Books > History > Product: 199538

Into the Wild

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.com Review
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"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 ( /exec/obidos/author=Krakauer%2C%20Jon/%24%7B0%7D ) 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 ( /exec/obidos/author=Stegner%2C%20Wallace/%24%7B0%7D ) 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.

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Review
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"Terrifying...Eloquent...A heart-rending drama of human yearning."
--New York Times

"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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