Into the Wild Into the Wild discussion


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how i felt about the book

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Kevin Mcpherson This book is a great book. I feel that Chris is a person who I would like to hang out with. Just a down to earth and unique guy. For instance only living of the land with no money. Wow. What a cool guy.


Janis Mills I lived in Alaska and met many people who thought it would be possible to live off the land and be isolated from the chaos of society. They were dreamers who were not firmly attached to sanity. While not legally insane they were certifiable.


Mary I loved this book but had no great love for "Alexander Supertramp" (really??) because he seemed arrogant and self-centered and, obviously, fatally ill-prepared.


Audrey He was a young guy trying to find himself. He was very smart and although not fully prepared, did attempt to prepare himself for living off of the land--he would be alive today but for a missing tidbit of information. We've all been young and arrogant. Most of us get the chance to move past that. He did a lot of living in a short amount of time. He was an adventurer.


message 5: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben Hallas As much as I give the guy credit for doing what he did, I still think he should have gained some more knowledge before he left. If he did make it longer then he did my only concern would be how he would get through the winter. Just being in the bus would not have sheltered him from the cold and I would wonder what he would have used as a source of food. Really good book over all, but this guy had a few screws loose.


Jennifer Place Life is an adventure and an experiment. Chris followed his gut, called his own shots and wound up dying young. But lots of people die young - such is life and the consequences of our choices. His story is a little lonely, but it's also courageous, which I find admirable.


message 7: by Jim (last edited Nov 17, 2011 01:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim O'brien Let's face it, it's pretty presumptuous for anybody to judge Chris' true character based on this book. You can say he was an adventurer who had a lust for life and adventure and that he would have made it, Jack London style had he not eaten a few poison berries. You could also say he was a selfish, overly emotional kid who was self absorbed and had somewhat delusional fantasies exemplifed by the "Alexander Supertramp" persona he created. I myself loved this book and Chris' story. Krakauer is an awesome writer and did a great job describing Chris' journey, but I look at it for what it was; a confused kid, who was lost and decided to take some chances exploring not only the great lanscape of our country, but also himself. It's really a tragedy because in the end he suffered a great deal and cut his life short when he probably had a lot more to contribute to society and those around him.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I get the feeling Chris was driven with a lot of anger and maybe some silent arrogance. He didn’t treat the people he met on his journey disrespectfully, but you kind of get the feeling that he held himself above them in his own mind. In any case, whatever drove him on towards Alaska didn’t give him the chance to think things through. Somebody who runs like that isn’t running towards something, but away from something.


Mason Kuldinow I find it amazing that there was a way across the river not so far away that he could have used. It makes me sad to think if he had a map of the area, it might have contained that information.


Jason Lilly Jim wrote: "Let's face it, it's pretty presumptuous for anybody to judge Chris' true character based on this book. You can say he was an adventurer who had a lust for life and adventure and that we would have ..."

Well said, sir. I was touched by his story, but unless I knew him personally I would not pretend to know what was "wrong" with him or how he truly "felt" about his parents, the world, life in general. It is simply an amazing story about soomeone with gut and determination, a radical love of the outdoors and desire for total freedom.


message 11: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy I enjoyed the book and it's story but if you ask me I believe Chris was an idealist who didn't have a clue as to what he was getting into . If we are to believe he gave away all his possessions to travel into an area a survivalist would avoid if necessary . He sounds like a spoiled brat who wanted to try getting by on his wits , which , he didn't seem to have any . Perhaps he should have stayed in his own surroundings and avoided what was obvious to everyone but himself , a death of starvation and freezing with only a story left to be written .


Mason Kuldinow A big part of me has to agree with Chrissy. I always find it disconcerting when bravado and arrogance causes a person's inadvertent suicide. Mr. Supertramp was lacking much in the way of sense.
Great book though. Did anyone else read the story (contained in the book) of the man who was doing the same thing and shot himself shortly before rescuers arrived at his camp?
It goes to show that the wilderness is nothing to be taken lightly. Krakauer also expresses some of the things he has done which could have, and almost had, killed him.


message 13: by Vinyessa (last edited Nov 22, 2011 06:32PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vinyessa I thought the book was a a very engaging account of a very eccentric and interesting young man. Sad what happened to him, but I became obsessed with trying to understand why he was so careless and senseless. At first, I thought he must have wanted to die. But as I read on, I began to figure he was just an arrogant and idealistic kid - all said and done, he did survive for a long time with practically nothing. Something as simple as stuffing a map into the bottom of his bag just in case would have saved his life. Such an interesting tale.


