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Into the Wild [Kindle Edition]

Jon Krakauer
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,932 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

What would possess a gifted young man recently graduated from college to literally walk away from his life? Noted outdoor writer and mountaineer Jon Krakauer tackles that question in his reporting on Chris McCandless, whose emaciated body was found in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness in 1992.

Described by friends and relatives as smart, literate, compassionate, and funny, did McCandless simply read too much Thoreau and Jack London and lose sight of the dangers of heading into the wilderness alone? Krakauer, whose own adventures have taken him to the perilous heights of Everest, provides some answers by exploring the pull the outdoors, seductive yet often dangerous, has had on his own life.

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: 2849 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 033045367X
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SEFNMS
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,773 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
560 of 584 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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102 of 107 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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121 of 131 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read it in one night. It's a well-written book. August 21, 2007
Format:Paperback
Several words come to mind when thinking of Chris McCandless, as reviewers on Amazon and others in Krakauer's book note: rash, impulsive, idealistic, individualistic, selfish, histrionic, foolhardy. Indeed, the book had the trappings of apologia for the young man's destructive nature. Contrary to many reviewers, though, I believe Krakauer gave a fair assessment of Chris.

Krakauer attempts to salvage the good name of Chris, primarily because he saw much of his subject's characteristics in himself as a young man. The renunciation of a comfortable, secure environment for the aesthetic, ascetic, and the existential does not make sense to some. However, Krakauer admits that these are the same attitudes on which countries capitalize to recruit men into battle. In one of his more eloquent writings, Chris declares that nothing is more destructive to a man's adventurous spirit than a secure future. Some who have always had security--a life without hardship--begin to look at it with contempt; it becomes something shameful. Giving 25,000 dollars to OXFAM and feeding homeless on K Street was just as charitable as it was self-serving. As is most philanthropy. I admit character portrayal does border on romanticization, but ultimately Krakauer is more sober. Understanding McCandless's flaws, Krakauer still manages to upon McCandless with empathy

But, all this is beside the point. It would be unfair to attack or support a book solely on a personal judgment about the characters. Let Chris be scorned, but I think Jon Krakauer told a good story, and attempted to fully understand the motivation, emotion, and conflict among his characters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great documentary
I absolutely loved reading this story
Published 57 minutes ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Unbelievably boring book.
Published 5 hours ago by Patrick Kramer
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad but Inspiring
It was a very interesting book recommended highly by a friend. I know why. It describes as much as is known about a unique journey with insight from the author and other sources. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Katie Whitehead
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good.
Published 2 days ago by Esmeralda Gallegos
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story/Writing about an somewhat unlikable guy
Mixed emotions after reading this. One, I liked the story. The author is a good writer and Krakauer tells a good though depressing story of a young man who ventured into the... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Bryn C. Dunham
4.0 out of 5 stars a good book
Written with heart and knowledge, this book catches from the beginning and takes you on a brave journey to meet Cris
Published 3 days ago by Luis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great condition. Exactly as stated.
Published 6 days ago by Anastasia Vlassov
1.0 out of 5 stars No good
Very boring read; the excruciating details that this author goes into really put me off. I only finished it to try to understand the purpose of the book and I came to the... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Jdawg
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you Jon Krakauer for bringing us into the world of McCandless. A very inspiring read.
Published 11 days ago by qozzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 12 days ago by Dale E. Komanec
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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
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 9 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
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 S. L. Wilson |  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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