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Into the Wild

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  521,404 ratings  ·  14,331 reviews
National Bestseller

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 late
Paperback, 207 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Anchor (first published January 1st 1996)
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Elaf i liked that it showed great individuality and freedom of choice as to living life rather differently than how we ordinarily would, caring little…morei liked that it showed great individuality and freedom of choice as to living life rather differently than how we ordinarily would, caring little about what people would think. it made me rethink my choices and encouraged me to spending time alone. (less)
Mary Beth This was my first Jon Krakauer book, and I was impressed with the story and many related stories he told including the one about the author himself.…moreThis was my first Jon Krakauer book, and I was impressed with the story and many related stories he told including the one about the author himself. By now you have probably read the book, if not please do!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This book is a wonderful cautionary tale. I will probably read it again with my daughter when she is old enough to discuss it. Unfortunately, I'm afraid the reason most people will read the book and see the new upcoming movie, is for a different reason. Chris McCandless (in the book, and from what I understand in the movie), is a hero and courageous for flying in the face of everything he grew up with to find a better way. A young man unhappy with the materialism, hunger, and waste in the world; ...more
Dixie Diamond
Apr 15, 2008 Dixie Diamond rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Don't Try This At Home
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Sckenda
Jun 28, 2015 Steve Sckenda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Who Hear the Call
Live Deliberately. No fear. No compromise. These commands Chris McCandless took as gospel. He interpreted books by Thoreau and Jack London literally, and they summoned him to his slow death at age 24, alone in the wilderness of Alaska. “McCandless distrusted the value of things that came easily—he demanded much of himself—more in the end than he could deliver.”

To appease his parents, Chris graduated from Emory University, but the rest of his life would be on his own terms. He gave away the $20
Overall, I was pretty disappointed with this book. The genesis of the book was an in-depth magazine article, and I suspect that the article was superb. But I just don't think there's enough here to warrant an entire book. As evidence, I point to several lengthy chapters that have nothing to do with the underlying story--they discuss other people who have gone "into the wild" and, surprisingly, Krakauer includes a whole chapter about himself.

My other problem is that I found myself unable to ident
Apr 09, 2008 Traci rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who respect the outdoors
I love Jon Krakauer. I didn't find one single thing about the Alex McCandless even remotely interesting. He came across as a spoiled brat with no concept of reality - basically because of his priveleged upbringing. But somehow, he blamed his parents for that void of myopic self absorption.

I live in Alaska and I've lived in Idaho and Colorado and Oregon . . . basically AROUND people who love the great outdoors. I am more comfortable in a heated coffee shop READING about the great outdoors. Still
I live a life, I suspect, that is much like yours. Wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed. At the end of this weekly desert, there might be a drink or ten to celebrate the victory over another five days of soul-crushing drudgery.

I am a desk jockey. A paper pusher. I mean that literally; I sit in my office, and when people peer inside, they will see me moving a sheet of paper from one side to the other. It looks, to the untrained eye, like valuable labor.

When I get the chance, tho
Petra X
We are all heroes to ourselves. McCandless was, Krakauer is. This doesn't vary. All that varies is how we define heroism and how much, or how little, we are prepared to do to for that stance.

In order to get people, usually young men, to sacrifice their lives we tell them of those that went before and tell them they were heroes who died for their countries, died for their principles, died even for their dreams. Impractical dreams that are the province of the young. And those who would be heroes n
This book got me riveted in the tragic story of Chris McCandless, a young man who left his family and friends, abandoned most of his material possessions, went to the Alaska wilderness and perished there. The author does a great job of portraying McCandless complex personality through meticulous research based on interviews, letters and journal entries. The writing is so engaging that although it is already clear from the beginning how McCandless' story would end, I was hooked till the last page ...more
Maudeen Wachsmith
Jan 14, 2008 Maudeen Wachsmith rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who have seen the movie, lovers of the outdoors
I first read Into the Wild ten years ago when it first came out after finding out that parts of it are set in Carthage, Miner County, South Dakota pop. 187, a town where my mother has family and where her cousin was once mayor. My great-grandmother is buried in Howard, the Miner county seat. So that was the book and movie’s initial appeal. I mean this town is the true “blink-and-you-miss-it” town. That is, if one would ever even happen to drive through it as it isn’t on a main road. So I wondere ...more
I love this book so much that I have not yet been able to write a traditional review. The story of Chris McCandless resonated deeply with me, and Jon Krakauer's writing gave me insight into loved ones who reminded me of Chris.

