Penny's Reviews > Into the Wild

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 12, 2007

liked it
Read in February, 2007

An absorbing book, but also quite a downer. In 1992 Chris McCandless, a young man recently out of college, hiked out into the Alaskan wilderness -- a few months later (as Krakauer tells us from the beginning of the book), his body is found: he starved to death. For the rest of the book, Krakauer tells us Chris's story, and speculates why he, and others, are drawn to immersing themselves in the wilderness. A number of the stories Krakauer tells are gripping -- one of them is about his own experience making a solo climb in Alaska as a young man and how easily it could have led to his death. While a number of the characters Krakauer describes are fascinating, Chris McCandless is not one of them. Throughout the book, I found him unsympathetic -- self-absorbed and self-indulgent, immature, a cypher. I think Krakauer did the best he could with the material he had: maybe McCandless just wasn't my kind of guy. Ultimately, my lack of interest in the main character diminished my investment in the book.

At just the same time I was finishing the book, one of my colleagues mentioned that she had seen the movie "Grizzly Man" -- she borrowed my book, I rented the movie and we had a really good conversation a week later comparing Chris McCandless to Timothy Treadwell (I found Treadwell the more sympathetic). The book and movie make an interesting combo.
9 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Into the Wild.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Erin You got it! McCandless was misguided at best and delusional at worst. Krakuer wasn't glorifying him at all.

back to top