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Into the Wild

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Haunting

I think a person generally falls under two categories after reading this book: those that dismiss Chris McCandless as a nut, an idiot, an arrogant naive kid. And then those that see Chris McCandless as a hero of sorts, a person to greatly admire. I fall into the latter ...
I think a person generally falls under two categories after reading this book: those that dismiss Chris McCandless as a nut, an idiot, an arrogant naive kid. And then those that see Chris McCandless as a hero of sorts, a person to greatly admire. I fall into the latter category, but not because I think he was infallible. I acknowledge his faults, but I find so much to admire about the journey he undertook and the courage he had to make his dreams happen. Krakauer's writing is arresting, absorbing, you feel like you are right there with the figures in the story. I say "story" loosely because this is not a work of fiction. Chris's family is out there, still grieving over the enormous pain he left for them to endure. That this is a true story that happened not long ago makes it all the more haunting. It stayed with me months after reading it. There will be those that brush off this story with cynicism. But at the heart, this is a story about a young man who would settle for nothing less than the full realization of his dreams - to go out into the wild alone and challenge himself against God and nature. I would say this book changed my life. It woke me up and made me realize I wasn't living my life to the fullest. Thank you Mr. Krakauer for this masterpiece.

posted by fleurfairy on February 10, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

His defenders make the stupidest arguments

First of all I've become quite insulted by the way his defenders try to belittle people who find his story critical. One such reviewer said that most people who view McCandless negatively are in grade 8 and do not understand the meaning of life. The truth is, most peopl...
First of all I've become quite insulted by the way his defenders try to belittle people who find his story critical. One such reviewer said that most people who view McCandless negatively are in grade 8 and do not understand the meaning of life. The truth is, most people who critisize McCandless have a deep respect for life which is why we would never trek into a dangerous environment with intentionally no provisions and not even bother to call our families to see how were doing. So who are people who remain critical of McCandless's story? I'll give you a portrait. One such man is a TV producer. He 30, married with a baby daughter. He is adventurous: he came to Canada from Serbia. He plans someday to visit Antartica. He values his life and the lives of people around him. He has made an independent name for himself. That is the portrait of someone who critisizes McCandless. Chances are the most who admkire him are under 25 and have never been to a children's cancer ward. Anyway, let's get to the book. The book seeks to glorify and render the actions of what can only be described as a troubled youth. Chris was not out to become independent and adventurous. And his story in no way relates to that of the author. First of all, lots of youth want to become independent and explore the world. But I don't find anything independent about a boy who doesn't work and depends on the kindness of strangers to survive. Secondly, this was not a young man on a great adventure. This was a suicide mission. Most young people, including myself, set off on adventures to get back alive. We make plans to survive the environment we trek into. This was boy who went into the Alaskan tundra without shelter, without food and without a map to find his way out. Is that adventurous or suicidal? The author is romantisizing a angry and self-destructive youth. This not a healthy message for young people who think that they are above nature and everyone they love around them. For the story of a truly heroic, independent and adventurous young man who truly valued life, consider a read about Terry Fox.

posted by Anonymous on March 13, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    The Death of An Innocent

    Innocent. Young. Brilliant. Visionary. Complicated. Stubborn. Christopher Johnson McCandless¿s personality was enriched with all of these characteristics. John Krakauer¿s novel Into the Wild, tells the tale of this unorthodox young man as he departs on a hitchhiking voyage across the country, to the desolate area of northern Mt. McKinley. Immediately after graduating with honors from Emory University, McCandless leaves behind all his parents¿ ambition, most of his possessions, and his twenty-four thousand dollar savings to charity. He invents a new life for himself, and presents the determination of finding a raw and conceptual adventure. His family does not know what has become of him until, in 1992, a group of hunters discovered his starved and decomposed corpse. Krakauer pursued many of the individuals that interacted with McCandless, researched journal entries, postcards, and photographs, and even interrupts the story with his own youth narratives, to obtain a view on the controversy that the public generated on the different motives and psychological state of McCandless¿s mind. This exposure into the deeper meanings of his intentions satisfied the hunger and attraction that Krakauer and many other individuals developed when they heard McCandless¿s story. The author expressed many underlying discoveries as well, like the fascination that American minds have with nature, the excitement of risky actions young men feel, and the effects of father-son bonds as he journeyed through the life of McCandless. Into the Wild displayed the excitement of adventure, and used it to tell a real-life event. Anyone who likes adventure, drama, or philosophizing would enjoy reading this book. It is a fantastic change to read something that makes everyone think, and establish different opinions throughout the story. Krakuaer¿s novel provides a scoop of reality along with the pull that fiction has on readers. It also included little details that made an impact on what Krakauer was trying to convey to his audience. However, those who like to become truly engrossed in a book may fail to locate that in Into the Wild. It fell just short of being an amazing book due to a lack of construction in the plot, and having that certain surprise that hooks the reader. There was no ¿giving away the ending,¿ or even ¿emotion that touches the soul.¿ One must remember though that Into the Wild is a non-fiction book, and overall, a great one at that.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    A Book Worth Reading

