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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dark side of idealism
Last Christmas I gave this book to my father. I thought he might enjoy the adventures of Alex (though you know from the start his life will end badly), and thought if things went well I might use this to try to explain to him why it is that I spend all my extra money on travel and why I do illogical things in pursuit of my dreams. His reaction, though, was nothing but...
Published on June 10 2004 by amazonker

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3.0 out of 5 stars Read this for English
It's an interesting non-fiction story about a boy who roams America and meets a very unfortunate fate. Very "relatable" to a certain personality type. I gave this book a lower rating because the writing is a little pretentious: It is written at about a grade 9 level, but every other page an obscure, antiquated word is thrown in so the author can make himself sound...
Published 2 months ago by CJ


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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dark side of idealism, June 10 2004
By 
amazonker (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
Last Christmas I gave this book to my father. I thought he might enjoy the adventures of Alex (though you know from the start his life will end badly), and thought if things went well I might use this to try to explain to him why it is that I spend all my extra money on travel and why I do illogical things in pursuit of my dreams. His reaction, though, was nothing but frustration with Alex's "idiocy."
The difference between my response to the book - that Chris/Alex lived an extreme form of the longing I and many others feel - and my father's response is the same gulf that this story seeks to bridge. Jon Krakauer, who has also sacrificed a great deal and risked his life in pursuit of his dreams, clearly feels some sympathy for Alex's wild decisions. But the result of Alex's tramping is his own death and the heartbreak that ensues, which seems to outweigh any selfish satisfaction Alex may have received from his experiences.
When people create great art or invent something remarkable, society celebrates their achievements in spite of any collateral damage. But Alex is an example of someone whose idealism was far greater than his accomplishments. The art he left behind in his notebooks is unremarkable, and the few friends he made in his travels have not been catalysts for improvement in the world. His one success (or failure) was that he was able to unbind himself from his expected, normal life and give himself wholly to his ideals. So many of us secretly wish that we had the courage to do something similar, and this book forces us to confront that desire. Is the pursuit of a dream a worthwhile end, in and of itself?
There are no clear answers, in this book or in life, but the question is worth asking, no matter whether you see Alex as someone to be admired or throttled.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Statement About Society, May 27 2013
By 
Ila France Porcher "author of My Sunset Rende... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
To avoid repeating what so many others have already said about the facts of this tragic case, I will just say that in my opinion, this book is as much a statement about society as a study of Chris McCandless's ill fated actions.

Jon Krakauer presents a unique and quite fascinating account of the many subtle psychological and sociological factors which may have influenced this unusual young man, and I think he did it very well.

I don't think it is possible to put him into any category. He was true to himself, and above the petty judgments of others, so quick to call him names, who nevertheless fall short of Chris's boundless courage and his idealism.

I believe that in time McCandless will become an icon for other idealistic young men who are sensitive to the call of the wild, and feel the spiritual impoverishment of our society. Many are sensitive to that mystic call.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising perspective, April 2 2013
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This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
I've enjoyed all of Jon Krakauer's books, but found this one surprising in its accomplishment of taking what on the surface seems a cut and dried story (foolish idealist from urban environment pursues wilderness adventure completely unprepared and perishes kilometres from civilization), and provides a completely reasonable and unexpected account of the facts and of the character behind the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the Wild, Feb. 7 2013
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This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
Saw the movie by accident, found the book. Every word kept me intersted, well written, looked up places mention. Young fellow was very adventures and should make all of us get out and explore even if is our neighbour hoods. Made me add Alaska to bucket list to visit. Wrote some of his quotes down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book, April 2 2014
By 
Tyler Dixon (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
Skip the movie and dive right into this book! You won't be disappointed at all. A great story of adventure and sadness. Jon Krakauer does an excellent job researching McCandless' life and sharing it with the world. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that's looking for a great non-fiction read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Read this for English, Feb. 1 2014
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This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
It's an interesting non-fiction story about a boy who roams America and meets a very unfortunate fate. Very "relatable" to a certain personality type. I gave this book a lower rating because the writing is a little pretentious: It is written at about a grade 9 level, but every other page an obscure, antiquated word is thrown in so the author can make himself sound smart. The order is not chronological either; for no apparent reason it jumps back and forth and all over the place making it a little hard to follow. Good story nonetheless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, Jan. 10 2014
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This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
I am still reading this book, and it is one of the best short storys i have ever read, I say this because every chapter I am left in tears, it is a touching story and makes you ponder your life, and how you are living! read this book and you will not be sorry!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, Dec 31 2013
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This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
Jon Krakauer has written a book that even though it is short.........tells an interesting story about a young mans journey. Though it is sad......it is well written. If you love the book..................check out the movie.....it is great as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book is amazing, Nov. 1 2013
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This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
I loved it, as well as the film. It's an inspiring read, and very self-empowering. The whole thing is based on a true story, yet it seems to be thought out fictionally. With that being said, it weaved perfectly and the result is a wonderful book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie and Even Better Book, Oct. 5 2013
This review is from: Into the Wild (Paperback)
Very compelling story. Times of tears and hope. Book is better than the movie but the movie is still great Id recommend both. It was the movie that made me want to read it. A couple Insignificant chapters of the authors own turmoils otherwise 5 star.
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