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Into the Wild [Paperback]

Jon Krakauer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

7 Sep 2007

By examining the true story of Chris McCandless, a young man, who in 1992 walked deep into the Alaskan wilderness and whose SOS note and emaciated corpse were found four months later, internationally bestselling author Jon Krakauer explores the obsession which leads some people to explore the outer limits of self, leave civilization behind and seek enlightenment through solitude and contact with nature.

'An astonishingly gifted writer: his account of 'Alex Supertramp' is powerfully dramatic, eliciting sympathy for both the idealistic, anti-consumerist boy - and his parents' Guardian

'A compelling tale of tragic idealism' The Times

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Media tie-in edition (7 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033045367X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330453677
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

What would possess a gifted young man recently graduated from college to literally walk away from his life? Noted outdoor writer and mountaineer Jon Krakauer tackles that question in his reporting on Chris McCandless, whose emaciated body was found in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness in 1992.

Described by friends and relatives as smart, literate, compassionate and funny, did McCandless simply read too much Thoreau and Jack London and lose sight of the dangers of heading into the wilderness alone? Krakauer, whose own adventures have taken him to the perilous heights of Everest, provides some answers by exploring the pull the outdoors, seductive yet often dangerous, has had on his own life. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


"Terrifying...Eloquent...A heart-rending drama of human yearning."-"New York Times"
"A narrative of arresting force. Anyone who ever fancied wandering off to face nature on its own harsh terms should give a look. It's gripping stuff."-"Washington Post"
"Compelling and tragic. . .Hard to put down."-"San Francisco Chronicle"
"Engrossing. . .with a telling eye for detail, Krakauer has captured the sad saga of a stubborn, idealistic young man"-"Los Angeles Times Book Review"
"It may be nonfiction, but "Into the Wild" is a mystery of the highest order."-"Entertainment Weekly" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving and inspirational 13 Jun 2011
By Sati
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book out of pure curiosity; I had heard people talk about how great the film was and caught about fifteen minutes of it on TV once. I was intrigued.

If you have certain sensibilities then the product synopsis will be enough for you to want to read this book. The story of a man who leaves civilised society to discover 'the truth of his own existence', to chase adventure, meaning, truth and beauty in life could be the work of a great fiction novelist. But the story is true and Krakauer's account of Chris McCandless is incredibly moving but also honest; outlining his follies as well as his heart,spirit and intelligence.

One of the best things about this book is that it is not an exercise in pulling in sympathy for Chris or his family. As I said it is very honest and written from the point of view of someone who not only was drawn to the events but who is standing on the outside and wants to understand. In order to do this, John Krakauer draws parallels between Chris McCandless's story and other adventurers' to help uncover what would make someone embark on such a dangerous and brave undertaking. This book is as much of an exploration of human character as it is an account of a tragic 'Alaskan Odyssey'.

This book isnt for you if you are the kind of person who reads the synopsis and dismisses McCandless (and people like him) as arrogant and foolhardy. This book is for you if you have that own sense of adventure yourself. If you do, I dare you to not be moved and drawn into this poignant tale.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A wonderous, moving account of a young man's struggle with having to conform to society. This story leaves the reader visiting their own sense of whether we are trapped in a Human Zoo of our own making. It awakens feelings of wildness and adventure and makes you crave for more.... The reader ends up asking the question `Was Chris McCandless complacent with his life or adventurous and brave?'
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I did a bit of survival training in the Marines..Key to survival is knowledge..What plants to eat-what snakes are poisonous-don't just eat rabbit meat, eat the eyes and the brain(loaded with vitamins)..At my age I no longer spend days in the woods, but if I did, I would welcome every bit of knowledge that was offered to me. Chris (Supertramp)seemed to have unrealistic expectations of his ability to "wing it" in the unforgiving and unsympathetic wilderness of Alaska and seemed to refuse any help or advice that was offered him..Very cool to live your life the way you see fit, unchained, and the road leads to many great places and people..But to wander into the wilderness with no knowledge or good gear is more than just a bit arrogant..Almost a direct challenge to nature herself, a show of lack of respect perhaps..I found Chris's story to be interesting but I also found him to be reckless, uncaring for his family and in the end, his appeals for outside help could not be heard..A good story but the sad ending was very predictable..
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "An Appalling Innocence" 20 Nov 2007
By Four Violets VINE VOICE
Christopher McCandless was twenty four when he headed off alone with the intention of surviving by what he could hunt and garner in the wilds of Alaska. People have since labelled him as reckless, arrogant and stupid - but with his idealistic yearning to emulate Tolstoy, Jack London and Thoreau, was he not in fact courageous and noble? He was certainly ill-prepared for such a venture and paid the ultimate price for his odyssey.