Nathan i enjoy krakauer. at least his wilderness schtuff anyway. i think mccandless was arrogant. and possibly careless. BUT, he was an idealilst. and, although idealists usually come to sad ends, there is always something the rest of us can learn from them. i good read.


Bridgette I have mixed feelings about this book. I read this a few years ago in high school, and while I really enjoyed reading about Chris, I remember there being aspects of the book that were very slow. I do think what Chris did was pretty amazing, though, and it is very unfortunate how his journey ended due to his being ill-prepared. I found his sense of adventure to be inspiring, and while reading this book, often daydreamed of doing something similar, just hitch hiking across the country, trying to live off of my own means and make friends with strangers. Of course, in today's day and age, especially being a young woman, it wouldn't be smart for me to do.


Hannah I loved this book, Chris to me is amazing. I can relate to him by wanting to travel the world so I understand his passion. He lived his life exactly like he wanted to even though he died at least he died where he knew he had the courage to follow his dream unlike so many other poeple. I knew he died in the end but still when I read that part I almost felt like I was losing a friend that I didnt know that while but was very sad about it.


Nathan I also felt like I was losing a frind.


Jason Lilly Hannah wrote: "I loved this book, Chris to me is amazing. I can relate to him by wanting to travel the world so I understand his passion. He lived his life exactly like he wanted to even though he died at least h..."

Well said. One of my favorite chapters in the book was the final one when Krakauer took Chris's parents to the bus. I felt like we were sharing a powerful moment of grief at the loss of someone flawed but special. I knew how much his parents loved him and how much I was beginning to love him and wish I had known him.


Leslie Andries wrote: "I get the feeling Chris was driven with a lot of anger and maybe some silent arrogance. He didn’t treat the people he met on his journey disrespectfully, but you kind of get the feeling that he he..."
I completely agree with Andries. I didn't find anything particularly admirable about Chris, I felt that he came off as rather selfish and egotistical, and ultimately, extremely naive. I felt very sorry for his family. I did not enjoy this book, I found that I was left feeling sad because Chris' death was unnecessary and angry at him for the same reason.


Barbara Basically, I agree with the previous comment. I saw the movie before reading the book. But, I found it compelling and couldn't put it down. His attitude toward his parents was irrational. It's NOT admirable to be so short-sighted and naive. Younger people who think he was "cool" because he wanted to "live off the land", etc. illustrate the naiveté that is really mind-boggling. So much information is available, but some young people simply get on a track that is so narrowly focussed that their even their imminent destruction won't shake them out of it.


message 21: by Allan (last edited Apr 17, 2012 04:01PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Allan After much thought I have came to the conclusion that this is a mans book and especially about a young mans relationship with his father and perhaps vice versa. Its not so much about the physical journey as more about the spiritual journey of growing up and entering manhood. In Scotland there is a saying - the father has to die before the boy becomes a man, perhaps this was Chris's real dilemma?


Mason After reading this book I can't really get a clear opinion on McCandless. I relate to wanting to see the world and not work behind a desk for the rest of your life but him walking into the wilderness purpossfully unprepared makes me see him as a spoiled brat who thought he was different from everyone else who had died in the Alaskan wilderness.


BubblesTheMonkey I thought he was pretty awesome myself. I might not have agreed with everything, but I certainly liked what he was trying to do, in ways.


message 24: by Moses (new) - added it

Moses I am listening to the audiobook at the moment. I don't know if i love alex or I think he deserves it. One moment it makes me want to give him a hug and protect him, the next moment, i feel detached and think that he is stupid. But i think it's more then that.. he will be a dividing figure i guess. But I feel like i know Alex, and i feel sad listening to that book, but can' let go.


Bridget I thought Alex was a good person and i agreed with some of the actions that he took. while i also thought he was really stupid for doing some of the things he did. he didn't handle situations very well but he had a good heart


message 26: by Moses (new) - added it

Moses Bridget wrote: "I thought Alex was a good person and i agreed with some of the actions that he took. while i also thought he was really stupid for doing some of the things he did. he didn't handle situations very ..."

I find myself strangely "attached" to him for a few days after reading the book.. Find myself scolding him (mentally) for doing that.. If i have a son who is like that, it will really break my heart.


Duane W. Stockton I really enjoyed the book - it reminded me of 'Sandstone Sunsets' and the search for Everett Ruess. The impression I got was that Alex, much like Everett, was extremely bright but naïve. I don't think he meant to come across as rude and he was wholly unprepared in planning for such an endeavor. It did take a tremendous amount of courage to do what he did though.


