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Into the Wild [Kindle Edition]

Jon Krakauer
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,295 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $6.96 (47%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir.  In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his  cash.  He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented.  Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away.  Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life.  Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless.  Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.

When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"God, he was a smart kid..." So why did Christopher McCandless trade a bright future--a college education, material comfort, uncommon ability and charm--for death by starvation in an abandoned bus in the woods of Alaska? This is the question that Jon Krakauer's book tries to answer. While it doesn't—cannot—answer the question with certainty, Into the Wild does shed considerable light along the way. Not only about McCandless's "Alaskan odyssey," but also the forces that drive people to drop out of society and test themselves in other ways. Krakauer quotes Wallace Stegner's writing on a young man who similarly disappeared in the Utah desert in the 1930s: "At 18, in a dream, he saw himself ... wandering through the romantic waste places of the world. No man with any of the juices of boyhood in him has forgotten those dreams." Into the Wild shows that McCandless, while extreme, was hardly unique; the author makes the hermit into one of us, something McCandless himself could never pull off. By book's end, McCandless isn't merely a newspaper clipping, but a sympathetic, oddly magnetic personality. Whether he was "a courageous idealist, or a reckless idiot," you won't soon forget Christopher McCandless.

From Publishers Weekly

After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he went to live in the wilderness. Four months later, he turned up dead. His diary, letters and two notes found at a remote campsite tell of his desperate effort to survive, apparently stranded by an injury and slowly starving. They also reflect the posturing of a confused young man, raised in affluent Annandale, Va., who self-consciously adopted a Tolstoyan renunciation of wealth and return to nature. Krakauer, a contributing editor to Outside and Men's Journal, retraces McCandless's ill-fated antagonism toward his father, Walt, an eminent aerospace engineer. Krakauer also draws parallels to his own reckless youthful exploit in 1977 when he climbed Devils Thumb, a mountain on the Alaska-British Columbia border, partly as a symbolic act of rebellion against his autocratic father. In a moving narrative, Krakauer probes the mystery of McCandless's death, which he attributes to logistical blunders and to accidental poisoning from eating toxic seed pods. Maps. 35,000 first printing; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3153 KB
  • Print Length: 216 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0330351699
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (September 21, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SEFNMS
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,174 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
585 of 611 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Unforgettable July 19, 2000
There is little suspense (in the traditional sense of the word) in Krakauer's Into the Wild, as anyone who reads the synopsis or picks up the book instantly learns that it is the story of a young man, Chris McCandless, who ventures into the Alaskan Wilderness and who never gets out. Chris' body is found in an abandoned bus used by moose hunters as a makeshift lodge, and Krakauer skillfully attempts to retrace his steps in an effort both to understand what went wrong, and to figure out what made McCandless give away his money, his car, and head off into Denali National Forest in the first place.
His book was one of the most haunting, unforgettable reads in recent years for me. I was mezmerized by passages in the author's other best-selling masterpiece Into Thin Air, such as the passage involving stranded and doomed guide Rob Hall, near the Everest summit, talking to his pregnant wife via satellite phone to discuss names for their unborn child. However, I was unprepared for the depths of emotion felt in reading Into the Wild - it literally kept me up at nights, not just reading but thinking about the book in the dark.
Some reviewers criticized the book because they thought McCandless demonstrated a naive and unhealthy lack of respect for the Alaskan wilderness. This is no hike on the Appalachian Trail - Chris was literally dropped off by a trucker into the middle of nowhere, with no provision stores, guides, or means of assistance nearby at his disposal. He had a big bag of rice and a book about native plants, designed to tell him which plants and berries he could eat. "How could he have been so stupid?", they ask.
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117 of 123 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anacortes, WA August 20, 2000
By A Customer
After having had this book for some time, I finally set out to make it part of my summer 2000 reading schedule. I am drawn to books of the northern wilderness, which was the initial attraction to this one. I'll state up front that I have not read anything else by Krakauer, so I cannot draw any comparisons as other reviewers have done.
Krakauer tells the tale effectively. He uses an intelligent vocabulary balanced with a conversational writing style. He easily held my attention as the facts unfolded throughout, employing logic and drawing inferences to fill in many questions that remain. He obviously did his research on the central character, Christopher McCandless, and must have invested countless quantities of money and time to gather accurate information. With so many of the facts of this distressing story remaining obscured probably forever, his assumptions and extrapolations about Chris' actual fate are posed as theories rather than as irreproachable conclusions. I appreciate this aspect of Krakauer's account.
Hats off also to the McCandless family, since Krakauer relied upon them not only for information about their son, tragically lost, but also for their courage in allowing many private family issues to be exposed in support of telling the story as thoroughly as possible. Chris' father, mother, and sister are true heroes in my eyes.
I have some degree of understanding of Chris and his northerly wanderlust, and also an appreciation for the not-so-uncommon desire to conquer the wilderness. What concerns me, however, is the apparent arrogance of the central character.
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187 of 207 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INTO THE WILD...INTO YOUR HEART July 30, 2000
Verified Purchase
This is a poignant, compelling narrative about Chris McCandless, an intelligent, intense, and idealistic young man, who cut off all ties to his upper middle class family. He then reinvented himself as Alexander Supertramp, a drifter living out of a backpack, eking out a marginal existence as he wandered throughout the United States. A modern day King of the Road, McCandless ended his journey in 1992 in Alaska, when he walked alone into the wilderness north of Denali. He never returned.

