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Into the Wild Library Binding – 22 May 2008


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Library Binding, 22 May 2008
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Product details

  • Library Binding: 207 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435285735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435285736
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,575,612 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. --Amazon.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"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

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Sati on 13 Jun. 2011
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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By MonkeyUK on 19 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came to this book after the Times had listed it as one of the best paperbacks of the year, I have to agree. The tale of Chris McCandless is facsinating, how many people have thought "western society is corrupt, centred around making money and little else, I am off to do what I want, to find my true self". I know that I have and that is what Chris did. There is little doubt that he took it too far and ended up hurting those that cared for him. The book is well written and comparisons with other similar cases are well made. I also enjoyed the exerts from literature, as they helped indicate how a strong willed, virile young man can be influenced by what he reads. I recommend this book to everyone who has the good sense to ask questions such as "why?" and "isn't there a better way for society to function?" and if you don't it may make you ask those questions.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Nov. 2003
This is a poignant, compelling narrative of an intelligent, intense, and idealistic young man, Chris McCandless, who cut off all ties to his upper middle class family, and reinvented himself as Alexander Supertramp, a drifter living out of a backpack, eking out a marginal existence as he wandered throughout the United States. A modern day King of the Road, McCandless ended his journey in 1992 in Alaska, when he walked alone into the wilderness north of Denali. He never returned.
Krakauer investigates this young man's short life in an attempt to explain why someone who has everything going for him would have chosen this lifestyle, only to end up dead in one of the most remote, rugged areas of the Alaskan wilderness. Whether one views McCandless as a fool or as a modern day Thoreau is a question ripe for discussion. It is clear, however, from Krakauer's writing that his investigation led him to feel a strong, spiritual kinship with McCandless. It is this kindred spirit approach to his understanding of this young man that makes Krakauer's writing so absorbing and moving.
Krakauer retraces McCandless' journey, interviewing many of those with whom he came into contact. What metamorphasizes is a haunting, riveting account of McCandless' travels and travails, and the impact he had on those with whom he came into contact. Krakauer followed McCandless' last steps into the Alaskan wilderness, so that he could see for himself how McCandless had lived, and how he had died. This book is his epitaph.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Four Violets VINE VOICE on 20 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
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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