Into the wild

Jon Krakauer

Book - 2015

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

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Subjects
Genres
Biographies
Published
New York : Anchor Books 2015.
Language
English
Item Description
Originally published: New York : Villard, ©1996.
"With a new afterword"--Cover.
Physical Description
215 pages : maps ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780385486804
0385486804
Main Author
Jon Krakauer (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Jon Krakauer tells the riveting story of Chris McCandless, who, after graduating from college in 1992, gave his life savings to charity and started hitchhiking to Alaska. Once there, he ventured into the wild. Four months after leaving home, he was found dead. The reasons for his quest, what happened in the woods, and how he died have become iconic and troubling questions. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Strayed's instinct to go into the wild to find solace and self is also at the heart of the tragic story of Chris McCandless, reported in clarion-clear prose by narrative nonfiction master Krakauer (Into Thin Air). While McCandless's story does not share the ice cream cone-happy ending Strayed found, the two books share a similar pace, intimate voice, and sensibility. McCandless set out on his own self-isolating path, cutting off all contact with his family and heading toward the Alaskan wilderness via a rambling route of adventure and reflection. Like Strayed, he encountered a changing cast of characters, and, also like Strayed, he took a reckless approach to his quest. He went into the wild with too little knowledge, too few supplies, and far too much arrogance, and he did not survive. While not a memoir, Krakauer's wise and at times tender account of McCandless's undoing is amazingly reflective-offering great insight into Krakauer himself, McCandless, and the drive for adventure and the hope and certainty that something ineffable can be found out there. The movie directed by Sean Penn is not to be missed. - "RA Crossroads" LJ Reviews 5/3/12 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Krakauer tracks the disastrous journey of young Chris McCandless, who disappeared into the Alaskan wilderness seeking enlightenment, only to find death. Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In April 1992, 23-year-old Chris McCandless hiked into the Alaska bush to "live off the land." Four months later, hunters found his emaciated corpse in an abandoned Fairbanks city bus, along with five rolls of film, an SOS note, and a diary written in a field guide to edible plants. Cut off from civilization, McCandless had starved to death. The young man's gruesome demise made headlines and haunted Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer, who saw "vague, unsettling parallels" between McCandless's life and his own. Expanding on his 1993 Outside article, Krakauer traces McCandless's last two years; after his graduation from Emory University, McCandless abandoned his middle-class family, identity, and possessions in favor of the life of "Alexander Supertramp," wandering the American West in search of "raw, transcendent experience." In trying to understand McCandless's behavior and the appeal that risky activities hold for young men, Krakauer examines his own adventurous youth. However, he never satisfactorily answers the question of whether McCandless was a noble, if misguided, idealist or a reckless narcissist who brought pain to his family. For popular outdoor and adventure collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/95.]-Wilda Williams, "Library Journal" Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he went to live in the wilderness. Four months later, he turned up dead. His diary, letters and two notes found at a remote campsite tell of his desperate effort to survive, apparently stranded by an injury and slowly starving. They also reflect the posturing of a confused young man, raised in affluent Annandale, Va., who self-consciously adopted a Tolstoyan renunciation of wealth and return to nature. Krakauer, a contributing editor to Outside and Men's Journal, retraces McCandless's ill-fated antagonism toward his father, Walt, an eminent aerospace engineer. Krakauer also draws parallels to his own reckless youthful exploit in 1977 when he climbed Devils Thumb, a mountain on the Alaska-British Columbia border, partly as a symbolic act of rebellion against his autocratic father. In a moving narrative, Krakauer probes the mystery of McCandless's death, which he attributes to logistical blunders and to accidental poisoning from eating toxic seed pods. Maps. 35,000 first printing; author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A portrait of Chris McCandless chronicles his decision to withdraw from society and adopt the persona of Alexander Supertramp, offering insight into his beliefs about the wilderness and his tragic death in the Alaskan wilderness. Reprint. Tour.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The story of Chris McCandless, a young man who embarked on a solo journey into the wilds of Alaska and whose body was discovered four months later, explores the allure of the wilderness

Review by Publisher Summary 3

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. This is the unforgettable story of how Christopher Johnson McCandless came to die."It may be nonfiction, but Into the Wild is a mystery of the highest order." —Entertainment WeeklyMcCandess had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Not long after, he was dead. Into the Wild is the mesmerizing, heartbreaking tale of an enigmatic young man who goes missing in the wild and whose story captured the world’s attention. Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and, unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life. Admitting an interest that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the drives and desires that propelled McCandless. When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris. He is said to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity, and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding—and not an ounce of sentimentality. Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.