Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is about Chris McCandless/Alex Supertramp going off in to the Alaska wilderness, surviving for 100+ days and his sad death. I find it interesting that this book raises so many strong opinions in people, myself included. People tend to think that Chris McCandless was either a total wacko or someone to be admired. I wavered between these two camps throughout the book. While it is difficult for me to relate to someone going off into wilderness unprepared (or even prepared!) I feel that Jon Krakauer did such a good job of capturing Chris’ spirit and intentions, that by the end of the book, I was more in the “admiration” camp. Yes, Chris was young and misguided but, he was definitely true to himself. I think this postcard that Chris sent captures it all:
So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.