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Into The Wild

The story of Chris McCandless, a 24-year-old who hiked into the Alaskan Wilderness, hoping to go to a place where there's a "blank on the map." He wanted to leave society and be alone. Unfortunatley, he was ill-equipped for surviving in the Alaskan Wilderness, and he died after four months of living in the Wilderness. McCandless' remains were found after 4 months, and weighing only 67 pounds, it is assumed he died of starvation. Author Jon Krakauer (Where Men Win Glory, Under the Banner of Heaven, Into Thin Air, to name a few) was taken by McCandless' story, and decided to share it with the world. He doesn't just simply tell what happened to Chris McCandless from the moment he entered the Alaskan Wilderness into when his body was found - that would make for a very boring journey. Instead, he expertly weaves McCandless' journey to Alaska and the people he impacted on his way there. He also draws parallels between McCandless and a few others that have gone "into the wild" completely unprepared for what lay ahead, inspired by the romantic ideals of American philosopher Henry David Thoreau. Because of this book, McCandless' journey into Alaska has faced a lot of criticism. Alaskan Park Ranger said "I am exposed continually to what I will call the 'McCandless Phenomenon.' People, nearly always young men, come to Alaska to challenge themselves against an unforgiving wilderness landscape where convenience of access and possibility of rescue are practically nonexistent...When you consider McCandless from my perspective, you quickly see that what he did wasn’t even particularly daring, just stupid, tragic, and inconsiderate. First off, he spent very little time learning how to actually live in the wild. He arrived...without even a map of the area. If he [had] had a good map he could have walked out...Essentially, Chris McCandless committed suicide." So, read Into the Wild and see if you agree with this harsh interpretation of McCandless' journey, or was it simply the "death of an innocent" who lost his way in the woods (as Krakauer puts it)? Rating: ★★★★


The Book of Lost Things