Into the Wild

Discussion in 'Non-Fiction Books' started by Jim Colyer, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Jim Colyer

    Jim Colyer Member

    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just read this book by Jon Krakauer:

    This is the story of Chris McCandless, a young man from an affuent family who graduated with honors from Emory University in Atlanta. In April, 1992, Chris set off into the Alaska wilderness with a rifle and meager supplies to "live off the land." He headed north of Denali National Park. He was idealistic and strongly influenced by the writings of Thoreau and Tolstoy. Four months later, he was found dead by a party of moose hunters in an abandoned Fairbanks city bus. He had starved to death.

    Jon Krakauer traces Chris' odyssey across the west. Chris' parents had assumed their son would go to law school with majors in history and anthropology. Instead, he secretly donated his college fund to charity and left with no word. He changed his name to Alex Supertramp. He abandoned his car and took to hitchhiking. He lived off rice. He traipsed through Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington. He was liked by the people he met. He spent time in South Dakota and worked for a man named Wayne Westerberg. He befriended an 80-year-old veteran whom he tried to convert to the nomadic life.

    Chris kept a journal in which he wrote about himself in the third person. He saw himself as a modern Thoreau. He camped in the Grand Canyon. He worked in a restaurant in Las Vegas. He revelled in his own spirit.

    Meanwhile, Chris' parents were worried sick. Krakauer documents their grief.

    Krakauer is sympathetic toward Chris and sees him as different from other wierdos who wander off in the wilderness. Chris' story and Krakauer's merge. Krakaeur grew up in Oregon and was taught mountain climbing by his father. He spent time in Alaska as a young man and climbed a peak known as Devils Thumb. He writes about it in detail, relating his mistakes and the unforgiving nature of mountains, ice and freezing temperatures. He questions why he survived his Alaska adventure while Chris perished in his.

    It got out of hand with Chris. At least, it would seem so. His disregard for his parents and contempt for the rules of society are hard to defend. His asceticism and high-mindedness are extreme. He became an aimless drifter, a selfish nonconformist.

    We are shown the source of Chris' resentment toward his father. His father had a second family by a first marriage. Apparently, it was a factor in this prodigal son's celibacy.

    Krakauer admits the gap between himself and his own father, finding it impossible to live the life his father had in mind.

    As his wanderlust grew, Chris thought more and more of Alaska. He hitched a ride from Dawson Creek in Canada up the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks. He bought a rifle and hitched again on the George Parks Highway toward the wilderness. He wanted to escape all signs of civilization. He saw Mt. Kinley in the distance. He found the bus and made it his home. For awhile, he was able to live off birds, squirrels and other small game. Krakauer concludes that Chris was poisoned by eating wild potato seeds which weakened him and led to his death. He does not believe he was suicidal or had a death wish as critics have proposed. Still, Chris was not that far into the bush and might have saved himself had he had some presence of mind. A year later, Krakauer escorted his parents to the bus.

    Krakauer went on to climb Mt. Everest, an expedition during which several of his party perished. He turned the disaster into another bestseller, "Into Thin Air."

    "Into the Wild" is being made into a movie starring Sean Penn and Vince Vaughn. It is due in 2007. Jon Krakauer's original story first appeared in Outside magazine.




    Contact: jim@jimcolyer.com
     
  2. DancerAnnie

    DancerAnnie Resident Beach Bum

    Messages:
    9,182
    Likes Received:
    22
    LOL one of my favorite books.

    And nice cut and paste job.
     
  3. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Lifetime Supporter

    Messages:
    17,543
    Likes Received:
    1,328
    yeah... I recently had to make sure I had the right book title for an article on a musician who sang about McCandless, and I believe I read almost every word of this.
    Colyer, continue to spam and cut and paste and you are outta here.
     
  4. Jim Colyer

    Jim Colyer Member

    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bring knowledge and wisdom.
     
  5. BraveSirRubin

    BraveSirRubin Members

    Messages:
    34,144
    Likes Received:
    18
    I am currently reading it and loving it.

