May 14, 09
Intriguing and heart-wrenching, Jon Krakauer's telling of Chris McCandless' story is thoughtful and perceptive. He defends McCandless' memory against some popular conceptions of him that paint him as a naïve young man who stupidly lost his life in the Alaskan wilderness. Krakauer carefully retraces the route the young man followed, interviewing those who got to know Chris along the way and slowing building up a sympathetic picture of the wanderer and making the case that, in the end, it was a fatal but not foolish mistake that cost him his life. In the end it is a beautiful story in spite of its ending, and you will finish it with a genuine appreciation of the lessons McCandless learned, and taught, along the way.