Yup... I like it. Among the books that really turn the hidden spirit and blow it into an open sphere. A young man, full of idealisme but leads the wrong way out of the wild. Read it folks! Jon really put in in an interesting manners.
great book, best movie of the year so far.
I really liked the book but started drifting at the end. I felt the story didnt need that many pages to tell. I should go see the movie.
WARNING!!! Read this book only if you are prepared to realize how bad your cubicle sucks! This book is a huge awakening to the redundent, repetitive hassles of the average American life. Although one may not go to the extreme as McCandless did, almost everyone can find themselves a little bit envious of the subjects courageous (even if ignorant) departure from modern society, into the hands and fate of nature.
Not as compelling as "Into Thin Air", but the intent is not a gripping account of disaster but an exploration of one man's life journey. What makes this so good, besides Krakauer's excellent writing, is his sense that he is cut from the same cloth as his subject and therefore can understand what others would call incomprehensible.
There's a movie? I read this a long time ago. Its a pretty tragic story. Its good and everything, but it made me depressed.
Even though the boys motives are suspect, the description of the landscapes and the call that nature has on us kept me turning pages. Anyone who can find peace in a sunset, joy in beautifully shaped tree and delight in a waterfall will like this book.
Even Though he was foolish I give him credit for chasing his dreams. most people are afraid to do so.
Which was better the book or the movie. I have only read the book and i thought it was pretty good.
The book is definitely better. The movie doesn't explore the reasoning behind Chris leaving for his trip and tries to blame it on the fact his parents fought and his dad was abusive whichis not mentioned in the book. The actual scene where he dies is rather good though.
I have not read this book yet, I heared about it from Opra's show and I'm really looking to read it.
I loved the book and the movie.
How was the movie in comparison? Was it true to form? Did it take to much creative freedom? I haven't heard much about it and I would like to see it.
krakauer and sean penn (the movie's director) worked very closely on the movie adoptation. There is an excellent documentry, in some respects better than the movie, on the two of them going to alaska, prepping for creation of the movie. It is an episode of a series called "Iconoclasts", on The Sundance Channel.
The movie, BTW, was the best movie I have seen this year. strongly recommend it.
I didn't like this book at all. I just kept rolling my eyes at the kid. Though I respect his commitment to his beliefs, I just thought he was a little arrogant know-it-all who self-righteously tried to tell other people how to live. I thought his reaction to 'society' was cliche and ineffective. A much better protest against capitalism is selflessness, rather than the selfishness which guided the boy's 'adventure'.
That is an interesting take on the book. I like the selflessness aspect opposing capitalism you suggested verse the selfish way he handled his affairs. As I read the book I admired Chris' ability to not conform to societal norms. I also was intrigued by his ability to see his vision to the end. Now how he felt at the end may not have been the same as how he thought he would feel, but he was courageous nonetheless.
This book was well written, but a lot of it didn't pertain to Chris McCandless. I think that the author spent a lot of time trying to understand Chris because no one really knew him that well. He only let certain people into his life, but he never stayed in one place long enough. From what the author could get about his life absolutely amazed me. It made me sad that his parents didn't know where he was or what he was doing and that he died such a horific death.
I think if you are going to talk about how careless he was for wandering off in the Alaska you are missing part of the point. Yes, in part carelessness, but you can predict every moment of life. He was living a dream and for those of you fustrated with how his relationship was with his family I am not sure you completely understand what life was like for him. I can totally relate, I had many of the exact conversations with my family although I did not walk away from sisterly love I can easily see how it could happen. It is one of those things that you have to be in the situation I think to completely understand it. He was a remarkable person and it is a remarkable book, dream, life and philosophy.
A book I never thought I'd read. Too sad. But turns out there's a lot more to it than it. It's beautifullywritten and tells a many-leveled story beyond the sad death of an idealistic young man.
I went to the movie this weekend and was so glad to have read the book first. I found myself enjoying the story even more after having gone. Both are very interesting
tore through this. Greatly it enjoyed it for the most part, definitely a good read for anyone not entirely in love with 'society' or with a taste for the great outdoors.
