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Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Jon Krakauer (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,031376272 (3.89)1 / 370
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.… (more)
Title:Into the Wild
Authors:Jon Krakauer (Author)
Info:Anchor Books (1997), Edition: 1, 240 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (1996)

  1. 70
    Walden by Henry David Thoreau (arztriper)
  2. 50
    Walden & On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau (thiagobomfim)
    thiagobomfim: That is a history of a boy inspired by Thoreau and his masterpiece: Wladen.
  3. 30
    Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains by Jon Krakauer (Ronoc)
  4. 20
    The Grizzly Maze: Timothy Treadwell's Fatal Obsession with Alaskan Bears by Nick Jans (stephmo)
    stephmo: Both books deal with idealists and end in Alaska. Both stories present a certain mythology available only from the Alaskan wilderness.
  5. 10
    Sukkwan Island by David Vann (raton-liseur)
    raton-liseur: Il peut paraître étrange de rapprocher ces deux livres. Pourtant ils sont entrés en résonance lorsque je les ai lus à un an d’intervalle. Tous les deux sont sombres puisqu’il y est question de mort, et tous les deux ont pour fond la beauté rude des paysages glacials de l’Alaska. C’est cette confrontation fatale entre le blanc de la neige et le noir de la mort qui m’a saisie dans ces deux livres, même si les raisons qui sous-tendent ces deux quêtes vers les paysages du Grand Nord sont (à première vue) sans point commun.… (more)
  6. 10
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    bluepiano: Another young Yank who died in the wilderness whilst on a impassioned and private quest.
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    Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer (sturlington)
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English (351)  Italian (6)  German (4)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (374)
Showing 1-5 of 351 (next | show all)
This...this was something. It provided me with intriguing new insights into human character. Christopher McCandless was very, very interesting with his complex personality, and I'm still not sure what to think of him. On one hand, I disliked him for deserting all his family and friends and being unusually judgmental. On the other hand, I sympathized with him for his inner troubles and accidental death. I understand where many critics are coming from: on the outside, McCandless seemed to be an impulsive and stupid young man who died from his outrageous idea of living in the wilderness with little to no experience or supplies. However, as this book discusses, there was so much more to that. The author explains how McCandless's childhood problems and intense personality may have contributed to his decision of living in the wild. The book takes you through the man's entire journey, from his high school graduation up to his death. You realize that he really was just a deep and thoughtful person who had the misfortune to receive harsh criticism for being young and daring to follow his dreams.

One other thing that stuck out to me was a comment that adults often forget the feeling of being young, and subsequently look down on the impulsiveness of young people. The author writes that this is part of the reason behind the criticism for McCandless. I find this insightfully and unfortunately true; the sheer age gap between adults and young adults/teens makes it difficult for either of them to completely understand each other. I liked reading bits of human insight like this and many others in the book.

Yes, I would definitely recommend this if you like reading nonfiction and if you're interested in the complexities of human nature. If you're wondering, the main reason for the minus two stars is that while nonfiction works can be interesting (like this one), there's nothing like a satisfying, exciting, thick fiction novel. But if you're a fan of nonfiction, certainly read Into the Wild. ( )
  KendraJ. | Dec 10, 2019 |
This book is about a man named Chris McCandless who, one day, abandoned all of his possessions, donated his whole life savings to charity, and became a nomad, until he finally decided to Alaska. There he wanted to try to survive alone in the wilderness, solely off of the environment and without the toxins of society. However, he does not survive: he dies of starvation and disease. This book was a very captivating read and was very hard for me to put down. This was one of the rare occasions that I didn’t want to keep reading only because I didn’t want it to end, and was disappointed when I finished that there was no more story left to read.
  sarahgoldman | Nov 8, 2019 |
I read this book out of curiosity many years after it had first been published. I was familiar with the name of the author Krakauer having seen it pop up on a number of books, mostly recalling, "Into Thin Air." I had not heard anything about the subject of the book, Chris McCandless, or the publicity surrounding his death from 'Outdoor" magazine.

So with this fresh slate I really did not have an opinion one way or other in picking up the book and seeing what would come out of it. It was a captivating read and it was clear to me Krakauer is a talented author. My opinion on Chris McCandless and his fate is somewhat mixed. It appears there was a fairly vocal group who castigated his fool hardiness for going into the bush naively unprepared. And that is understandable in seeing what he did. But beyond that Chris is really not that much different then many many young men who end their young lives let's say accidentally through their reckless or naive behavior.

Maybe what makes McCandless's death noteworthy is his blind adherence or compulsion to show the world his devotion to a life of pure allegiance to nature and the free will of men over their perceived oppression of society, in particular government. His estrangement with his family is also evident of his strong reactions to what he simply would not believe in.

Though he was probably not mentally ill in his compulsion they still led to his blindness to common sense and eventually led to his death. I felt little sympathy in that respect. Yes it was tragic and he does not appear to have had a death wish, but his belief in his own omnipotence to blend in with nature is his pure approach to things in fact led to his demise.

Krakauer certainly covers every aspect of the story thoroughly and it gives one a lot to think about in our own strong beliefs. I found it interesting how he breaks away from the narrative toward the end and relates his own adventures as a youthful fellow in a compulsive mission to scale a peak in the same region. It was like he wanted to relate how he too understood the strong motivation behind McCanless's actions.

The book wraps up with a afterward addition on a great debate and inquiry a to what caused his actual death. The postulate being poisoning rather than straight starvation. Regardless his own actions led to his own death and though sad, a lesson hopefully for younger people with similar principle driven motives to beware. ( )
  knightlight777 | Nov 6, 2019 |
Sad and compelling, worth a read for any fans of nonfiction/reporting. ( )
  schufman | Jul 20, 2019 |
The book is written in a journalistic style about a man, Christopher McCandless, follows his own path in life and takes a wild journey to Alaska. He donates his savings to a charity and burns the rest of his possessions leaving himself only a backpack and a few supplies. He basically resorts to living off the land and as he goes. He makes many new people as he travels North, but his family has no idea of his travels and decisions until his corpse is found in the wilderness by a moose hunter. The author retraces Christopher’s random, ill-thought out, careless journey to Alaska where he finished his days in a not so great sort of way. Wasn’t really a huge fan of the story. ( )
  JessieIrwin9092 | Jun 27, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 351 (next | show all)
Christopher McCandless's life and his death may have been meaningless, absurd, even reprehensible, but by the end of "Into the Wild," you care for him deeply.
Mr. Krakauer has taken the tale of a kook who went into the woods, and made of it a heart-rending drama of human yearning.

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Krakauer, Jonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferrari, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franklin, PhilipNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mijn, Aad van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palma, Maria HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soares, Pedro MaiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zung, SabrinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Jim Gallien had driven four miles out of Fairbanks when he spotted the hitchhiker standing in the snow beside the road, thumb raised high, shivering in the gray Alaska dawn.
The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
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