Into the Wild

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Into the Wild

by Jon Krakauer

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

Into the Wild is rated 4.35 out of 5 by 20.
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, 7.94 × 5.18 × 0.47 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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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from "Good Read" This book tells the story of a young man, Chris McCandless, and his answer to the call of the wild. This young man travelled light and for the moment, with little preparation for what was around the corner. But what he wanted the most was the unplanned trip. He longed for the unexpected and the unplanned adventure. Unlike the younger generation of today, he wanted to live through his own experiences without any guidance of any kind. People today seem to have a picture of everything and some take their pictures while doing it. Chris just wanted to do it. He wanted the chance to expose himself to danger and the unprepared wilderness. He enjoyed the disconnection from the world. Chris made a lot of friends on his journey across the country. Chris didn’t go for a weekend hike or a 2-week stay on an island adventure; instead, he travelled the countryside looking for the next great adventure. He came up with an idealized idea of travelling in the wilderness up north to just live life as it came: unprepared and unplanned and living on the edge. The book was an interesting story. I enjoyed reading it.
Date published: 2013-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Adventure-filled and gripping A friend recommended this book to me, stating that it would make me want to take off "into the wild" myself. When I read the intro I thought "Yeah, right! This guy dies!" but my friend was right on. The book is very inspiring, and does make you realize we are capable of so much more than we think, and also crave an adventure-of-a-lifetime of your own...
Date published: 2011-05-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Intriguing but left bewildered Into the Wild This true story is about a adventurous young man named Christopher McCandless who takes to the road after graduating university. He lives a minimalist lifestyle roaming the Western states leading up to his decision to venture to Alaska wilderness for the big-time adventure that ultimately leads to his untimely death. The author, Jon Krakauer uses a collaboration of interviews with friends and families and McCandless’ journal writing to give his interpretation of the events leading up to this young man’s unfortunate death. Krakauer also provides backgrounds of other not-so fortunate adventurers who also have disappeared or died in an attempt to give the reader an understanding of what makes someone venture into wilderness to live off the land when most of us would think it is craziness. Intrigued by the book jacket but by the end of the story felt totally bewildered for two reasons; by the way of Krakauer’s writing style and because of McCandless actions. Preferably when reading non-fiction I like it to be told in sequence of events which I felt was not the case for this book. I felt that by the end of the book that much of the last years of this young man’s life could not be documented properly because of his sometimes reclusive lifestyle hence why my feelings of bewilderment as we will never really understand what drives people to alienate themselves and in this case take the risks the can cost a life. It is thought provoking but in my opinion very dry at times because of the gaps the author needed to fill it to make it book.
Date published: 2010-02-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very good 3.5 stars. Into the Wild tells the story of Chris McCandless, a 24-year old whose body was found in the wilderness of Alaska in 1992. Chris had disappeared from his family’s lives two years earlier. Krakauer tells McCandless’s story, not only of the missing two years (pieced together by a journal, postcards, and interviews with people Chris had met during that time), as well as Chris’s life story. Krakauer also compares Chris’s life and adventures with other people who had similarly tried to live in the wild, and also with his own life. Very good book. I thought Krakauer did a good job of trying to explain what would have possessed Chris to do what he did. I did find that I wasn’t quite as interested in the stories of some of the other people Krakauer compared Chris to (though I found Krakauer’s own story quite interesting), but that was only a very small part of the book.
Date published: 2009-11-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not so wild about this book. When I finished reading this book I found that I had enjoyed it but not to any great extreme. I was very interested in the main character Chris and what he went through but found that this book went off on too many tangents that I wasn't interested in as much as the story of Chris. There were stories about other people who have had similar experiences (including the author) but I felt as if this was 'filler'. Would have enjoyed this book more if it just focused on the main character. I recently watched the movie and found it much more gripping and would recommend the movie over the book. Not a bad book at all, just not as focused as the movie was on the main story.
Date published: 2009-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awe inspiring I have read many (many!!!) books and this one, I can honestly say, this is my favorite to date. It is not only a novel about a young man, Chris McCandless, who yearns for solitude and freedom from modern society. This in itself would be an interesting read. The author, Jon Krakauer goes above and beyond a mere biography in order to explore the thought process and ideals of this young man. There is so much depth involved in this novel that a person can't help but ponder about life (Chris' life; as well as their own) as they read. I highly recommend Into the Wild, especially to the youth in this world who may be searching for the meaning of life and their place within it. This novel may just inspire you (hopefully not to become a vagabond but to help you discover your potential). P.S. Phone you parents. I also recommend this novel to the parents of today's youth so that you may better understand the reason behind your children's need for *freedom* and *solitude* and, perhaps, to understand why your children don't phone as much as you would like them to.
Date published: 2009-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing There really isn't anything to say about this book other then: wow. What an amazing story about one souls wandering and need for something else in his life. The true search for ones true self. It was heart wrentching but no other novel I've ever read had EVER brought me closer to the true heart of a person I've never known or heard about. I think that anyone who takes the time to read through that young mans tragic tale will find that it hits somewhere near home, no matter how old you are. We can all see a piece of ourselves in Chris McCandless, whether it be his gentle nature, or his need for something deeper in his life, or just a love for that which is around us. I loved this novel and think that anyone looking for a great read should check this out, you will not regret it. It's one of the greatest books out there, hands down.