Then I went to see the movie and was immensely disappointed in Emile Hirsch. His ego was not to be surpassed and kept him from doing Chris Mcandless justice any time he had to hold a 'genuine' conversation. His greatest asset seemed to be that he was cute, whereas in the book he is genuinely engaging, on a very human level.
I really appreciated the author's honesty about his own fuck ups in the initial article that may have tampered with the world's last (or only) view of Mcandless and his life's adventure. It seemed like that, and Krakauer's own youthful adventurousness pushed him through the grueling task of tracking down someone untraceable. A definite easy must-read for all.
Although I did not see the movie, I agree with your statements about the book (esp the author admitting his fuck-ups...how often does that happen). I really have no desire to see the movie at this point. Thanks for the heads up. Very good book.
I thought the movie was actually very good. The only short-coming I could see was that the movie focused more on his relationship with his parents than on his life's philosophy. But, for people who didn't read the book, his running away from society had to be about SOMETHING.
Otherwise, I thought it was great. You know that picture in the book, of McCandless sitting against the bus? There is a scene in the movie where he does that and then they freeze the frame and he looks SO much like McCandless, I had to shed a tear.
Really enjoyed the book and the author's input comparing his own life experiences...Throughout the story, I found it very hard to understand how he could make it that far and not come out alive. I thought Krakauer gave excellent insight into the possibilities of this poor man's demise and gave some closure to the loss of someone who was seemingly so full of life.
so mimi do you think this book gave you more of a traveling bug!. . how bout backpacking through central america! =)
I read this book for a book club and couldn't give it a good rating. the main character died in almost every chapter. It appeared to be a story for the main character's parents so they would have closure of their son's riduclous death. I say that because anyone that would go into the wilderness without a topigraphical map and nutritions and protection, is asking for death. I found the book interesting, but also one that couldn't hold my interest.
Is any one live without society?
I read this a while back and loved it
I read this a while back and loved it
I have not finished this book yet, but read half of it in two sittings. It is an amazing, alluring story and the author is an incredible writer capable of creating images that left me with nightmares and dreams after putting the book down to fall asleep. I think there is a little Chris McCandless in us all, only a few of us are brave enough or crazy enough to follow through with desires such as those posessed by McCandless.
No doubt,Krakauer is a very good writer . I preferred INTO THIN AIR, but this was an excellent one too. I tried throughout to keep an open mind about McCandless, as JK clearly wanted so desperately for us to do, but reaching the end and as time went on since finishing the book, I just don't feel too sorry for the kid, at least not even the same for his parents and sister. My favorite parts of the book were JK's own experiences on The Devils Thumb. Not too interested in the movie since I heard Penn makes some Christ allusions, but I'm extremelly interested in the scenery shots.
I read this book several years ago when it first came out and the first time I read it, I must say that the story made me angry. I thought that Chris McCandless was very selfish and rude to his family. I read the book again last year right before the movie came out and felt somewhat different. Then I read it a third time the same night after seeing the movie. My opinion of Chris has changed somewhat. I still feel terrible for his parents, but I believe that he had come to his senses and if it weren't for the condition of the river he had to cross he would have come out of the wilderness.
finished it yesterday night. really good but agree with every one else that trying to live off the land is basically a death trap( think Chris could have survived if he prepared himself to live in the wild.Hence my reason for giving the book four stars.) love the parts about the author's experience on Devil's Thumb. might consider renting the movie
I read the book several years ago. It was slow reading, but good. I didn't think I would like the movie, but loved it. I felt I got more from the movie then the book. It was powerful, emotional, impacting, with great life lessons. Very sad what his life became, and that he finally figured out what life was about, and finally wanted to be part of it, and didn't get to fulfill. My statement to those that thought he was stupid to get himself into the situation he had, that he was selfish and spoiled and didn't think of his family, etc...HE WAS ONLY 23! You shouldn't comment on the impact his parents had on his life, unless you walked in his shoes. I see him as a lost and hurt soul, trying to find his place in life. He who lives in a glass house, should not cast stones. One should feel sympathy for what he and his family went though, plain and simple. Why are people so quick to judge others, gossip, but so slow to look inward at their own shortcomings.
