Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

If this adventure proves fatal and you don’t ever hear from me again I want you to know you’re a great man. I now walk into the wild. Alex.

 
I keep breaking my promise to avoid non-fiction, but Into the Wild is quick and fairly gripping – at least when the story stays about Chris McCandless’ final journey and doesn’t wander off into the histories of the other “marginal characters who have marched off into the Alaska wilds over the years, never to reappear.”

I don’t think I’ll ever understand people who hate their parents and cut them out of their lives, because mine were awesome. McCandless’ parents seem like average loving middle-upper class parents, and he had avoided them for years before he showed up dead in Alaska. Starving to death, god. What an amazing final journey, though.

I wonder how he felt about misjudging his situation in the end. I wonder how he felt about how he treated his parents. I wonder if he knew his literary hero Jack London died of alcoholism at age 40 and spent only one winter in the Klondike?

 

Summary:

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.

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