    Although the story of Christopher McCandless, AKA Alexander Supertramp, is a tale known to many, this book takes it to a whole new level. After writing an article in Outsider Magazine about McCandless' untimely demise in the Alaskan wilderness, there was much controversy surrounding McCandless' mental state and motives. The author, Jon Krakauer tracks down and interviews many individuals McCandless interacted with during his years hitchhiking across the country. Through numerous interviews and letters, Krakauer strings together a synthetic Chris McCandless, a description with such depth the reader almost feels as if they knew the young man before his untimely death. Krakauer produces ruminations surrounding McCandless' motives and feelings while trekking across the country to fulfill his dream of a "Great Alaskan Odyssey." Insights surrounding McCandless' death change misconceptions surrounding his death, McCandless may not have been as ill-equipped for such an undertaking as may have been thought. The introduction and background given about McCandless make the beginning of the book very interesting, and although the bulk of the book, conveying McCandless' travels gets kind of repetitive, the book Is tied together nicely, recounting his death in the wild.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Chris McCandless is Stupendous

    This is heart renching tale of a man who disownes his parents and leaves all of his belongings in the dust...literally. Chirstopher "Supertramp" McCandless is a lost soul who wonders into the valley of the lost minds. On the way he discovers who the real Chris is. Unfortunatly Chris becomes powerless against the wilderness and struggles for his life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    Very interesting read

    It is a great book to read if you love nature and you enjoy reading about other people's adventures. The stories were all well researched and the author has a very descriptive writing style.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Incredible Reveiw on Into The Wild

    Into The Wild is a captivating book with the main character Chris McCandless going through many things to survive on his own.
    Chris lived with his Mom and Dad. They were a middle to upperclass family. Chris was planning on going to college and ended up throwing it all away to live alone in the Alaskan Outback.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Complicated Read

    I'm not exactly certain how I feel about Jon Krakauer's book. It was obviously well researched and extremely well written. It didn't read like a dry scientific text or a blind affirmation of the passion of youth. It was almost simple; the story of a man who graduated with honors from Emory University, decided to renounce the material world, and lived as a constant rover.

    The wanderings of Chris McCandless, the son of a well-to-do family, eventually led him to the ultimate untamed landscape: Alaska. He trekked into the wilderness with only a few insubstantial tools and a ten pound bag of rice and expected to survive. He did not. His body was found by hunters in an abandoned bus. It was estimated that he died sometimes mid-August of 1992; two years after he set out on his odyssey.

    Jon Krakauer tackles a difficult true-life subject and takes the reader on a convulsive journey as he traces the final years of a young man fueled by the ideas of Thoreau and Tolstoy. I found myself admiring McCandless' fervent belief in a connection to nature and the evils of complacent society, then subsequently repulsed by his complete disregard of common sense and his family.

    One of the book's strongest features was the introductions to each chapter. Many are quotations on society or survival that were highlighted in the books McCandless treasured. Also, Krakauer pits McCandless' story against a tale from his own zealous youth. This account of his climb of the Devil's Thumb Mountain provides a perfect parallel to McCandless' struggle to survive in the wild Alaskan land.

    Ultimately, the bitter irony of Chris McCandless' death becomes the book's greatest affirmation of life. Before McCandless began his journey, before he died of starvation in the Alaskan wilderness, he donated $24,000 to an organization called Oxfam International; a charity dedicated to eradicating hunger in the world. Most would look at the story of Chris McCandless and dismiss it as the attempts of another freak to prove society's wrongs, but in Krakauer's hands it takes on a new and poignant account of a man who believed to fiercely and yearned too much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2008

    Into The wild Eric D. 10-24-08

    I personally think that the book, Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer is a very good one. It is the story of a young man named Chris McCandless, who is from an upper middle class family. Despite this, he donates all of his money to charity and wanders around the country, hitchhiking to different destinations. He has an ultimate goal of going to Alaska to survive in the wilderness. The strongest trait of this book is that it is very well researched down to the smallest details. It is also very interesting, and it really makes you think. The only bad thing about this book is that sometimes it gets really off topic. Eventually, though, it always gets back on topic to complete the story. Other then this minor flaw it is a really, really good book, and I would definitely recommend it for anyone who likes this type of story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2014

    I definitely recommend reading this book! Has a good point behin

    I definitely recommend reading this book! Has a good point behind it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Silverblaze

    Im back. Im at the main camp.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Ok book

    I am also reading this for English class and so far it is pretty good. It is scillicinating and very interesting. I hope it gets better though. It was a lot of money so I hope it will be good the rest of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Semi ok book

