Monday, July 8, 2013

Sharing is Caring - Books: "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer

One of the best books I have ever read is "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer.  Written in 1996, it was definitely a book to define its time.  Nothing like it had ever been written before.  Telling the story of Chris McCandless (or "Alexander Supertramp" as he calls himself throughout the incredible TRUE story of his life), the book is full of descriptions and dialogue that flows like a novel, despite it being a research piece conducted by Jon Krakauer for an article he wrote a few years prior.  Due to the wide success of the article, Krakauer chose to continue researching the story of Mr. McCandless and his trepidatious dream of "living off the land" in Alaska.  The book had such success that it was later made into a movie in 2007 that was directed by Sean Penn and starred Emile Hirsch.

Here is the plot summary provided by the Into the Wild (book) Wikipedia page:
"September 6, 1992, Christopher McCandless's body was found inside an abandoned bus in Alaska. One year later, author Jon Krakauer retraced McCandless' steps during the two years between college graduation and his demise in Alaska. McCandless shed his legal name early in his journey, adopting the moniker "Alexander Supertramp", after W.H. Davies. He spent time in Carthage, South Dakota laboring for months in a grain elevator owned by Wayne Westerberg before hitchhiking to Alaska. Krakauer interprets McCandless's intensely ascetic personality as possibly influenced by the writings of Henry David Thoreau, and McCandless's favorite writer, Jack London. He explores the similarities between McCandless's experiences and motivations and his own as a young man, recounting in detail Krakauer's own attempt to climb Devils Thumb in Alaska. Krakauer also relates the stories of some other young men who vanished into the wilderness, such as Everett Ruess, an artist and wanderer who went missing in the Utah desert during 1934 at age 20. In addition, he describes at some length the grief and puzzlement of McCandless's parents, sister, and friends."

Enjoy some images from the award-winning film:
Emile Hirsch and Sean Penn shoot a scene for "Into the Wild"
Kristen Stewart and Emile Hirsch shoot a scene for "Into the Wild".  Kristen Stewart starred alongside Emile Hirsch for the film.
Emile Hirsch poses on top "the bus" as Chris McCandless in "Into the Wild"
"Into the Wild" also starred Catherine Keener alongside Emile Hirsch, seen here shooting a scene on the beaches of California.
Emile Hirsch excelling at his role of Chris McCandless in "Into the Wild"

If you have the ability to do so, I highly recommend both the book as well as the movie of "Into the Wild".  It's an incredible story, one that is not easily forgotten.  Anyone over the age of 15 should be suitable to read this story.  The movie has a MPAA "R" rating in the United States, meaning that anyone under the age of 17 needs an adult to approve of them seeing the movie.  The movie is a little more "adult" in nature than the book though.

A shot of Chris McCandless himself at "the bus", just a few weeks before his death in the Yukon.

To learn more about Chris McCandless's life outside of the book, please visit his website here.

To purchase the original book by Jon Krakauer on Amazon, click below!

Don't have a Kindle?  Buy one from Amazon Here!

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