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Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

March 6, 2020

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” — Chris McCandless

Christopher Johnson McCandless is a gifted and talented young man who has a good life set up before him and never wanted anything else— until he does. When he decides he wants to “live off the land for a bit,” he graduates from college with honors, and he hops in his battered, yellow Datsun and makes his way across the country from Atlanta to California (with his car breaking down in Arizona.) Then he heads straight up to “The Last Frontier” in Alaska where his decomposed body is found four months later by a group of moose hunters inside of an old, abandoned bus.

How did he survive hitchhiking across America? What drove him to do what he did? In Into The Wild author Jon Krakauer reports this unique adventure in third person, narrating McCandless’s journey while using his personal journal, where he wrote in during his trek, to make a story out of McCandless’s life. Krakaueralso throws in stories from his own life that connect with what Chris was feeling. Along the way, he includes interviews with the different people who accidentally got in the way of McCandless’s cross- country trek while going on with everyday business.

The plot isn’t that fast paced, but at the same time it’s informational and interesting to get a glimpse of how successful McCandless was before he went into the wild. Krakauer explains where his journey took him and how many good people he met along the way, who cared for him and tried to convince him to call his parents and not run away once they found what kind of person he was underneath that hair and dirty clothes.

I loved how Krakauer carefully pieced this story together using McCandless’s journal and the many interviews that Krakauer did to properly make McCandless’s true story come to life on paper and on television and be heard by millions of people who wondered what happened to the young man who ran away from home and a good life to live his own life on the road.

Krakauer has published many other non-fiction books, some that I have not read yet but one I have. It’s just as good as this one and is called Into Thin Air. It certainly changed my perspective on the sport of mountain climbing (especially on Everest) and how fast weather can change from good to bad.

I rated Into The Wild a ten out of ten for its amazing diction and storytelling. This book is a must-read for any person who likes the outdoors, and I am positive that this book will give readers some insight and advice for living out in the wild.

Jack

Anchor Books, 207 pages


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