Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Into the Wild by John Krakauer

Into the Wild by John Krakauer, 207 pages

"Into the Wild" tells the story of Chris McCandless, aka Alexander Supertramp, a young man in search of many things.  Fresh from college and inspired by the likes of Jack London and Henry David Thoreau, Chris abandons the luxuries of society, assumes the identity of Alexander, and backpacks around the American west, with his ultimate goal being to live off the land in Alaska.  Alex does fulfill his dreams, but only at the cost of his own life.

If I were to say that this book changed me, I wouldn't be lying entirely.  Reading about Alex's adventures planted feeling of wanderlust in me.  It filled me with a need for travel, and a simple stroll through the park would not suffice.  In a way, I envy Alex.  He had a dream of personal freedom and pursued it.  But at what cost?  Beyond the obvious of his premature demise, in his departure from his life he also left behind many friends and family who will never again have their brother/son/friend back.

I really enjoyed this book.  Krakauer did an excellent job portraying McCandless/Supertramp as not just a hard-headed stubborn youth but as a dreamer and an adventurer who wouldn't give up on his dreams.  It's inspiring in a way.  Not that I'm going to disappear one day only to end up starving to death in the wilds of Alaska, but rather in a never give up on your dreams kind of way.  

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