Book review: Into The Wild

TITLE: Into The Wild

AUTHOR: Jon Krakauer

GENRE: Biography

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Who is Chris McCandless? A voyager? A rebel? A dreamer? Or a narcissist?

Chris’s story has been known to divide people into two categories- the ones who hear the same symphony like him and the ones who don’t, and neither of them are wrong.

Christopher Johnson McCandless (Alexander Supertramp), believed in living a simple and meaningful life. Money, things, fame, could never grab his attention. He was rather allured by experiences, books, nature and things which existed in their raw form.

He had a difficult childhood and from very early he had to learn to be happy in his own company and in the later years of his life, this became his way of living. He started forming strong opinions about society and its people who projected immoral ideas wrapped in a facade of necessity. For instance, even after getting a college education, he believed he need not follow a straight path which was expected of him. He thought that, “Careers were demeaning twentieth-century inventions, more of a liability than an asset, and that he would do fine without one.”

Chris’s adventurous life began after he graduated and decided to flee from a life of lies and pretence his parents enclosed him in. He took on the road and for two years traveled to different places, met various people before departing for his last and the most important adventure- to live off the land, away from civilization to survive the wilderness of Alaska. And after 112 days of rich life, he was succumbed to starvation.

“say that I starved, that I was lost and weary

that I was burned and blinded by the desert sun

footsore, thirsty, sick with strange diseases,

lonely and wet and cold, but that I kept my dream!”

Everett Ruess

He smiled even in adversity. He smiled because he had found happiness.

What drives these men to alienate from a life of security and comfort? What causes them to oppose their natural behavior? Man is known to be a social animal and yet these men, the trekkers, the climbers, the aesthetes choose an unusual way of living.

Jon Krakauer in this book answers these questions. He talks not only about Chris but about all those people, including himself, who choose an undomesticated path to live their life; those who challenge the status quo.

Into the Wild is a biography of a young man who dared to live.

His life hummed with meaning and purpose. But the meaning he wrestled from existence lay beyond the comfortable path. He distrusted the value of things that came easily. He demanded much of himself

Jon Krakauer- Into the Wild
Happy Birthday, Chris

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