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Into The Wild
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Monthly Reads > Into the Wild - A Book

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message 1: by Zeljka (last edited Apr 26, 2012 12:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeljka (ZTook) | 1762 comments Mod
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is succesful Jon Krakauer's non fiction book based on Christopher McCandless's attempt to escape the entrapments of today's societial norms so to be able to contemplate his inner self freely, without any restraints. Er...that sounded awfully deep. Now, I've linked his name with Wikipedia article, but it would be better NOT to read it before reading the book. You know, it might spoil your reading experience. And I bet that you will want to read the article after reading the book. Because, for better or worse after the reading of the book, I doubt you will remain indifferent. Will the story actually enchant you or simply annoy, that remains to be seen :)

Here you may discuss the book itself, and then take a look at the movie adaptation, in Into the Wild - A Movie thread.

Denis (crnisokol) | 15 comments Looking forward to reading this one :D

Salty13 | 2 comments Very interesting so far...

Dina Goluza | 18 comments I've just finished. Into the Wild is very much the story of a young man, of his energy, his idealism, and the arrogance that ultimately kills him. A well written book (journalistic style), which raises so many questions but no answers really.

Honestly speaking my feelings about main character are pretty mixed. In some parts of the books I have experienced Chris as a young man full of ideals about life in nature, anti-material things, etc. but in some I have thought he was fool.

I likes a lot of quotes but one of my favorite in this book is:
"It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God-given right to have it."

Now I am going to watch movie. I wonder how Sean Penn did it.

message 5: by Zeljka (last edited May 20, 2012 11:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeljka (ZTook) | 1762 comments Mod
Beautiful quote, Dina! I loved that quote too, and think that it perfectly captures not only McCandless but many other youths Krakauer mentions, including himself.
I've read the book last night and felt at last utterly frustrated. I agree with all you said -- McCandless wasn't really stupid boy, but he was a boy after all, and not a prudent one. He had a lot of admirable features in abundance, but prudence and forgiveness weren't ones of them... Actually, it is hard to judge the person when there isn't much left of the information about him. Krakauer justifies McCandless's reasoning with his own experience and opinions. While I do not think him wrong, I cannot say with certainty that he is right. I admit, mountaineering and the fascination with ascending the ominous peaks just to feel the thrill of it, were never my cup of tea.
For all the readers, there are a couple of questions that I wonder would you like to express your opinions about:
-- What do you think of Chris, his principles and dreams?
-- What do you think Chris's writing in third person tells about him? I was baffled by it -- What does that mean? Was he too self-absorbed or he imagined himself as the character in some future book of his own?
-- What do you think of the misunderstanding gap between Chris and his parents? Was it just youthful rage and irrationality that might have been solved had he been more reasonable? What do you think of the life as they considered it, measurable only by sucesses, achievements and wins?
-- What do you think of poor old Ronald Franz? I think that that chapter, about Franz, was the most touching one.
-- What do you think of Krakauer's justification of Chris's reasoning based on his own experience and on psychology, of youth's general obliviousness of its own mortality?
Those are just questions that kept wandering in my mind all the while reading the book. I think that Krakauer really did a good job writing this book - it is not only about McCandless, it is about all of us - through McCandless's misfortune he forced us to reflect about the way we see the life - and we see it in many different ways. And I dare say nobody is actually wrong.

Sechine | 32 comments It's hard to believe that these people have existed.. on the level of "can someone actually be that careless". The man who forgot to arrange his pick-up, for example.

It's a shame that McCandless died, he probably would've managed to do something good in the world if given the time to mature a little.
I found him an extremely arrogant person, even when he was helping the homeless during his school years. Reading about him gave me the picture that he wore his do-gooder-holier-than-thou -attitude like an armor that no one could touch or replicate.

The father's and son's habit of measuring life through achievements, to me, seems a very American thing and is probably not very uncommon over there.

As far as the book goes.. I found it pretty interesting, but I didn't like how it doubled back on itself a couple times and went through the same events a second (or third) time as if the reader had already forgotten about it.

Joseph I loved this book. The trailer for the film is better than the film itself. I admire the effort of Sean Penn for undertaking this project, but it was so hard to depict the motivations and attitude of Chris, in the film version, without coming across as spoiled, misguided, and pretentious. I cannot speak for Chris, but I really don't think he was searching for exile, but to test himself or "earn" his life. At the very least, he wanted to live, and ultimately die, on his own terms.

Alana (alanasbooks) | 667 comments Mod
I feel better reading the comments above, because after finishing this I was incredibly torn between the understanding the young man wanting adventure and wanting to escape society and the foolish, willful, egotistical man who thought he knew better than anyone else because he was too young and idealistic and wouldn't take well-meaning and very responsible advice. I don't think I would have hated him, had I known him, but I probably would have thought he was an arrogant idiot and condemned him for being so foolhardy. I did like Krakauer's notes about his being careful with the food and that he made a very honest mistake in the end, but the fact he got himself into the predicament in the first place...

I actually was curious about this because I had received a free copy of Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer last year and the author mentions this book and McCandless several times, even quoting passages from this biography. The writing in that book was much less interesting and more difficult to get through for me, and Everett truly WAS an arrogant ass who couldn't do his exploring without constantly begging his already struggling parents for more money. McCandless is much more self-sufficient and respectable by comparison, but I found them equally foolhardy for the most part.

I will watch the movie today probably, so I'll have more comments on the comparison later. Here is my review of the book, if anyone's interested:

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Into the Wild (other topics)
Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer (other topics)

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Jon Krakauer (other topics)