Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer

This audiobook was obtained from Overdrive Audio through the Alachua County Library website. It was 7 hours and 6 minutes long.

This book originally came out in 1996, but is now getting fresh attention because it has recently been made into a movie. It's the story of Chris McCandless, a 24 year old Emory University graduate who forsakes modern life to become a modern Henry David Thoreau. Without telling his family, who all believe he will be attending law school, he gives away his college fund, starts using an assumed name, and heads out west to live a life at loose ends. His travels take him to remote places, from Mexico to the Dakotas, and ultimately to the Alaskan wilderness. It is there, at life's extremities, and with no help in sight, that he comes to a miserable end.

Krakauer tells this story as only another person who enjoys extreme living can tell it. He helps you to get to know Chris McCandless by exhaustive research, including Chris' last written accounts and interviews with the people who were touched by him along the way, and through his own insight as a person who has been bewitched by the wilderness experience. You may come away admiring or pitying Chris McCandless, but you will not be able to forget him. I know that I want to see the movie when it comes out. I give this one 4 stars.

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