Without quite realising it I stepped outside of my usual comfort zone and picked up a nonfiction read with this selection. Into The Wild is an expansion of a magazine article written by Krakauer looking into the death of Chris McCandless, an idealistic young man trying to escape into the Alaskan wild to live of the land. Unfortunately not all went to plan and McCandless was found starved to death by hikers in August 1992, four months after he first set foot in the Alaskan wild. This was an extremely sobering read, yet highly intriguing looking into McCandless’ years on the road and some attempt to understand the psyche of this young mind and his obsession with the Wild.
Having quite a personal interest in the idea of disappearing into the wild for a period of time, on your own at one with nature. Living on the road by simple means, I have always enjoyed novels along the lines of Wild, On The Road, loving the concept and longing for the day I can set out on my own adventure. Into The Wild tells the extreme, opposite side to this story. McCandless was on the extreme end of the spectrum, giving up his worldly possessions, burning his money and abandoning his beloved car. His ideals were also extremist following ideas laid down by Leo Tolstoy and Jack London. Having such resolute ideas in uncommon and reading his thoughts as laid out by Krakauer was fascinating.
This gives he reader much food for thought. In some ways you can understand his ideas and actions, yet conversely lament the outcome in particular the effect it has on his family, who lost touch with him two years prior to his untimely death. I appreciate the lengths Krakauer has exhausted to tell as complete a story explaining McCandless’ actions and intentions as much as possible. He was a fascinating soul and I enjoyed the comparison with other individuals throughout history who followed similar paths of solitude into the wild that ultimately ended with premature death.
A definite must-read for those who have an interest in this area. This account is haunting and consuming, leaving the reader with much to contemplate upon completion of the novel. This review is short and sweet as there isn’t much to reflect on this story that can be shared, a personal reflection feels more appropriate. This is definitely a book I will revisit with a hope to take more in the next time I peruse the pages. I would urge you to give it a go, if only to put yourself in another shoes so different to the norm. I give Into The Wild four bowls of rice, the bulk of McCandless’ diet in much of his adventures.