Krakauer investigates this young man's short life in an attempt to explain why someone who has everything going for him would have chosen this lifestyle, only to end up dead in one of the most remote, rugged areas of the Alaskan wilderness. Whether one views McCandless as a fool or as a modern day Thoreau is a question ripe for discussion. It is clear, however, from Krakauer's writing that his investigation led him to feel a strong, spiritual kinship with McCandless. It is this kindred spirit approach to his understanding of this young man that makes Krakauer's writing so absorbing and moving.

Krakauer retraced McCandless' journey, interviewing many of those with whom he came into contact. What metamorphosed is a haunting, riveting account of McCandless' travels and travails, and the impact he had on those with whom he came into contact. Krakauer followed McCandless' last steps into the Alaskan wilderness, so that he could see for himself how McCandless had lived, and how he had died. This book is his epitaph.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Into the Wild - 2nd purchase
Same as first book comments.
Published 7 hours ago by Michelle B.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book About A Tragic Loss
An insightful look by this author into a tragedy. Christopher McCandless was a gentle soul driven by a youthful invulnerable attitude which we all had as young people and made a... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Maureen Brightwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Absolutely loved it. What an inspiration.
Published 2 days ago by Annemarie B. Bellem
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine piece of work by Jon Krakauer....
Great writing and research by Krakauer. The subject of the book clearly was dealing with his own demons, and they are presented in a candid and unbiased manner.
Published 2 days ago by C. Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary account of someone who loved Nature but who did not...
Well written and held my interest from beginning to end. An extraordinary account of someone who loved Nature but who did not appear to have gained the necessary respect. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Gardug0213
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and Poignant Book
I watched the movie, "Into The Wild" and it really moved me and made me want to buy the book. It is very readable and non judgmental. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Carolyn
3.0 out of 5 stars Krakaeur Cares Too Much
Into The Wild is a gorgeous cautionary tale of the human experience. In 1992, Chris McCandless hitchhiked across the nation in search of eternal happiness away from the material... Read more
Published 4 days ago by kayla
4.0 out of 5 stars On the Edge
A very intering read.
Published 11 days ago by Weld Engineer
4.0 out of 5 stars Required School Reading
Good story but a very sad ending.
Published 11 days ago by MellyMass
4.0 out of 5 stars Wild Story
Many young men dream of staking out into the unknown for a little while. Few do it the way Chris McCandless did. Read more
Published 13 days ago by DolphinBlue
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Topic From this Discussion
Into the Wild...the MOVIE
As a longtime Alaskan who lived half my life in arctic bush Alaska, and as a writer (who is quoted incompletely, and therefore out of context in the book version of Into the Wild) I find the continued hoo-ha over both Jon's book and the resulting film to be astounding. The book was basically an... Read More
Oct 23, 2007 by Nick Jans |  See all 37 posts
What if Chris got out???
i don't think it matters what he would've done with his life. But what matters is if we'd care enough to read his story. because i'm sure there are many more people out there who've had similar adventures
Jun 22, 2010 by Alex Ramos |  See all 3 posts
Welcome to the Into the Wild forum
I just finished reading INTO THE WILD and I can't seem to get it out of my mind. Krakauer's reporting that some Alaskan "locals" fumed about any sympathy for this poor kid's horrible death reminded me a lot of local contempt for another Alaskan tragedy--the "GRIZZLY MAN"... Read More
Feb 13, 2006 by C. Enright |  See all 10 posts
Age appropriateness of book?
I agree with R. Milford, editing some language might be needed. However, the theme of the book is perfect for 8th grade - my own 14 year-old son just read this for a report in school. What impressed him was that this young man never found what he was looking for because he left everyone he... Read More
Jan 15, 2009 by Amazon Customer |  See all 5 posts
What book is he reading?
The gold cell.
I too was trying to figure it out. :)

http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Cell-Knopf-Poetry-Sharon/dp/0394747704
Jun 30, 2008 by jc43156 |  See all 3 posts
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