Its long story and you feel it's boring but in the end you find out lift is beautiful and you have to enjoy in any condition and also thanks to other’s how help you to make it beautiful for you.
Thanks & Reg.
Yawer Ali Khan Sherwani.
ok. not great. maybe b/c i couldn't connect to the chris in any way. maybe im too comfortable in civilization. i mean i know where he's coming from, but it's ridiculous to me. i mean we evolve because we want easier lives. i dont know. i mean he had such a high "moral code" but when it comes to family he can cut them off? .... you know?
i absolutely loved this story and felt so inspired to get out of this tired and repetitive routine that i live by, saying goodbye to the daily grind and actually go out and do something!!!!!! i wouldn't go about things the same way chris mccandless did, and i don't despise some things as much as he did. i find them bearable. but i can't wait to say goodby to it for a while!
this was very easy to read and have heard jon's other book "into thin air" is just as addictive. i couldn't put this book down.
I just finished the book and found it a compelling read. It's sympathetic to McCandless without being apologetic for him, and I doubt that anyone else but Krakauer would have taken the time to show what Chris' motivations might have been. He was not, as first impressions might suggest, just some callow smartypants with a death wish. Can't wait to see the movie now.
The movie is worth watching, but it doesn't exactly show McCandless in the way I pictured his journey.
I found the story very engaging. I watched the movie, and the following day bought the book. Once I started, I could hardly put it down. I think his distachment from his family, something I've read a lot of criticism about, is nowhere near the heart of the story. With such a strong will, I think Chris would have made the same choices even with strong family ties. He didn't just abandon his family, it was really society that he was fed up with, and trying to escape. OK, so he should have been more prepared and maybe he was a little cocky. But the touching nature of the story is the search that he went through. Even though he met a very early death, I think that he found what he was looking for. He went out and followed his dreams, and ultimately came to a realization and a peace about life, that few people, probably, will ever find. Great story, very moving
Why does a person need to go out into the wild to find himself? Can't "enlightenment" derive from the mundane?
Precisely! Find the wilderness within. It is in the in between spaces that we find ourselves. If we don't have a relationship with the space within, then a change in environment, i.e. leaving society, does not address the issue. On the contrary, it inflates the ego and creates further separation...
Enlightenment isn't just a state of mind, it is a state of mind that one recieves from having a new experience. Leaving our synthetic world, and all of it's traps and conviences is a life changing experience. That experience, in and of it self has a path towards enlightenment. But one can find enlightenment through all things.
Well, sometimes you can only go into nature to find the solitude and peace needed to properly find one's place in all of existence. I can understand the comments supporting the alternate could be true, but clearly it the hero couldn't find enlightenment in suburbia. Neither did Thoreau. The book Wild at Heart might explain a bit more as to "why."
i saw the movie adaptation of the book and it is shown as if the protoganist tries to come back into the social circle but was too week to make the journey back is that so in the book?
When you think about it, what McCandless did, and how he lived his life is not unforgettable, nor commendable. Greatness comes with striving to change what you don't agree with, the determination to make a difference to the parts of the whole, even in the smallest way. That is were the real risk is, not in running away from what you hate - that's easy, especially at the point in life McCandless was at. All societies have problems, but you don’t hate the whole, you fix its parts to better it. If it wasn’t for the book, Chris’ story is really very simple. Krakauer romanticized it in such a brilliant way that I wanted to be in my early twenties again. We’ve all wanted, at some point or another, to pick up and just go, go anywhere at anytime, leaving everything behind. I commend Chris for taking risks that I never took the time to take, or perhaps I waited too late. Yet I would have taken those risks for much different reasons than his. Perhaps that is what makes his story marketable.