    I had to read this book for English and I thought it was a little bit boring and interesting. I didnt like how it had different people telling the story about McCandless life d how it switched around from his life events, I got very confused. It was very sad reading that it was based on a true story and how this person went to Alaska on an adventure and then died. That is very sad to me. You can read this book if you want, but dont just look at my comment and think this book ia bad. It is actually interesting.
    Kourtney Cox
    Senior, class of 2014!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    Into the wild was very dry and not amusing. I expected the book

    Into the wild was very dry and not amusing. I expected the book to be more adventurous. The story on the front cover of the hard cover version captured my attention but the story line of the book itself lost it. The story on the cover was very mysterious, "...four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter." That one line sparked a lot of questions like, why did he die? Although, the book was for the most part dry and unexciting, it did have its "oh my god" moments where you read something and it shocks you. McCandless came across so many people and they all loved him and became so close to him and he would stay for a short period of time then be on his way again. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Very good read.

    Recommend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Great book & movie!

    This story is about a guy named Christopher. Chris likes to observe and experience the world around him. He wonders why it is the way it is, why people act in certain ways, and is searching to find his life and true self among all the white noise life typically can produce. He likes to read authors like Tolstoy and Thoreau and agrees with their ideals. He's free-spirited, uncorrupt, and idealistic. He marches to the beat of his own drum and wants to wander around the country and see things and meet people different from what he's been surrounded by. I absolutely love this book and movie and highly recommend you check out both!

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  • Posted June 14, 2012

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    loved it

    loved it

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  • Posted May 30, 2012

    Into the Wild, by John Krakauer is a non-fiction novel about the

    Into the Wild, by John Krakauer is a non-fiction novel about the journey of a man, Chris McCandless, into the wild. The story begins with the McCandless’ death in the arctic wilderness. Krakauer then takes us back to the beginning of McCandless’ life and explores his life from the time he leaves college. McCandless leaves college in search of something more meaningful than the mundane lifestyle that most occupy. Right out of college, Chris McCandless donates twenty-five thousand dollars to charity, and begins his journey into the American frontier. McCandless’ adventure takes the reader to the outskirts of civilization, from hitchhiking to train hopping, to the remotest places in the country. At times, McCandless got a job, but never stayed in one place for too long, and instead relied on others to provide for him. McCandless then decides to travel into one of the most unforgiving wilds, the Arctic, only to never return.
    Overall, Into the Wild was a very good book. It is amazing how much research Krakauer did into the death of Chris McCandless and as a proof to his hard work, makes the reader feel and relate to McCandless. At times, the novel is slow although it never fails to disappoint, taking the reader on a journey into some of the least explored lands in America. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in nature or is just looking for a good read.
    Through McCandless’ adventure, John Krakauer raises the point that most of our lives are pointless and that most people fail to ever see the many wonders of nature. Krakauer, himself a rock climber, tries to convey the idea that people should explore nature and its wonders although not to get carried away as McCandless did. Although exploring nature is enlightening and is an overall good experience, there is more to nature than the scenery, and is a place where a struggle for survival happens. McCandless was a fool who believed that the nature which seemed so beautiful was separate from the tsunamis and tornados which cause so much disaster.
    Into the Wild by John Krakauer is a non-fiction novel about Chris McCandless, a man who leaves civilization for a life of tramping a exploring the wilderness. I would recommend this book to almost anyone, and it is amazing how much research has gone into this book, putting the reader in the same shoes as McCandless. In addition, Krakauer tries to tell the reader to get out and explore nature although not to underestimate it, because for those who do, do not return.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    Into the Wild is a wonderful tale of a man searching for somethi

    Into the Wild is a wonderful tale of a man searching for something. Chris is a man who disconnects from society and just wants to be independent. On his travels, he meets many interesting people and does many unbelievable things. I liked how the book made you feel the places he went to, the harshness of the winters and the heat of the summers. I didn't like the unorganized fashion of it. Some parts were journal entries, others were postcards Chris sent to his friends and some of it was the writer's actual writing. You should read this book if your a fan of expanded thinking. If you're someone who thinks the clutches of society are too strict and you want away from it all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Inspirational Story

    Into The Wild was very inspiring to me, and I was enthralled by the amount of work and research that evidentally went into recovering the tracks and adventure of this individual. I found several philosophical components of this book to resonate within me, particularly involving the adventurous drive within humans that is destroyed by modern lifestyles and career security.

    The only real complaint I have about this book is the author's tangential passages about other people's (including his own) experiences in the wild. I was really only interested in learning abiut Chris, and I believe these chapters took me too far away from the reason why I picked up the book in the first place.

    A must read for anyone with a passion for jumping into the unknown, and a life full of adventure and uncertainty.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Interesting but slow paced

    I thought this book was interesting, becauseit showed the other side of the united states. I realy hadnt realized that there people like tthis in the country. It was slow-paced because it wasnt neccesarie to include all the other stories oof people who had died while living off the land.

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