Into the Wild
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
" 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."
" 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."
& quot; Terrifying...Eloquent...A heart-rending drama of human yearning.& quot;
-- New York Times
& quot; 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.& quot;
-- Washington Post
& quot; Compelling and tragic...Hard to put down.& quot;
-- San Francisco Chronicle
& quot; Engrossing...with a telling eye for detail, Krakauer has captured the sad saga of a stubborn, idealistic young man.& quot;
-- Los Angeles Times Book Review
& quot; It may be nonfiction, but Into the Wild is a mystery of the highest order.& quot;
-- Entertainment Weekly
"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."
"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased this book as I am going to be studying it for a class. It came quickly and the book was of good quality.Published 22 days ago by Abbie Salisbury
Awful book. Amazing story told really badly. I read an awful lot and this book is so disjointed I actually preferred the film to the book for once. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kate Duggan
I don't know how I came to buy this book, it's totally different from my usual read, I have been putting it off for months, I opened it just to get the feel of it and just could... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Harry Dell
Amazing! Love this book its my favourite, cant recommend this enoughPublished 1 month ago by Pen Name
A gripping, if at times manic, account of a wandering soul. His achievements were staggering, his self belief was also to be admired, but it was this unwavering confidence that led... Read morePublished 2 months ago by paul monks
Brilliant read. Totally absorbing exploration of the men who simply want to live in the wild. Quite harrowing in parts.Published 2 months ago by bookwarm