Into the Wild — Jon Krakauer

I enjoyed watching the film, a rarity for me, so when this came up on a Kindle deal for 99p i didn’t hesitate.

After watching the film i was of the mind that Chris McCandless was a total idiot, as apparently were most of the people who heard the basic story of his demise.   But was it fair on him to be portrayed in that way?   I wanted to know a bit more.

Jon was the reporter who first brought this story to the world in an article he was asked to write for ‘Outdoor Magazine’.   But he knew he hadn’t done the story justice in the time constraints that he’d had to get that article written, so he went back over the whole story and wrote this book.

And this book really does put things into context.   One thing the film doesn’t cover is the childhood that Chris and his sister suffered under a domineering, controlling, and oft times abusive, father who demanded excellence all the time, and when Chris found out the truth about his father’s excellence — how Chris and his sister came to be born — i think something really snapped inside him.   He just wanted to be free of everything his father represented, to get as far away from it as possible — and having been bought up by a father like that who i had to escape from at 15 years old into my own wilderness, i can’t blame Chris whatsoever for being like he was and doing what he did, in fact, i totally understand.

As to the writing, this story is incredibly well thought out and presented and really does put a lot of Chris’ behaviour and attitude into a much broader perspective than a film could ever hope to get to.

So if you have watched the film then please don’t just stop with that view of Chris, i don’t think that’s fair.   Take a little while, read this book and get to see a much wider picture of Chris McCandless.

Jon’s Page

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