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Into the Wild Paperback – February 1, 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 4,074 ratings

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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.

Review

"A narrative of arresting force.  Anyone who ever fancied wandering off to face nature on its own harsh terms should give a look.  It's gripping stuff."
--Washington Post

"Compelling and tragic...Hard to put down."  
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Engrossing...with a telling eye for detail, Krakauer has captured the sad saga of a stubborn, idealistic young man."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"It may be nonfiction, but Into the Wild is a mystery of the highest order."
--Entertainment Weekly

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
4,074 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2017
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Top international reviews

Ashok Krishna
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book for anyone that loves questions of an existential nature!
Reviewed in India on February 7, 2017
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CathyR
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking tale
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 13, 2016
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Kindleworm Dot Com
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully portrayed book of how a tragedy came to be...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 5, 2019
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Lord Bage
5.0 out of 5 stars Will written and interesting!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 19, 2017
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Denno
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 14, 2019
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neil ferrans
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 13, 2018
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MrsGrimshawReads
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend this book - fascinating story that will make you reflect
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 10, 2014
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Mark Gannon
4.0 out of 5 stars Three and a half stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2018
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Malan
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a Journey into the Wild
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 11, 2016
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susan
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 1, 2020
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Bookworm
3.0 out of 5 stars Powerful stuff
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 19, 2014
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D. M. York
4.0 out of 5 stars Starving to death was a small price to pay for such freedom
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 5, 2008
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janeymc
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting and sad story. I agree with another reviewer that there ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2014
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Adds nothing to the film.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2019
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Sam D
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 13, 2014
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