Jason’s review of Into the Wild > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris this book was like a train wreck i couldn't stop reading it even though it "bothered" me on many levels.
i got obsessed with McCandless and his compulsion to live in the wild. i like jon krakauer's take on this man's life. it could be any of us.

message 2: by Jason (new)

Jason Chris, I assume, because you posted here, you see my review as a possible perspective in the overall discussion of McCandless. On another thread, I had a gunslinger confrontation with some folks that could not conceive of his actions as anything other than pure stupidity. The brain is complex. There's millions of people with (mostly) hidden obsessions and, like you said, compulsions. I think McCandless did some foolish things and is ultimately responsible for his decision, but I think there's also a component of OCD. This guy was rational, smart, resourceful, but like a current, he was swept into situations as if he had no control. And to me, that means his brain was operating under a compulsion.

Hey, if you like Krakauer I've got another review http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


Spider the Doof Warrior I liked this review. You seem less harsh on him than Diamond was. I would friend you if I were not so shy.

Spider the Doof Warrior correction. It was a different review...Melinda's review. I liked the Diamond review.

message 5: by Jason (new)

Jason I'd friend you too if I wasn't on a 2 yr sabbatical (see my profile).

There was probably a day when I too would have been more harshly opinionated about Scott McCandless's actions, but deriding a guy based on incomplete flashes of his life seems to be a very modern American habit. But I'm also not the kind of person that supports an award for a child's tenth place finish. People make bad decisions and come in last. I think lambasting someone's bad decisions is an undercover way to praise our own. I was friends with guys like Scott in college, and they weren't all nitwits.

Here's a good book about your avatar name, synesthesia. http://goo.gl/Jwf3Y

Spider the Doof Warrior ooo. Sounds Ideal. Oliver Sacks is so cool too.

message 7: by Mycroft (new)

Mycroft First, I found your approach interesting, but, with all due respect, I'm not convinced. To further the discussion, I'm pointing out why.

OCD involves small acts, ones we almost don't notice ourselves doing, like locking the door or washing our hands. These are virtually insignificant acts with little consequence and are often done almost automatically by both those with OCD and those without. McCandless, on the other hand, was highly focused what he was doing and he blew the importance vastly out of scale. That just seems like a very different phenomenon.

For much of his travels, McCandless was a drifter - about as far from obsessive as one can get. He went places because he had a ride. He ate because someone gave him food. He stayed in a bus because it was there. He was focused, on the other hand, on 'the wild' and on avoiding people, both of which require attention and focus in a way that handwashing or door locking don't.

I know when I've find out about a disorder or spent a lot of time around it, I suddenly start seeing it everywhere and sometimes see it as explaining more than it really explains and you may be dong this. But I could be wrong...

message 8: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen I don't think so. If we're talking mental illness, he struck me as someone who might possibly be bipolar.

message 9: by Lara (new)

Lara Just wanted to say, although I'm not much of an Internet poster, that I think you are so right with your analysis. My father had full- blown, undiagnosed OCD when I was a child - I learned as soon as I could walk that you never touch an item that belongs to him. When I heard about the Into the Wild story, I was compelled by it not as something inexplicable, but as something that seemed so natural and familiar, although I didn't my finger on why. Now I've got it.

message 10: by Mycroft (new)

Mycroft Lara, how do you relate the 'don't touch my stuff' that your father had (which could be many things other than OCD including just not liking children) with 'screw my loving family: I'm gonna go do something really dangerous without even pretending to try to take reasonable precautions against that danger'? They're just such dramatically different phenomenon, but the latter sounds nothing like OCD. What did your father have in common with McCandless?

message 11: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Carter I completely disagree with your diagnoses of him. There are many, many mental disorders that could explain his "impulsive" behavior. Perhaps looking into Bipolar Disorder, Type 1. would give more insight to irrational or impulsive behavior for you.

Anyway, I think that this boy was a very smart, clever, and wanted to leave the confined world where he felt trapped. I was amazed at how brave he was by living off of the land and exploring new "worlds". Amazed.

If he is guilty of anything it is being of sound mind and wanted to get out of the confines and smothering grip that society presents itself. If he was diagnosed with any disorder by the author or yourself, it is therefore incorrect.

message 12: by Cem/Lucky (new)

Cem/Lucky oh my dear, you are absolutely right. i love this book and Chris is just like me. I love his style of writing and thinking and it's wonderful to identify with this awesome guy. I thank you for your opinion and for me it's also a hero. His reaction of leaving his parents was the right one to found himself. Me and my boyfriend Frodo want to find us also and this book inspired us so much.

Spider the Doof Warrior Uh, before you try to find you in the wilderness, do a lot of research.

message 14: by Shelley (new)

Shelley Kresan I think you may mean Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.

message 15: by Kim (new)

Kim I think he was psychotic

Spider the Doof Warrior Hmm. I do not know...

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