Date published: 2008-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I think I'm going to disappear for a while... A review of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild INTO THE WILD is an account of a young man who hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter… It is a captivating and compelling read; you’ll probably read it in one or two sittings. Jon Krakauer paints a sympathetic portrait, at times identifying with the young man, spending a chapter discussing his own less tragic adventurous pursuits. What I find remarkable here is not so much this particular narrative, but how pervasive this narrative is. If a man is only as manly as his last “masculine act” then this is a gospel of masculinity. The narrative depicts a romance with the wild, the striving for independence, an adventure in the land of hope and freedom, a life less ordinary, the road less chosen – whichever cliché fits. The main character is capable but naïve, brilliant but in his own world. Two things struck me about this book. First, McCandless is critical of the “plastic people” that he encounters, a work and at school. The irony of this observation is that he becomes disposable himself, throwing himself away into the woods. As Krakauer notes, this was not his intention… but it is the consequence of thinking that living in the wild is like summer camp. “Same story: idealistic, energetic young guys who overestimated themselves, underestimated the country, and ended up in trouble… Such willful ignorance… amounts to disrespect for the land…” (Nick Jans qtd in Krakauer, 71, 72). Second, Krakauer is puzzled by a paradox in the life of McCandless: his contempt for urban life and its ills and his ability to excel as an entrepreneur, one of the reasons he makes such a powerful impact on people. Krakauer leaves this question open… but I think he misses a rather obvious point: counter-cultural attitudes are entrepreneurial. This narrative, although exclusively dealing with young men recklessly romping through the wild, has a remarkable parallel with the well established links between religious revivalism and entrepreneurship. That being said, the narrative is heart-rending. It is difficult not to identify in some way with the restlessness of the young man and his ideals. The three recommendations have to do with a potential explanation as to why young men are drawn "into the wild" and how this relates to the entrepreneurial spirit.
Date published: 2007-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking... and fascinating Don't miss this tragic story of a young man's obsession with his personal journey to self-awareness. A must have - before you see the upcoming movie.
Date published: 2007-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Tale Adventure From the moment I picked this book up I could not put it down, I didn't even buy it for myself in the first place. Jon Krakauer finds a way to write about these harrowing tales with such beauty, while at the same time informing you of just how dangerous what is going on is. I was amazed at Chris' sense of adventure and his want to live free and with hardly anything to his name. This book is a quick read, you won't want to stop reading, Krakauer writes with such great knowledge and warning. Amazing book, has anyone seen the movie?
Date published: 2007-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read A must read for anyone looking for adventure, The story of Alexander supertramp makes you realize just how invincible we can all feel in our youth.
Date published: 2001-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Into the Wild The book Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer is one of the greatest books I have ever read. It is a tragic story that is brought to life through the eloquent writing of Krakauer. The autor tells the story beautifuly and objectively, allow the reader to draw their own conclusions. The story comes alive on the page. I would recommend this book, as well as any other of Jon Krakauer's. It is a glimps into the heart and soul of a young idealistic man. Put it on your top ten list of the best books of all time. A must read!
Date published: 2001-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from into the wild if one has had any questions about the validity of the western consumer culture or entertained thoughts of leaving it all for the escape and freedom that is believed to exist in the uninhabited areas of the earth, then this book is spooky. krakauer reveals our perceptions of this young man's decisions in his search for his own understanding of mccandless. i highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2000-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Inspiring To go and follow a dream… To go and become one with nature… Why try and explain why.
Date published: 2000-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling...Reflective...Introspective... Highly recommended reading that can't help but make some of us wonder how we survived the exhilaration and adventures of youth that sometimes brought us to edge of survival itself. A McCandless Gene?
Date published: 2000-07-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed Although the story itself is quite interesting, I was disappointed by a few factors: 1. It discusses various pictures that McCandless had taken during various treks into the wild and these are never shown. A picture section would have been nice. 2. On the cover of the book it states that McCandless had $25,000 in savings which he gave to charity, whereas in the body of the book the amount is $24,000. Nitpicky? Maybe, but really, what is the amount? 3. Walt installs a brass plaque memorial inside the bus - but what does it say? The author doesn't tell us. and 4. The price of the book - a little steep in my opinion. Even though these points may seem trivial, they made me feel somewhat "ripped off" when I finished the book. I enjoyed reading about this extraordinary man's life - but I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more if it weren't for the above points.
Date published: 2000-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Into The Wild Simply put, this is the only book I feel confident in recomending to all. Whether you are a traveler at heart or just someone who has brief notions of escape from a fast paced world. Into The Wild should be in everyone's collection.
Date published: 2000-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Into The Wild One of the greatest books that tries to unvail the quest for self-discovery. I read this book twice, back to back in an attempt to understand Chris McCandless' deep and sincere yearning of life. A wonderfull novel, recomended to everyone.
Date published: 1999-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Into The Wild Good things do come in small packages (however sombre the subject matter). Krakauer retraces the last few months in the life of Christopher Johnson McCandless, an intelligent young man from an affluent U.S. suburb who wanders alone into the Alaskan wilderness. This thought-provoking account is enriched by picturesque quotations from Leo Tolstoy and Henry David Thoreau. Though McCandless's reasons for abandoning society may be unclear, Krakauer manages to provide considerable insight into his possible motives. A journey to the great outdoors - as well as a trek to the very heart and soul of a very stubborn and idealistic young man.
Date published: 1999-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Into the Wild This is Krakauer's book written before he achieved international success with his subsequent account of the Everest disaster, Into Thin Air. This is a very well written, tragic story of a young man who sets off on a nomadic adventure that cocts him his life. Christopher McCandless graduates from college and gives all his money away to live a simple life. He wanders the U.S. for two years and ends up trekking into the interior of Alaska where he eventually dies of starvation. This story is partly autobiographical as Krakauer strongly identifies with McCandless. Krakauer challenged mountains and McCandless the wild. McCandless loved books and I enjoyed exploring some of his favourite works, including Henry David Thoreau, Tolstoy and Pasternak, which are identified in this book. In the end, a great story of self-discovery.
Date published: 1999-03-05

– More About This Product –

Into the Wild

by Jon Krakauer

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 7.94 × 5.18 × 0.47 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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