    It saddens me that they are going to make a big hollywood movie about it though.
     
  6. DancerAnnie

    DancerAnnie Resident Beach Bum

    Messages:
    9,182
    Likes Received:
    22
    If you like that one you should check out "Into Thin Air" by the same author OR "Golden Spruce" by John Vaillant.
     
  7. BraveSirRubin

    BraveSirRubin Members

    Messages:
    34,144
    Likes Received:
    18
    Thank you, I shall.
     
  8. Midget

    Midget Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,188
    Likes Received:
    1
    Years ago, I read Into Thin Air, and thought it was an excelent book. I don't believe I have read Into the Wild, although it sounds vageuly fimiliar. Perhaps I'll just have to read both these books again. :)

    I didn't know that Krakauer grew up in Oregon.

    Also, if you like this book, you may be interested in Wild Animus. I can't remember who it is by at the moment, but I read it a few summers ago, and found it to be very exciting. :)
     
  9. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Lifetime Supporter

    Messages:
    17,543
    Likes Received:
    1,328
    and tons of music spam.
    egoist.
    Under the Banner of Heaven might be worth a look with Jeffs' recent arrest.
    I do believe Krakauer does write like the magazine writer he is. Some odd shifts in action and pacing (I can almost feel deleted paragraphs, too).
    I think with a better editing process his books would feel more connected.
    Still, I enjoy reading them.
     
  10. seaweedyness

    seaweedyness Member

    Messages:
    873
    Likes Received:
    3
    excellent book. we had to read it for school, and none of the kids in my class could relate to it except for me. they all were complaining about how Chris had it all and he wasted it. they couldnt understand why someone would ever do what he did. actually, i think i might pick out my senior quote from that book....ah, i could talk about that book for hours :)
     
  11. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Lifetime Supporter

    Messages:
    17,543
    Likes Received:
    1,328
    I felt McCandless did go over on the zealot side. A bit of preperation and he'd have written his OWN book, influencing more people to go see what is out there.
    still, the owner of the grain silo spoke well of his work ethic, and he didn't seem to be on the trail of women of men as partners.
    I can respect someone who lives their talk. McCandless needed a bit more survival knowledge, and perhaps the humbleness to accept some help/advice.
    Starry eyed dreamer?
    I think so.
     
  12. BraveSirRubin

    BraveSirRubin Members

    Messages:
    34,144
    Likes Received:
    18
    McCandless was defenatly lost within his ideals, but that is what makes this story so beautiful. There are a lot of stories about people going into the wild for various reasons... some dying and some surviving. Few, though, have gone out there for such pure human reasons as Alex did, and few have seemed to have such an ability to charm and amaze people as Alex did. Alex's character was built around his strong ideals, and his character is what makes the book.
     
  13. Driftwood Gypsy

    Driftwood Gypsy Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Messages:
    2,420
    Likes Received:
    130
    saw the movie, loved it, just started the book. i definitely admire him for what he did.
     
  14. 6-eyed shaman

    6-eyed shaman Sock-eye salmon

    Messages:
    10,382
    Likes Received:
    5,142
    I first learned about Into the Wild when my girlfriend (at the time) dragged me to that movie. It was our first date right after we officially started the relationship. It was the best movie date I've ever been on.

    But I liked the book a bit better. I think the movie was very well put together. And I own the Soundtrack which was done entirely by Eddie Vedder. Sean Penn, I think, tried to make McCandles look more heroic and smarter than he actually was, and I don't recall the book suggesting that his parents fought all the time like the movie portrayed. I sorta think McCandles got a little too egotistical going up to Alaska with insufficient supplies.

    One thing that's interesting was that looking back on it all. My family and I were visiting Denali national park back in summer of 1992 at the exact same time Chris McCandles was out there all by himself.
     
    wrat1 likes this.
  15. wrat1

    wrat1 Members

    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    477
    Great book ok movie
     

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice