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Into the Wild

by Jon Krakauer

By the Cover

Excerpt from the cover:

“In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to a charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all of the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter…”

Book Review

Cover from the book.

This book is very engrossing. Jon Krakauer (author of Into Thin Air) starts off the narration by stating the facts: Christopher died in Alaska; he was good student who graduated from Emory University with honors, an “extremely intense young man [who] possessed a streak of stubborn idealism”. The rest of the book acts to bridge the gap between Christopher McCandless’ affluent life in suburbia to his death in an abandoned school bus in the wilds of Alaska.

After Christopher's body was discovered in 1992, Jon Krakauer wrote an article that ran in the January 1993 issue of Outside magazine about the kid. It drew a lot of mail -- this is how the author got interested. The author draws from his own experiences as a professional climber, when he risked his own skin in (idealistically) similar pursuits. At worst, you may read this book as the biography of a foolish young man with a short lease on life; at best you will follow a modern day tragedy spurred on by recklessness and stubborn idealism.