Monday, April 07, 2008

[Book Review] INTO THE WILD by Jon Krakauer


Katie Redus reviews INTO THE WILD by Jon Krakauer (Villard Books, 1996)

After abandoning or giving away all of his money and possessions, Christopher McCandless walked into the Alaskan wilderness alone. He was profoundly influenced by the writings of Henry David Thoreau, Jack London and Leo Tolstoy. McCandless went on his own search for the wilderness he had read about in books like White Fang and Walden.

After graduating from Emory University in 1990, Christopher McCandless began a journey that would take him across the country and into the lives of an interesting array of people that he met along the way. Author Jon Krakauer meticulously recreates McCandless’ journey from college graduation all the way to the tragic discovery of his dead body in an abandoned bus in Alaska.

McCandless was undeterred along his journey into the wilderness. His letters and diary told of his travels and gave some insight into the mind of a young man from a well-to-do family who left everything behind to invent a new life for himself.

Krakauer reveals the overconfidence of a young man who was brilliant, brave and some may even say crazy. Into the Wild is woven around excerpts from some of McCandless’ favorite readings and also stories from Krakauer’s youth. This brings about a more compelling and fulfilling version of the story of Chris McCandless.

Katie Redus, Frayser Branch Library

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