Jon Krakauer, the author of the book, had a particular, vested interest in the tragic tale. He too as a young man had experienced a similar compulsion to set himself against the wild elements, to rebel against his conventional lifestyle and upbringing. In his opening note, Krakauer seems to apologise for including his own story of setting out to conquer a mountain and almost losing his life in the process; but I found this account even more intense and compelling than the sometimes over-meticulous details of everyone encountered by McCandless in his last months.

The unavoidable conjecture as to McCandless's motivation, his troubled family background, and state of mind in his last awful weeks, make a compelling reason for using this book as a set text in schools. Most cultures have a kind of "coming of age" ritual, especially for young men, who have to test themselves, set themselves against the establishment. There is much in the book that should open discussion with teenagers - though surely there must be a way to opt out of the conventional path most unquestioning people's lives take, without sacrificing their own life, as most of the rather depressing examples quoted in the book do.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives Depth to the Film 18 July 2008
By William Cohen VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was inspired to buy this book after seeing Sean Penn's amazing film. At the beginning I thought it was just going to underline how faithful Penn's film is to the book, but Krakauer does give a lot more background to the McCandless saga, which is really fascinating.

I really enjoyed the quotations at the beginning of each chapter, some of which have introduced me to new authors like Anthony Storr. Krakauer also weaves in accounts of other idealistic young adventurers, which gives a useful perspective. He has also his own dramatic story to tell, which he does in a very understated way.

The subject matter is extremely absorbing and Krakauer writes beautifully and tells the story at beguiling pace. He quotes the story of Everett Ruess by means of comparison, and he quotes how Everett Ruess's father mused after his son disappeared in the desert, "The older person does not realize the soul-flights of the adolescent. I think we all poorly understood Everett."

The amazing bravery and foolishness of McCandless that reminds us of our own adolescent soul-flights, and how, beneath our exteriors, we have so much yearning and anguish.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Amazing book about Christopher McCandless, recommend it to anyone and everyone who enjoys reading. The best book I have ever read
Published 8 days ago by fox
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story well told
Having seen the film which I enjoyed I decided to read the book which I found very well written and well researched, would highly recommend.
Published 8 days ago by David Tilley
4.0 out of 5 stars Into the Wild
An interesting read on an adventure I will never comprehend. In parts the author waffles on and you struggle to understand why but generally very interesting
Published 14 days ago by Reader 202
3.0 out of 5 stars Powerful stuff
I saw the trailers for the film and thought reading the book about Chris McCandless' life would be the best place to start. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read
I thoroughly enjoy true life survival stories, and came across Chris McCandless' story when I read an article about how 'into the wild' fans are trekking to the magic bus in Alaska... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sam D
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
After reading wild by Cheryl strayed I wanted to read something similar and this book came up as one that would be and I wasn't disappointed
Absolutely brilliant but also so... Read more
Published 2 months ago by elaine
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling story set against beautiful backdrop
Beautifully written and well researched. The parallels with the author's own life and his experiences help to unravel some of the mystery behind McCandless's impulses and go a long... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth a read
This is a really good book. Follows the story of McCandless as he journeys across America in the wild but also includes many interesting side stories of his background, the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sarah
2.0 out of 5 stars meh
all wa good and interestin until he started babbling about other peoples account· i didnt spend a fiver to read about 5 different people· i brough it to read about Chris·
Published 3 months ago by shannon!
4.0 out of 5 stars Took a life and lived it
Ignore the negative comments claiming that Krakauer goes off-topic in order to raise his word limit. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Calum
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