Sarah's Reviews > Into the Wild

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
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's review
Jan 19, 2008

it was ok

I think this book (and I guess the movie probably...I haven't seen it) are interesting, especially if you identify at all with the character (ie. young, white, male, risk a lot to find meaning). It's obvious reading it that Krakauer finds a lot of connection and I was annoyed by the constant theme of comparing McCandless to other similar stories and then separating him from the crowd. Just tell the story and let us make our own comparisons or judgements! Overall Krakauer seems to be defending McCandless from his critics which I think has more to do with his (Krakauer's) own emotional crap than good writing. For all of his analysis of family, emotions, and comparisons I think Krakauer could have engaged more in a serious discussion of Alex's motivations and well-being. My personal opinion: I think Alex had some serious emoional issues (lack of real relationships, lack of empathy) that caused him to make some stupid errors (ignoring advice, not telling others where he was going). Backcountry adventures are great - but he could have managed the risk in some simple ways that would not have changed his experience too much.

PS: For anyone trying to get "back to the land" - for millenia we have existed in community. It's never safe or sustainable to go into the wilderness to prove your individual capabilities. The NATURAL thing to do is learn from your elders and teachers and rely on a community for support of all kinds.

Ok, I guess this review turned into somewhat of a rant about white man individualism. That definitely tainted my reading of the book. It doesn't make it less stupid to be unprepared if you're white, male, and well-educated. AND, I think the similarities and sympathy of Krakauer for Alex tainted his telling of what is ultimately and interesting, thought-provoking story.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by David (new)

David Dax I disagree about Krakauer's reference to others who have gone into the wild and disappeared/died. I also believe that Krakauer did a good job of getting into McCandless's life and was at most ambivalent in his feelings about McCandless. Finally, to refer to Krakauer's "emotional crap" is insulting and an unworthy comment.

message 2: by KM (new)

KM Saxby Hi Sarah, I quoted your pertinent comments on community from this review...

Christoph Even though I can relate to McCandless and I love the book, I am happy to admit that you do have a point.

message 4: 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.

message 5: by Doreen (new) - added it

Doreen You put your finger on what bugged me about this book : it's a white man world, big dick swinging kinda story.

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