Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer

January 23, 2008

Recently finished Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. The book, and the movie of the same name (which I have not yet seen) is about Chris McCandless, a young man who, upon graduating from Emory, gives away his possessions, rechristens himself “Alex Supertramp”, drives and then hitchhikes across the US, finally to disappear into the Alaskan wilderness.

The story is at the same time breathtaking and sobering. Sobering because, like many, I have too become tempted after reading too much Kerouac and Thoreau, push off and wander the earth. In fact, now a husband and a father in my 40’s, I find myself regretting my attachment to safety in my earlier travel, wishing I had actually taken that train ride through Mexico, or taken a courier flight to Hong Kong like I had planned. In this, I share a great deal with Krakauer, and the personal history that Krakauer adds to McCandless’s story, brings considerable depth and insight into what motivated the boy.

The book is wonderful, and I highly recommend it.


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