Velvetink's Reviews > Into the Wild

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
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Oct 02, 2010

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bookshelves: biography, wishlist, film, film-dvd-saw-it, 2011-read
Read in February, 2011

Now I have the book - library borrow. (is much thinner than I imagined).

Just caught up with the film Into the Wild directed by Sean Penn & written by Krakauer - the true story of Chris McCandless' journey into the wilds of Alaska, which was released in September of 2007. The wild scenery was breathtaking, the cityscapes gritty & reminiscent of Kerouac's trainhopping, along with the storyline to some extent. I have not got hold of Krakauer's book yet and missed the first 15 minutes of the film I hope to find it soon to understand McCandles better (hoping there is more detail from his journal) and to compare his inner journey with Walden by Thoreau - by far Thoreau did it more safely... Apparently there is some discrepancy between the book and film over McCandles actual cause of death. The final scenes, while meant I assume to be spiritually uplifting (for McCandles) were pretty disturbing to me.

The soundtrack impressed me and was surprised that Pearl Jam's vocalist Eddie Vedder wrote most of it, being a collection of folksy, rootsy tunes. Kirsten Stewart (Twilight, The Runaways) sang two songs, and helped write one - which surprised me, since my introduction to Kirsten Stewart was in the film "Twilight" and I wasn't overly impressed...(all that blinking). The first song was called "Tracy’s Song", written by David Baerwald and Kristen Stewart, and performed by Kristen Stewart. The second was called "Angel from Montgomery" written by John Prine in 1971, and performed by Kristen Stewart and Emile Hirsch (who plays Chris McCandles). Stewart’s singing experience was probably factored in when she was considered for the part of Joan Jett in "The Runaways".

disclaimer; While I don't recommend hitchhiking or trainhopping:
The definitive instructional bible on trainhopping is Duffy Littlejohn’s book Hopping Freight Trains in America. Also there is information online, such as “How to Hop a Freight Train” by Wes Modes at
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message 12: by Evan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Evan Are you rating films instead of books now? This book differs from the film in certain substantial ways. You might rate it higher in that case (or lower).

Velvetink Notice, I've still got it marked "to read". so not actually rating films now as such, just been able to catch up with some - & by the time I get hold of the book I may have forgotten what I thought about the film.

Velvetink & the co-incidence that Kirsten Stewart was in "In the Wild" having just seen her in Twilight and slagged her off..I didn't know she could sing - her success in In the Wild must account for her appearance in Twilight.

Evan Unfortunately, it will be hard for me to articulate the differences between book and movie, since I read it before I signed up for Goodreads and thus did not write notes on it or a review. But I did see the film shortly thereafter and noted enough changes to know they were different animals. One thing I do recall is that there was more background in the book about McCandless' early life and about his relationship with his father. Also there's a lot of the usual compression in the movie; some of his adventures are glossed over or unmentioned. Having said this, I thought the movie was an excellent adaptation, and pretty faithful.

Velvetink I have that same affliction where years later (after a film or book) I can only remember if I liked it or not, and totally forget a lot of detail. Discovering this with films lately - just got a few new free to air tv channels - one showing a lot of quality past films, & I have been aghast at my memory.

I figured McCandles had a lot of issues with his father, that poignant scene where he's so hungry he manages to kill a moose, build a kind of oven to smoke it dry, then discovers it's full of maggots...all the while talking to himself - acting out arguments with his family - the footage a fairly literal visual metaphor of how he viewed his family life.

Kate I wish they had included some of the songs Stewart sang in the movie on the soundtrack, although I do love the soundtrack with just the Eddie Vedder songs.

message 6: by Maxym (new)

Maxym Karpovets I only saw the film and it is a perfect show with amazing Vedder songs.

Velvetink Maxym wrote: "I only saw the film and it is a perfect show with amazing Vedder songs."

The book is good also but is the journalist's (author) story of tracking McCandles trek. Jon Krakauer the author also went into the wild and climbed a mountain somewhat unprepared. The book covers some other young men who went into the American wild with little preparation, and Krakauer attempts to analyse why young people have a need to escape society and prove themselves against the elements. Worthwhile to read. And Yes I loved the soundtrack. ;)

message 4: by Maxym (new)

Maxym Karpovets why young people have a need to escape society and prove themselves against the elements

Exactly! This is the question in which I'd like to find the answer. Thanks, I keep in mind this book (oh, how many of them I should read...)

Velvetink Maxym wrote: "why young people have a need to escape society and prove themselves against the elements

Exactly! This is the question in which I'd like to find the answer. Thanks, I keep in mind this book (oh, h..."

My thought is that civilisation has deprived youth of the traditional native coming of age quest.

message 2: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye v, so you have time to watch tv as well as read?
Which movie channel are you referring to? I haven't checked them out. (Too many sports channels, though the netball is almost finished - go Firebirds.)

Velvetink No I hardly watch tv these days/ this year too busy....had this out on dvd back in Feb. Don't have foxtel just get the usual free to air ones....reception here is pretty crap anyways, mountain blocking the signal half the time or the forest gets in the way of the electricity wires.

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