I read the book long ago and recently watched the movie. I can relate to the idea of wanting to escape the ratrace, but McCandless takes it to the nth degree -- and pays the price. In the movie I was really able to see the transition from feeling the master of the wilderness to realizing he really had very little control, and was "trapped in the wild." Another reminder that we do not control nature!
i loved the book but found the movie to be mawkish.
well chris never wanted to control nature! he just related to it in a special way
I loved the movie and then picked up the book. I really liked the book, but sometimes Krakauer gets in the way of the story. I did appreciate the fact that he was able to delve deeper into the story. I can relate to having the desire to escape from it all and I really admire Chris McCandless for doing what he felt compelled to do. I think his story was such a tragedy and Krakauer was able to bring forth a real person- enigmatic, flawed, and ultimately admirable.
u said it. I don't call it tragedy. may be he lived lot many years after escaping from the routine than most humans do. he was very very brave to follow his soul i think. may be an early end to his life
I watched this movie a few weeks ago and thought I had read the book. Eventually I realized I had just read what I think was a Reader's Digest condensation of a longer article. So, I picked up the book. It was FASCINATING.
I did not like the book because I could not empathize with Chris. I think he had some issues that made him want to escape reality. For as smart as he was, he made some dumb choices in the paths he took which led him to Alaska. Even though he was young, he still needed to have the common sense that a boy scout would have. I think if he had received help in dealing with his father's past and the deception, he may have been able to deal with society in a more positive manner. He certainly made an impression on all the people whose paths he crossed. I enjoyed Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" much more.
I agree about empathizing with Chris... also, when I finished the book I just threw it at the waste basket I was so frustrated with what i had expected and what it turned out to be. I hear the movie is good.
i dont really like the book as well.
Then again, what is "reality"? I know that sounds like a really dumb question, but honestly, how can you classify reality in such a small scope? To some, like me and most likely you, reality is living in a house, driving a car, and having technology at our fingertips constantly. To others, say in a more destitute country, reality would be living in a jungle and picking fruit for food. Maybe Alexander was just trying to escape the status quo of America and live a more effortless life, where he was living for the day and not spending so much time worrying about what was to come.
i so very liked the movie...n guess the central idea of the book did lie in it...it was really inspiring to atleast once try to live in the ancient of human conditions without any 21st century gadgets n all,no currency n stuff...it is really an unique experience,unfortunately the protaganist wasnt able to make it bak to the society bt the way he commented in his diary r sort of commandments of life...it depicted a free soul not bound by anything....
All I can say it that I'd rather die young and happy than old and desolate. Personally I think McCandless did the right thing, by searching for a better place. Money does not buy happiness, but selfreliance does.
BUT, not everyone who grows old is miserable....that's a young person's pov, because old people aren't attractive and active like young people. There are internal, mental changes that go on within the person, self-growth, continual learning, that are a pretty good trade-off for no longer being able to surf or run marathons... This young man, in "Into the Wild" wasn't making a statement about "a better place"--imho---he had problems, and was running away. I'm pretty sure he didn't intend the outcome...maybe he thought he did, but deep down I imagine he expected rescue, celebrity...who knows?
I enjoyed this book for the most part. At times it was a slow read. Very interesting story line. I enjoyed the movie also.
I agree with the slow read, I actually liked it more when he got into the details of other headstrong explorers that lost themselves to the "free" world. I felt for Chris, but at times you think to yourself how stupid his decisions really were.
i thought that this was an excellent book! i really liked the fact that it was a true story too. it made the story that much more enjoyable to read. i would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a great short read. i believe that this was a great book and i would love to see if this author has written any other stories along this kind of a plat and /or setting.
better: the book or the movie?
The Book. But the movie was good.
Depends what you like more. I preferred the book over the movie, but the movie was really good as well.
I read the book and enjoyed it. I attempted to watch the movie but fell asleep half way through.
Ask a question or start a discussion about this book"Happiness only real when shared."
The best thing about the life of Chris McCandless was the conclusion he left behind. Those five words exclusively explain whether his decisions were wild, good, right, wrong, bad or foolish.
Many non-fictional stories are well told but sometimes they lack something: the conclusion.
I plan to read this as soon as I get my hands on it. Its a pity I didn't know the book existed before I saw the movie :( still Eddie's songs melded so well with the story
the movie is more sad than the book.
i still feel the book is better, even though the film did a great job
I think I agree..probably due to the excellent casting, and Eddie Vedder's music.
This book was incredible. Life-changing in fact, I just haven't figured out how yet. I didn't enjoy the movie as much as the book for some reason.
