Dini's Reviews > Into The Wild

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
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it was amazing
bookshelves: nonfiction, favorites

This book got me riveted in the tragic story of Chris McCandless, a young man who left his family and friends, abandoned most of his material possessions, went to the Alaska wilderness and perished there. The author does a great job of portraying McCandless complex personality through meticulous research based on interviews, letters and journal entries. The writing is so engaging that although it is already clear from the beginning how McCandless' story would end, I was hooked till the last page. Krakauer only digresses when discussing his own high-risk undertaking and those of ill-fated adventurers similar to McCandless — these parts offer comparison to McCandless' character but I found myself getting impatient and wanting them to end quickly, to return to the main story itself which is much more compelling.

Readers have been divided with regard to this story. Some admire McCandless' daring and idealism; some others say he was stupid, reckless and arrogant enough to have gone to Alaska without sufficient preparation. I think he was a human being with faults and merits, but I have to admit I felt something stirring in me when I read this passage, taken from a letter he wrote to a friend:

"...make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation... The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure."

The passage resonates with me because my life has been filled with stagnation and inactivity. I am the queen of conventionalism. I don't consider myself unhappy, but I'm always afraid of moving outside the comfort zone, of expanding further than my own comfortable little shell. I often don't exert myself to my best capabilities because halfhearted efforts seemed good enough. When I read about McCandless, I noticed that one of his admirable traits is if he wanted something he went out and did it. He was not afraid of challenges, the greater they are the better. Jason Mraz says "live high, live mighty, live righteously". I think that was what McCandless did: he lived up to his ideals.

One the other hand, the greatest tragedy of McCandless' life, in my opinion, was his conflicting feelings toward human intimacy and relationship. He clashed with his parents and others who didn't share his beliefs to the point that he spurned humanity and sought nature and the wilderness instead. But even during his solitary journeys he met a lot of people and connected with them, touching their lives as well as his own. His final odyssey in Alaska had probably made him realize, more than ever, the raw need for companionship, but he didn't survive that trip — causing endless grief to his family. So in the end, if there is something I can take from McCandless story, it is this message: Be bold. Get out there. Do something. But don't forget those who love you.
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Reading Progress

March 21, 2008 – Shelved
December 8, 2008 –
page 1
December 10, 2008 –
page 111
Started Reading
December 11, 2008 –
page 224
December 11, 2008 – Shelved as: nonfiction
December 11, 2008 – Finished Reading
January 26, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments Showing 1-28 of 28 (28 new)

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Have you seen the film, D?

Dini I haven't, but really want to. I'm curious about both the book and movie.

Rauf If you liked two and a half hour of misery, boy, you're going to enjoy the film.

Oh wait...I think the miserable part is only the last 90 minutes or so.

But the way the film showed McCandless living in Alaska is quite good, though.

message 4: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Kyaaa.. Dini, elo dah baca ini ya? *ngiri* gw kok baca 1 buku aja gak kelar-kelar *sniff*

message 5: by Lee (new)

Lee hm.. jadi inget temenku. Dia udah baca duluan bukunya, dan gara-gara itu gak berani nonton filmnya. Takut nangis =p
Kebalikannya, aku belum baca bukunya, tapi udah nonton filmnya.
Bikin perasaan jadi hampa..

message 6: by Dini (last edited Dec 14, 2008 01:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dini ame, saya jg takut nangis, tapi tetep pengen nonton filmnya, hehe *berharap sama org iseng yg sering ngirimin pelem*

syl, mau pinjem bukunya? Tipis kok, bahasanya juga ga ribet *promosi*

message 7: by Hippo dari Hongkong (last edited Dec 14, 2008 10:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hippo dari Hongkong waaaks! bintang lima, wajib nonton filmnya tuh

prasaan si orang iseng itu dah ngirim filmnya tp ke alamat laen, huehehe

Dini Huuuuu orang isengnya ga asiiiiik *kabur sebelum ditimpuk orang iseng*

message 9: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Iya, bukunya ada nih.. baca ah! :D
Ntar filmnya kalo dah sampe dan dah di tonton, lempar ke gw ya Din..

message 10: by miaaa (new)

miaaa maknyus reviewnya hehe kayanya dvd originalnya udah nyampe di tempat mas aldo tinggal di atur aja mo nobar kapan ... tapi dikirimin ama orang iseng juga gak rugi kan :D

Hippo dari Hongkong orang iseng lagi ngubek-ngubek stok dvd :-p

message 12: by Dini (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dini Gue udah dapet tuh DVD-nya, dipinjemin ama temen (blm ditonton soalnya kemaren ngantuuuuuk bgt). Gimana kalo orang iseng nyariin DVD Little Women aja hehehe *ngelunjak*

message 13: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Eh, eh, kmrn gw dapet ebooknya Sense and Sensibility nya Jane Austen lho. ada yang mau? Bentuknya notepad gitu.

message 14: by Dini (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dini Gw sih udah baca syl. Tawarin ke aki2 dukun aja tuh, temennya Colonel Brandon hehehehe

Hippo dari Hongkong ya ya ya.. gw emang temennya colonel brandon, tepatnya kapten erie wentworth :-p
yut, dah punya bukunya tapi males bacanya *keduluan filmnya*

PS: little woman dah lima tahun hunting masi blom nemu juga :(

message 16: by Dini (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dini Kembali ke topik awal... gue udah nonton Into The Wild-nya. Tragis beraaaaat. Baca aja udah miris, apalagi nonton adegan akhirnya. Eh tapi gue jadi demen ama Emile Hirsch. Go Speed Racer go! (Loh kok?)

message 17: by miaaa (new)

miaaa eh eh din si emile kan sekarang lagi di republik kongo kemarin liat dia di tv disambut tarian tradisional gitu waahh jadi pengen nonton juga film ini :D

message 18: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar Hahaha Emile's fan-girl!

message 19: by Dini (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dini Yep, I am :D

message 20: by Gwen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gwen Haaland Hope you have seen the film. It is wonderful!!
It really does justice to the book and Chris' family.

message 21: by Dini (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dini Gwen, yes, I've seen the movie. It's one of those films that left me saying 'wow' in the end.

message 22: by Olga (new) - added it

Olga Hernandez Excellent, very insightful review... Thank you! Will definitely read this!

message 23: by Debashish (new)

Debashish while going through your review it felt as if someone else is speaking on behalf of me exactly what i feel about this book,but only in a better way...

Suzanne It is so refreshing to me that there are people out there that "get it." So many people in this world are brainwashed and don't think for themselves. McCandless got that so much to the point that he could no longer live with humanity and as you said turned to nature. I couldn't have said it better....thank you!!

message 25: 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 26: by Tien (new)

Tien Pham I love your balanced view of the book. Thank you

Gerardo Tamayo This is a good review!

Mary101 Completely agree!

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