Michael's Reviews > Into the Wild

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
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Dec 26, 07

bookshelves: non-fiction, travel-adventure
Read in December, 2007

I don't know if my head is quite clear enough to review books right now, but I'd like to try anyway.

My biggest complaint with this book was the scant narrative of McCandless's story. Krakauer has to fluff up his story with his own account of his ascent of the Devil's Thumb when he was at a similar turning point to McCandless's. Krakauer survived his harrowing trek (albeit a much shorter harrowing trek) and eventually went back to his life in Denver as a carpenter. He also relates the tale of Everett Ruess, a mythic figure of this particularly set of adventurers. Ruess disappeared in the Nevada desert in his 20s, becoming a legend. He rubbed elbows with Ansel Adams and other naturalists of his time.

The real meat of the story, and the part of the book that I really enjoyed, was Chris McCandless's story. His upbringing and his amazing adventures roaming around the country are captivating. This is the study of that little part (or big part) of you that wants to quit your job and skip town and live off the land - all this taken to its extremes. McCandless is Henry David Thoreau - moreso than Heny David Thoreau ever was, and part of me respects him for that. The other part of me thinks he was a foolish child, and his ignorance killed him.

He certainly had bigger balls than I ever will.
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