Into the Wild
By: Jon Krakauer
Into the Wild is a story of adventure. The book chronicles the final two years of Christopher McCandless’s life. For those who don’t already know, this is a true story based of the life of a boy who was raised in a mildly affluent middle class family in Washington D.C. who wound up dead in Alaska in the summer of 1992.
After his college graduation in 1990, Chris got rid of the majority of his belongings, gave the remainder of his college money ($24,000) to charity, and set off on a great adventure. He never spoke to or contacted his family during his 2 year disappearance. What is known about his journey has been gathered from his diaries and stories of the people he met and stayed with during that time. He certainly did live a unique life. During his escapades he worked as a farmer, hitchhiked across the Midwest, paddled across the Mexican boarder, sold books with hippies, and much more.
His final journey was in Alaska. His dream of living in solitude off the land came true in April of 1992. He lived off nothing put wild plants, game, and a 10 pound bag of rice. Although he managed to survive for over 100 days, eventually it wasn’t enough. Christopher McCandless died of starvation in a small bus that he had turned into his camp on 18 August 1992. His body was found just 2 weeks later by a group of hunters.
What puzzles me (and many others) more than the ridiculous journey itself is he man behind it. McCandless has been described as someone who extremely friendly and personal, yet preferred the solitude. He clearly had a strained relationship with his parents, but not with his sister, yet he contacted neither during his extended absence. He could be irritable and stubborn at times, and was also described as a person of impeccable moral character. Intelligent; that is the word most used to describe McCandless by people that knew him.
This book made me question life more than once. I encourage anybody soul searching to check out this book. I admire the way McCandless took on life. Many people dream, but few do. McCandless was a doer. His soul told him to journey to Alaska and live in the wild, and he did.