In Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer takes a look at the adventures of Chris McCandless (aka Alex Supertramp), who ran away from his family and tried to live off the land only to meet a tragic end in Alaska.
I loved this book and was totally captivated by Chris’ story. Once I started it I couldn’t put it down. The author starts out with the grizzly discovery of McCandless’s body in Alaska and then backtracks to tell the rest of the story. Using the sparsely written journals, photos McCandless took and interviews with the people McCandless befriended or ran into on the road, Krakauer pieces together the last two years of McCandless’ life. I love how the author hangs onto the story and doesn’t let it go. Even after he has finished his assignment (an article for a magazine), he continues to investigate.
The author also gives us a glimpse into the lives of other adventurers who have tried similar things. However, as we soon discover, no one is quite like McCandless. My least favourite part of the book was when the author was describing his own trek up the Alaskan mountains. I couldn’t see what this had to do with the story. However, when I finished that section, I realized that it had a lot to do with the story. The author was an adventurer too and offered great insight into McCandless’ actions.
For reasons I won’t go into here, the whole story has left me a little frightened, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
While we may never know what exactly happened to Chris, the author does a magnificent job of investigating the story and coming up with some explanations.
Now, I have to go see the movie.