Sunday, November 1, 2009

Book: Into the Wild

I've enjoyed the two other Krakauer books I've read, Under the Banner of Heaven and Into Thin Air, so naturally I've been anxious to read this one for a while. I don't follow new book releases, so I didn't learn of this book until the movie was due to come out and the book was re-released with a movie tie-in cover. My dad enjoys Krakauer, too, so naturally I bought the book immediately and gave it to him for Christmas last year... knowing I'd have the chance to borrow it back when he finished it. I know, I know, totally selfish. My penance was waiting 10 months until he got around to reading it!

Krakauer again tells a compelling story, and I can't help but enjoy a book that is enjoyable to read, even when the topic is one I wouldn't normally select. Nope, I can't relate so much to a young guy who decides to walk into the Alaskan bush just to see if he can make it on his own. Making it on my own to me just means not having roommates in a modern shelter with heat, a/c and running water, preferably convenient to decent shopping. My dreams of visiting Alaska someday include travel by cruise ship. I've never been, but I hear it's an amazingly beautiful piece of earth, and I fully intend to make it there someday.

Christopher McCandless died in the Alaskan bush, forsaking society and anything he felt was a luxury. Part of me can't help but admire his desire for adventure, despite his apparent lack of judgment on some things, and a few bad choices. My dad's perspective on this story was that Kraukauer spends the entire book trying to convince the reader that Chris was not, in fact, crazy, despite what many thought. My perspective was a bit different, that he treated the story fairly and objectively. The state of Chris's sanity when he walked into the bush will never truly be known, but there is room to believe that he was - or not.

In any case, not a book everyone would enjoy, but again, an interesting read.

Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer
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