I have reread "Into the Wild" many times over the years, and each time I have found something new to appreciate. My paperback copy is heavily marked and underlined, and it is so dear to me that I never plan on giving it up. One of these days I hope I can bring myself to wr
This is a great book and I was totally enthralled. Krakauer’s writing is spectacular. It is such a personal story, made so not just by the author detailing his own experiences mountaineering, but also by incorporating McCandless’s family in the suffering and loss of their son. Yet somehow Krakauer keeps it all grounded, presenting a strategically balanced view of McCandless himself despite what I must imagine to be a profound desire either to glorify him in his admirable quest for self-reliance, ...more
Being a man who has always lived very close to the sea I have always admired and loved it but I am also very conscious that i have a very healthy sense of its danger and power and uncontrollable force. This book is the extraordinary account of one who loved Nature but who did not appear to have gained that equally important respect. A young man, wanders into the wilds of Alaska so as to commune with nature and 'discover' himself, a few months later his desperately emaciated corpse is found rotti ...more
Forrest Marchinton
n April 1992, a young 20-something walked into the Alaskan bush to live off the land and experience Reality. His emaciated body was found four months later. Some of you may have heard about the incident; it was reported in an article in Outside magazine, and carried by some news services. Some lauded him as a new Thoreau, living life to the fullest and taking the consequences; others say he was a stupid, hopeless romantic, an example of what happens when suburbanites try to do The Nature Thing.

After watching the film of the same name, I was interested to learn more about the life of the kid described. His was a captivating story and I was hungry for further details of Alex Supertramp's life.

However, this book mostly served as a reminder of why I don't like to read books written by journalists. Jon Krakauer is a fine writer, but like many other journalists is prone to irritating exaggeration and spent quite a bit of time romanticizing the parallels between Supertramp's life and his ow
Feb 09, 2010 Jason rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jason by: Discussion at work, and I felt left out
Chris McCandless had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder!! This is not a spoiler; it's my interpretation of the evidence provided by the author. McCandless had OCD. Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild is objectively written (more on the written word later), and goes to great length—medically, pharmacologically, and, especially, psychologically—to explain what happened to this 24 year old when he traipsed into the Alaskan bush under-equipped with 20 pounds of gear, mostly dry rice and books.

I'm not a subject
"It is hardly unusual for a young man to be drawn to a pursuit considered reckless by his elders; engaging in risky behavior is a rite of passage in our culture no less than in most others. Danger has always held a certain allure. That, in large part, is why so many teenagers drive too fast and drink too much and take too many drugs, why it has always been so easy for nations to recruit young men to go to war. It can be argued that youthful derring-do is in fact evolutionarily adaptive, a behavi ...more
Paul Wilder
Aug 29, 2007 Paul Wilder rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Longing for a Deeper Relationship with Nature
Ah, nature. That lovely, peaceful place where we go for a few minutes or hours during a hike in the mountains or for a day or two during a camping trip. Just driving by the forests on the mountains of Utah, I so long to pull over on the side of the road, leave my car just as Chris McCandless did in Nevada, and journey into the wild.

Uh, yeah.

After reading this book, I realize that I have much to learn. I do believe that nature is gentle and yet the consequences of taking it lightly are predictab
I found a review that I'd like to share. I believe that this reader's review represents how I feel and she writes it in a way that I never could have. For me, this book was less than likeable, I thought I was the only one. I was on the verge of re-reading it after hearing so many positive responses to it, maybe I didn't get it the first time...

After reading this reader's review, I am reminded that I don't want to revisit this story or get to know that character again.

here is her review-
Aaron Crossen
Really enjoyed it. McCandless had in him an exceptionally large dose of the passions that at one point or another consume most young men, if only for a brief period. His strong distaste, bordering on hatred, of modern American life, with all its easy pleasures is idealistic rebellion at its purest.

