Into the Wild

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Into the Wild

by Jon Krakauer

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | January 20, 1997 | Trade Paperback |

4.35 out of 5 rating. 20 Reviews
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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 charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir.  In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his  cash.  He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented.  Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away.  Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless''s short life.  Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless.  Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.

When McCandless''s innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless''s uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer''s stoytelling blaze through every page.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: January 20, 1997

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385486804

ISBN - 13: 9780385486804

Found in: Travel

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– More About This Product –

Into the Wild

Into the Wild

by Jon Krakauer

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: January 20, 1997

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385486804

ISBN - 13: 9780385486804

Read from the Book

THE ALASKA INTERIOR April 27th, 1992 Greetings from Fairbanks! This is the last you shall hear from me, Wayne. Arrived here 2 days ago. It was very difficult to catch rides in the Yukon Territory. But I finally got here. Please return all mail I receive to the sender. It might be a very long time before I return South. If this adventure proves fatal and you don''t ever hear from me again I want you to know you''re a great man. I now walk into the wild. --Alex. (Postcard received by Wayne Westerberg in Carthage, South Dakota.) Jim Gallien had driven four miles out of Fairbanks when he spotted the hitchhiker standing in the snow beside the road, thumb raised high, shivering in the gray Alaska dawn. He didn''t appear to be very old: eighteen, maybe nineteen at most. A rifle protruded from the young man''s backpack, but he looked friendly enough; a hitchhiker with a Remington semiautomatic isn''t the sort of thing that gives motorists pause in the forty-ninth state. Gallien steered his truck onto the shoulder and told the kid to climb in. The hitchhiker swung his pack into the bed of the Ford and introduced himself as Alex. "Alex?" Gallien responded, fishing for a last name. "Just Alex," the young man replied, pointedly rejecting the bait. Five feet seven or eight with a wiry build, he claimed to be twenty-four years old and said he was from South Dakota. He explained that he wanted a ride as far as the edge of Denali National Park, where he intended to walk deep into the bush an
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From the Publisher

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 charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir.  In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his  cash.  He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented.  Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away.  Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless''s short life.  Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless.  Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.

When McCandless''s innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless''s uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer''s stoytelling blaze through every page.

From the Jacket

"Terrifying...Eloquent...A heart-rending drama of human yearning."
--New York Times

"A narrative of arresting force.  Anyone who ever fancied wandering off to face nature on its own harsh terms should give a look.  It's gripping stuff."
--Washington Post

"Compelling and tragic...Hard to put down."  
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Engrossing...with a telling eye for detail, Krakauer has captured the sad saga of a stubborn, idealistic young man."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"It may be nonfiction, but Into the Wild is a mystery of the highest order."
--Entertainment Weekly

About the Author

Mountain climber and writer Jon Krakauer was born in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1954. He worked as a carpenter and fisherman and wrote articles on mountain climbing throughout the latter half of the 1970s. By 1980, he wrote regularly for Outside magazine and has written for such publications as National Geographic, Playboy and Rolling Stone. Krakauer wrote In the Wild, but is best known for Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster.

From Our Editors

What would possess someone to leave civilization and head off into the remote Alaskan wilderness to live? Jon Krakauer searches for the very answer to this question in Into the Wild. Twenty-four-year-old Chris McCandless packed up and moved clear across North America to reside Alaska's backwoods. Four months later, a hunter discovered McCandless's emaciated corpse at his campsite. Mesmerizing and heartbreaking, Krakauer's powerful and luminous storytelling blazes through every page.

Editorial Reviews

"Terrifying...Eloquent...A heart-rending drama of human yearning."
--New York Times

"A narrative of arresting force.  Anyone who ever fancied wandering off to face nature on its own harsh terms should give a look.  It''s gripping stuff."
--Washington Post

"Compelling and tragic...Hard to put down."  
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Engrossing...with a telling eye for detail, Krakauer has captured the sad saga of a stubborn, idealistic young man."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"It may be nonfiction, but Into the Wild is a mystery of the highest order."
--Entertainment Weekly

Employee Review

Chris McCandless was idealistic, charismatic and cocky: the archetypal angry young man. Krakauer documents McCandless's demise in the Alaskan wilds, not with the condescension of one who knows better, but as one who sees in McCandless his own younger self. He brings insight into McCandless's motivations, and dismisses the judgments made by cynical Alaskans on the young man's seemingly ill-conceived endeavour to live off the land. For Krakauer, McCandless's story parallels his own journey to adulthood -- except that fortune was less forgiving of McCandless.
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