Sunday, November 27, 2011

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

The following review was done last year but got lost in the draft folder (the irony of it!). I’m posting it as I wrote it last year. The book belongs to an ex-colleague. I have since, returned the book to the owner. Thank you, dear friend for lending it to me. :)


In April 1992, a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked into 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, burnt all the cash in his wallet and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a hunter….

With anticipation from such an intriguing synopsis, I ‘delved’ Into the Wild about 6 months ago. 6 months later, I am still In the wild and it looks like I might not make it out. The book is only 200 pages, so no, it wasn’t the thickness, the prints were small but it wasn’t un-readable. So, what happened?

It’s a story of a man who seems to have lost his mind, give up life in society and civilization and decided that it would be a better choice to live in the wild and especially in the Alaska wild. What was he thinking? Did he seriously think that he’ll survive the unfriendly terrain? What about his family? I can’t imagine that he doesn’t think of the pain that he is causing his family?

I never finished reading the book. Maybe another time, another season but for now I don’t think I want to. It's too depressing.

A few days ago, I caught the tail end of the movie which was also based on this book and also entitled Into The Wild. The movie ended with a shot of school bus where Chris was found and then penned across the vastness of the wilderness. I can’t help but be in awe of the majestic abandon wilderness of Alaska, the freedom it represents and for a moment there…I caught his vision, for a moment I saw what attracted Chris to do what he did. But only for a moment. And then it’s gone.

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