- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; First Edition edition (November 11, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062325140
- ISBN-13: 978-0062325143
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 530 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wild Truth Hardcover – November 11, 2014
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“One of the driving points of The Wild Truth is that [McCandless’s] famous, ultimately fatal journey of adventure and discovery was motivated in large part by a desire to escape his parents…Carine’s new book fleshes out the causes of Chris’s actions with much more detail and impact.” (Outsideonline.com)
“A moving and revelatory saga.” (Boston Globe)
“The Wild Truth is a moving narrative of domestic abuse, grief and survival, and for the perspective and revelations it contains, an essential additon to the Into the Wild story.” (Newsweek)
“Fiercely honest and gripping. . . . She honestly shares her successes and failures in work and relationships as she comes to the realization that she has tried to find in adult life what was lacking in her childhood: worth, strength, and unconditional love.” (Publishers Weekly)
“The Wild Truth is an important book on two fronts: It sets the record straight about a story that has touched thousands of readers, and it opens up a conversation about hideous domestic violence hidden behind a mask of prosperity and propriety.” (NPR.org)
“Helping her readers become more familiar with the overwhelming burdens caused by dysfunctional parents is one of The Wild Truth’s major achievements. [McCandless] touches each of us…[we] have a better sense of what drove her brother and compelled her to write about her own harrowing history.” (Anchorage Press)
“Powerful . . . gripping to read.” (Examiner.com)
“A powerful book…For me, reading it was like finding a crucial missing word in the middle of a crossword puzzle: once those letters were filled in, the answers to the blank spaces around them also cascaded into place.” (Eva Holland, Vela Magazine)
From the Back Cover
A New York Times Bestseller
"The Wild Truth is an important book on two fronts: It sets the record straight about a story that has touched thousands of readers, and it opens up a conversation about hideous domestic violence hidden behind a mask of prosperity and propriety."–NPR.org
In the more than twenty years since the body of Chris McCandless was discovered in the wilds of Alaska, his spellbinding story has captivated millions who have either read Jon Krakauer's iconic Into the Wild or seen Sean Penn's acclaimed film of the same name.
And yet, only one person has truly understood what motivated Chris's unconventional decision to forsake his belongings, abandon his family, and embrace the harsh wilderness. In The Wild Truth, his beloved sister Carine McCandless finally provides a deeply personal account of the many misconceptions about Chris, revealing the truth behind his fateful journey while sharing the remarkable details of her own.
Exposing the dark reality that existed behind the McCandless's seemingly idyllic home in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Carine details a violent home life, one where both parents manipulated the truth about a second family—a deception that pushed Chris over the edge and set the stage for his willing departure into the wild. And though he cut off all family ties, Carine understood—through their indelible bond and some cryptic communication—what Chris was seeking.
This understanding, kept under wraps for years as Carine struggled to maintain a relationship with her parents, now comes to spectacular light in the pages of The Wild Truth. In the decades since Chris's death, Carine and her half-siblings have come together to find their own truth and build their own beauty in his absence. In each other, they've found absolution, just as Chris found absolution in the wild before he died.
Beautiful and haunting, told with candor and heartbreaking insight, The Wild Truth presents a man the world only thought they knew—and the sister who has finally found redemption in sharing the rest of their story.
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Carine is not the easiest person to like; there are shades of her mother’s willfulness and self-righteousness in her actions, and she can seem more self-absorbed than self-reflective. Because she and Chris lost contact just at the point his story gets interesting, she can offer little insight into the man he was becoming, she can only reveal the boy he was.
Anyone leaving a poor review based on the fact that Carine talks about herself, and/or that there was nothing 'earth-shattering' about what was written with regard to Chris and his motivations completely missed the plethora of nuance and sub-text, all of the things that weren't explicitly written but many people were capable of picking up on, probably hasn't experienced the content that this book engages with. Furthermore, this becomes even more obvious when people are still unable to grasp why a child who endured the violence of abuse would choose to leave home and behave in a way that's 'reckless,' saying that 'nothing was actually revealed' essentially translates into 'I don't think the abuse these children endured is significant, especially not enough to cause someone to do what Chris did.'
For those who read this entire book, learned about the horrendous abuse that these two experienced as children, the petty and conniving harassment and manipulation that Carine endured from her parents for years, the painful grief that Carine felt after losing her brother and then seeing his name and image ridiculed and criticized by every average joe who thought that their input should be heard, and still came away feeling as though they didn't gain any insight into what drove Chris into the wild will simply never get it.
Unfortunately, this book seems only to prove insightful to those that are either capable of understanding the magnitude of the toll that abuse takes on a person, reading between the lines and grasping what's not being overtly said, or those who didn't find Chris a deplorable person in the first place...I honestly can't imagine why somebody who freely takes every opportunity they have to prattle on about what a terrible person they think Chris was would choose to read this book AND then still feel compelled to leave a review.
It is very brave of Carine to write this book, regardless of her writing skills (as commented upon by some other reviewers). The point is in the content: abusive parents are the worst thing that could ever happen to a young child, with effects lasting into adulthood. The abused child must overcome his abuse twice. Firs as the abused child, then as the damaged adult.
If more people like Carine come forward, we will some day end all domestic violence. Carine's father was (and probably still is) a rabid dog who should be put on a leash.