While he chose nature has his release from the artificial trappings that he rejected, I think many men, myself included, share or at least empathize with his idealism. In my frequent solitude, I've of
Aug 24, 2015 Nefariousbig rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: non-judgmental people who like a good story
Shelves: reviewed
I was almost turned off this book by some of the GR reviews. I like reading reviews, but I’m glad I don’t care what other people think. I’m not a huge fan of non-fiction but, as far as I know, Jon Krakauer is an excellent non-fiction writer. I heard McCandless’ journey through Krakauer’s writing. I will probably pick up another one of his books.

I wonder sometimes why we react to fictional characters and non-fictional “characters” so differently. A person’s journey to find their truth and travel
Jul 15, 2015 Tressa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Krakauer fans; adventurous men and women; young adults
Shelves: biography, adventure

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,
Biographical novel about Chris McCandless, a smart 23 year old boy who starts an idealistic journey throughout the forests and deserts of the States and Mexico trying to live accordingly to his Tolstoian beliefs, which denounce all kind of material possessions. The adventure ends up in tragedy when his body is found in Alaska two years after his departure. This story aroused a mediatic debate in the nineties in which some people defended McCandless innocent and pure search for spiritual peace wh ...more
The true story of what is known about the life, death and journey of the young college graduate Chris McCandless as he leaves the security of his family and hitchhikes across the country and into the Alaskan wilderness to find (in my opinion) himself and the true meaning of life and happiness. Unfortunately, he is unprepared for life in the wild and is believed to have died of starvation in August, 1992 only four months into his Alaskan adventure.

A good portion of the book tells of Jon Krakauer'

On the Road meets Walden (the Civil Disobedience edition), but for Generation X, and with a tragic ending. Which makes this a hard book to rate because, objectively and overall, it’s well composed and an interesting read. Jon Krakauer did a lot of research and really delved into Christopher’s McCandless’ past to show what led him to abandon his life for the wilderness of Alaska.

But I find the writing to be overindulgent at times, and so ultimately this book just isn't for me.

More on that at http
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

A cousin of mine died about three weeks ago. He was just forty-four. Apparently he either died of a stroke or a heart attack. His sedentary life, according to his widow, went daily like this: he wakes up in the morning, eat, smoke, goes out in front of their apartment and check their nearby barbershops (which they owned), talk to customers and passers-by, have lunch later, watch TV, lie down, sleep, etc. They were not rich, but had enough not to go hungry. He was hypertensive and had a weird sen
So I pulled this out yesterday trapped at home in a rainstorm and reread it. I haven't seen the movie, but I did read the recent Men's Journal article that questions the Alexander Supertramp cult. How readers feel about Chris McCandless and his vagabonding tends to divide into three groups: 1) People either revere him as a self-made Thoreau, an "aesthetic adventurer" as he refers to himself (ascetic, too); 2) a rather silly, naive child who starved to death unnecessarily, hurting his family in t ...more
Riku Sayuj
One of those rare instances where the movie was as good if not better than the book... watch the movie, read the chapters 17 and 18, and the excerpts from Thoreau and Tolstoy at the beginning of each chapter - best route to take in this wonderful story.

Addendum 11/10/14

Chris's sister has written a memoir that details some of the home conditions that Krakauer could only hint at (per her request) and that she suggests were partially responsible for his quest. See

Krakauer, who has become quite well-known for his man-against-nature reporting has written a fascinating report of Alex/Chris McCandless's hubristic attempt to out-Thoreau Thoreau. Apparently a very likeable and intelligent young man, McCandless
Jonathan Ashleigh
I don't know why everyone went so wild over this book or this kid - is there one without the other? It seems like people only cared because it was a Jon Krakauer book that translated well to Hollywood. The guy in the book didn't even have enough about himself to make a whole book and every other chapter is about some other person who did a similar "disappearance into nature." Dying because you don't know how to take care of yourself in the wild is no reason for society to glorify your life.
I found this book in a drawer at my old job and started reading it. The first 100 pages are phenomenal! You really feel exuberant reading it and you find yourself cheering him on for the awesome adventures he takes. Then it starts painting more of McCandlesses background and I no longer feel that he is some back to nature davy crocket getting in touch with his spiritual side but rather a self-centered brat who had everything handed to him and not only threw it all away but alienated himself from ...more
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Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.
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