Into The Wild, a book review

You might have already seen the movie, I have not.  Either way I think this is a superb book and I recommend it.  I'm a huge fan of Jon Krakauer - In To Thin Air,  Under The Banner Of Heaven, and I think, Into The Wild might be his best.  

Krakauer tells the compelling story of Chris McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp in his journey of self discovery from his comfortable and safe middle class upbringing to his death as a lonely and desperate young man starving in the Alaskan wilderness.  

Alexander Supertramp a few months before his death.

The story is about McCandless and his travels as a modern day hobo prior to his death but Krakauer weaves in much more.  He investigates why some people risk it all for adventure including himself.  Indeed I found one of the most riveting chapters to be when Krakauer tells a story from his own reckless youth as a climbing bum.  He discovers much about his own sprit while attempting a solo climb of the Devils Thumb deep in the mountains of Alaska.  

The author John Krakauer

I found this to be a haunting story, one that I think of often.  Below are the words of the last known correspondence from McCandless. 

“Greetings from Fairbanks!
This is the last you shall hear from me Wayne.  Arrived here 2 days ago. It was very difficult to catch rides in the Yukon Territory.  But I finally got here.  Please return all mail I receive to the sender.  It might be a very long time before I return South.  If this adventure proves fatal and you don’t ever hear from me again, I want you to know your a great man.  I now walk into the wild.
— Chris McCandless, in postcard sent to Wayne Westerberg in Carthage, South Dakota, from Alaska

I now walk into the wild...  This is inspiring to me and a lesson.  If nothing else when you read this you will be better prepared before you embark on your next journey. 

McCandless waves goodbye in a final self portrait. 

Below is a rough scan of the message he is holding.  The message was found pinned to the doorway of the shelter where his body was discovered. 

Posted by his family where Chris McCandless was found in Alaska.  R.I.P man...

Read it it's worth it.


Anonymous said...

that alaska backpacking link was tough..
have you seen this

Anonymous said...

This book was beautiful and McCandless is a gutsy man full of vigor for God's creations. Read this book, you will respect it.