Did people feel that Alexander McCandless was a noble figure or a selfish character who stopped caring for those around him? This caused some controversy in our high school reading group.
from what i can tell from the book, i'd say they felt he was more noble than selfish, exactly because he didn't stop caring for those around him: whoever he met, he grew quite attached to and those people always really really fell for him.
perhaps the people who didn't know him that well thought he was selfish.
I think he just wanted to experience something about life that only he could experience by going out there with nothing. He had to leave everything he cared about behind. I respect him for that. As for his family, I kinda feel for them cause if your son suddenly just dissapeared without a word I would be worried alot. It is his life though, so I don't think selfish is the right word to call him.
I feel that Alexander made a choice for himself. He wasn't trying to be selfish at all, but made a decision that he felt was right for him. It's good to try and please people, but that's not all life is about. You also need to do what is right for yourself. I guess I also see him as more of a protagonist because I can see from his point of view. I feel for him. I know what it is like to just want to leave behind the "important things" in life, like money and success and live a life where you only live for that day. You're not spending so much time investing in the future, but you're taking each day one at a time and living like each day could be your last.
I believe he was selfish at some points, but then again it was his own life and he had the right to do whatever he was wanting to do. Do I think he should of tried to keep in touch with his family? Yes. But then again theres that whole freedom thing and trying to survive on his own, every person has a title to what they want to do in life so be it.
'What if I were smiling and running into your arms? Would you see then what you see now?”
I love this book, I also love the movie. From my point of view I think we well need to get free at some point in our lives, to get rid of everything we see every day, to meet new wonderful things like nature.
I agree, we all have different opinions but the story of Cristopher Mccandless is unique to me.
either he be reckless or ambitous, the story was engaging, and almost controversial, Chris McCandless in my opinion was a like the inner adventurer and poet in all of us and i felt it necessary for me to now spend hours walking the forest and having a different perspective of life for some odd reason, taking every odd thing i find into a divine perspective
I rated this book 4/5. For some reason i just couldnt get into this book right away, but once i got hooked i couldnt put the book down.
So a friend of mine told me i should see the movie before i read the book and maybe i would understand it more. The bad news is, it didn't help. I thought the book was really hard to get into and once I started to I was extremely lost.
I think that the problem with the book, even though I loved it, was that it was originally wriitten as an article. If you read it like a magazine article, I think that it is easier to understand. The author didn't do a great job of weaving back and forth through time, but overall I thought it was a moving, spiritual, enlightening, and sad. I can't wait to have time to read it again!
I found it rather confusing and pointless at some times. I didn't understand why the author chose to tell so many different stories because when i started reading it i thought it was about one person.
Gurl I feel yo pain this book is too sophiticated for me... good thing im takin AP english to better my Language skills....Lol!! =)
the author chose to tell so many different stories to help explain the main one - to show that chris wasn't just a stupid lunatic who left his family and went to kill himself.
" i feel that this book is rather confusing. first the author is talking about were they found him dead. then all of a sudden he's walkin around in the wilderness eatin rice... im really tryin to keep up with this book but everytime i start tryin to find an intrest in it, it starts talkin about WORLD HISTORY!!!! and i fall right asleep... i really need help focusing on this book because a can't afford an F on such a easy project.....
Mr.Wilmarth out of all the AP books that i have read this is one of the most difficult ones that i have read....
Start the book again and read it as you would read a magazine article. The writer was not a novelist--- so he writes as it you were reading an article. I think that may help you compartmentalize the story. It is such a GREAT book, I hope you give it a secong chance!
I feel quit stupid because i felt that this book was obseverd, but it turned out to be areally good book. it kindof makes you sit back, think, wonder and really want to ask the question why??....
yeah that's how i felt.
“when i first started reading this book i really thought it was boring and i couldn't stop fallin asleep, but once i read it over and actually payed attetion to what i was reading i could understand it a little better.I feel that I can relate to his story and compare it to everyday life with teens today and some of the things that we go through with our parents. it was a very interesting book to me.”
What would've happened if he was still alive? would he still be in the forest?