Duane Definitely a Darwin Award winner... We just lost another one up in Washington a year or so ago didn't we? some hippie chick got whacked on mushrooms and wandered out into the woods naked and got eaten by a puddytat or something? (or so I'd like to imagine... I don't think they ever found anything of her... at least as cat food her life would have some meaning?)

As I said before (or *thought* I had...) To paraphrase that police thug in the movie "District 9", "I just love watching hippies die".

The significant thing about this is that this guy hadn't found a trendy way to kill himself, nobody would even know who he was. From that satandpoint, he was a big success! Otherwise his parents would eventually have just dumped him in a Shrink's office and they'd have put him on Corporate Cuckoo-pills and he'd be working as a nondescript department store Can-I-Help-You now...


Charles Duane, your lack of empathy, and your utter lack of a sense of adventure is telling. I think his travels were a journey away from "Corporate Cuckoo-pills" and a search for some bigger meaning in life. Not everyone seamlessly transitions from schooling into workaday life. Some join the military or Peace Corp to see the world snd, perhaps, do some good. Some drop out and hitchhike or hop freight trains for fun and potential enlightenment. McCandless was just exploring the possibilities of life. As I age, I see how this notion can become a selfish one, but it doesn't have to be that way. McCandless seemed to grasp this, and was ready to return to society, hopefully to engage it in a positive way. The fact that he misidentified a plant hardly qualifies him for a "Darwin Award."


Duane W. Stockton Charles, I agree wholeheartedly with you and unfortunately I share the same first name as the thread you commented on. I will change my name to avoid confusion in the future. I really enjoyed this book, as I said above, and gave it 4 stars. I admire McCandless for having the courage to do what he did. How many of us today would even think about doing something like this-putting ourselves at risk in the hope of discovering ourselves and something about life?


Duane Seems like every other day, I see a police bulletin about some poor schlub who has gotten snuffed just because some nitwit wandered across the center line for NO reason. The last one was a 19 year old girl who just graduated from high school. Gymnast, scholarship recipient, going to college in the fall... Dead. And I'm supposed to *admire* this McCandless dweeb because he squandered his life on some sort of "Spiritual Quest" out into the middle of nowhere to try and "Find Himself" under a rock?

<< yaaaaaawwwwnnn....... >>


Duane W. Stockton Don't know why you're judging McCandless so harshly. Would you have the courage to do what he did? If your heart and soul were telling you to do something would you just ignore it, pretend its not there? And why judge him as someone who 'squandered' their life? You didn't know the man. This man may have been put here to teach us something.


Duane Why attribute to courage, that which can be easily explained by complete stupidity? People get killed doing dumb stuff every day - it's the ones who die just because some other idiot was texting on their cell poon and wandered across the center line, who bother me.

You've got a point, though, about him having been put here to teach us something - he serves as a perfect bad example. Maybe his tale *might* serve to dissuade MORE dumbass hippies from pulling the same stunt and cost us a bunch of money in a big S&R operation.


Duane W. Stockton Maybe you need to turn your judgment of others inward before you do it outward. There is nothing more courageous than taking a risk to discover who and what we really are and nothing less courageous than sitting behind a keyboard speaking so ill of others and spreading negativity.


message 35: by Heather (last edited Jul 25, 2014 11:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Heather Bergstrom Jennifer wrote: "Life is an adventure and an experiment. Chris followed his gut, called his own shots and wound up dying young. But lots of people die young - such is life and the consequences of our choices. Hi..."

I totally agree, Jennifer. I like your emphasis on "choice" and "courage." I loved this book (and the movie). It remains one of my favorite nonfiction books. I am haunted by Chris's story. Krakauer is a gifted writer and reporter--compassionate, encompassing, straightforward, insightful. I remember appreciating very much the two stories he shared of other lone adventurers, their mistakes, and so forth. These stories worked as foils for Chris, I thought. More importantly, the spotlight on Chris was less harsh due to these stories. He wasn't held up completely alone to be judged by readers. A brilliant and compassionate move on the part of Krakauer. Chris's story is controversial, for sure, but absolutely unforgettable. I think of it often.


Vickie I was very angry about the plant guidebook. Why would the author organize it with the poisonous version AFTER the non-poisonous version? I hope that all plant guidebooks have been revised after publication of this book. But for this mistake, he might have survived to become a model for future explorers, naturalists, and self-seekers.


message 37: by Duane (last edited Oct 28, 2019 03:25PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Duane Hmm... Maybe he really should have taken two books with him instead of one? like this one,
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...

and then another one with *only* Wild Edibles in it...
Of course then he'd have to consult them in the right order, but...


message 38: by Vickie (last edited Oct 30, 2019 04:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vickie Ha, yeah, but we know he wasn't much of a planner!


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