Chris was nuts, especially for the turmoil he put his family through. It definitely makes you think twice about hitchhikers, homeless people, and others that literally choose to "leave" society. I absolutely recommend this book. I love disaster and survival stories, especially when they are true, and this was an excellent twist on that theme.

GRADE: A

7 comments:

  1. (Caitlin)Now write a review on the movie!

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  2. In the beginning I too had a hard time with the book because I thought he was nuts and very selfish for what he did to his family, but by the end I was in tears and the author really made you emphasize and respect him and sad that his life ended so tragically and early. yeah, there was one point where I was like- stop telling me about other people. I really liked when they went through what he did for those 2 years, that was neat. Glad you liked it.

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  3. Ooh, I'll have to pick up a copy from ye olde library and read it.

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  4. I'm ready for a new book to read, so I'll have to pick it up. You sold me by rating it so high!

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  5. I haven't seen the movie... I doubt I will. Although I hear it's good, from everything I've read it doesn't sound like it follows the book very closely.

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  6. I read it too, but I hated it. I really didn't like the guy. I love Krakauer, and his books on mountaineering are Excelllent!!! Into Thin Air is awesome. Eiger dreams is a collection of essays about his various journeys up mountains.

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