I think he would still be there, I mean he spent all his life trying to make things work on his own. Why would he just throw everything away after building on it for so many years
I surely don't think so. I believe that he was returning to society prior to learning that the Tek was too high to cross. His main objective was to write about his travels and it had been over 2 years of wandering. I Just think Chris was ready to return to society and disaster struck sadly. But everything for a reason, right? Actually I recently just visited the Bus myself. A good friend of mine and I travelled to Alaska back in August to pay our respects.
That is on my list of things to do...
i bet that was sweeet as hell dude
why did he hate his father?
Do you think Krakauer was an objective author? Or did he idolize his subject?
I don't know if I would go so far as to say that he idolized his subject, but I would say that he was not quite objective either. It was obvious that the author admired the subject's aspirations, but was somewhat disappointed with McCandless's lack of research and preparation. Had McCandless prepared a little more, the outcome would have eventually been the same, no doubt, but Krakauer being an experienced outdoorsman himself would have held McCandless in higher esteem. IMHO :)
i partly agree with halo above. he didn't idolize, but he did write about him because of some admiration - the need to set things right about who was and what happened to the poor guy who died in the wild. As far as the portraying of Chris and the events, i trust Krakauer.
I tend to think that Krakauer tries to give an objective summation of his subject but tends to lean toward idolizing him. Could be the closeness to his family stemming from interviews or that he becomes infatuated with the person during the writing process? I felt the book left me with enough information to make my own decision.
What do you think?
Both. As an adventure writer I think he, like many of us, admired Chris' spirit and his mission--to both lose himself and find himself in a simpler life. At the same time, I think it's clear that Krakauer sees the foolishness in the way Chris went about it.
Because he had a secret other family if I remember correctly.
i think that Chris McCandless was not crazy or an ignorant man. I believe that he had good intentions with what he had in mind, and I am pretty sure the book said that he had been dreaming/planning his trip for awhile, so it wasn't just a rash decision.
@lisa marie sipe: The section that Krakauer writes about Devil's Thumb tells a lot about his feelings towards McCandless. While I don't know if he idolized Chris, he certainly identified personally with Chris's fascination with risk. He says a lot about how some people have a psychological fascination, a need even, to take risks. Krakauer said in several interviews that he was shaken by Chris's story because Chris reminded him of himself in many ways.
I love the movie, as well, but I felt the film shed a more negative light on Chris's parents than the book. I admire Chris (in the book) but view many of his opinions of his parents as unfair. In the film, however, I felt forced to "dislike" Walt and Billie because of how they were presented in the film. Anyone else feel this way?
I loved both the book and the movie. But I fast-forward through the parts of the movie where they narrate about his parents. I felt like that part was overdone and, like you said, felt forced. I'm not saying that his parents didn't do wrong, but the amount of weight that's put on it in the film is too heavy handed.
I liked this book. It was interesting reading how his journey went and everything that surrounded it.
I am about halfway through this book right now, and I am having a lot of trouble getting past this point. I am currently at the part were Krakauer is telling the stories of other people like McCandless, and I feel like the author is dragging it on way to much.
After forcing myself through the middle, the book starts to get interesting again. I particularly enjoyed chapter 11, because we finally get to hear from the family and close friends of McCandless. They really clear up questions about Chris's personality. This chapter may have saved the book for me.
I thought this book was very intriguing. From the first line I read, I was hooked. I liked how Krakauer tries to get into Chris's mind and was able to tell us how he felt connected to him when explaining Devil's Thumb. I liked how the middle of the book was used for comparing, and I kept reading because I was so eager to know what Chris did next. What I don't get is even if Chris didn't have a map of Alaska, or threw it away, why didn't he spend a lot of time looking for a way across the river? If he truly wanted to leave, I'm sure he would have found a way. He did do it every time before the Alaska trip. I don't think he was suicidal, but maybe the hunger got to his brain a little bit much. He could have lived a longer life if he had looked, but one thing I get from the book is he died happy.
Into The Wild is an amazing book, It show's how determined he is and he will do anything to get to where he wanted to get too. I didn't like how he didn't really let people help him sometimes. But it was good.
I didn't like how they had other people telling the story about him, it was confusing me but its a good book.