Saturday, 28 November 2015

#26 Into the Wild

Into the Wild By Jon Krakauer

Everyone has those books that they prefer to most humans, Into the Wild is one of those books for me. Every year i go through the same torturous routine of incessantly reading for about 9-10 months and then.... nothing. The winter months cause me to hibernate with netflix and not much reading gets done. I decided to try and tactically re-read an old favorite to try and get more over this slump and im pretty sure it has worked!

Into the Wild is the true story of Chris McCandless (or Alex Supertramp as he was more commonly known) who in the Spring of 1992 abandons everything he knows, sells his car, gives away his money, creates a new identity and leaves his family behind to embark on a journey into the wilderness. When his decomposed body is found in a sleeping bag four months later on August 19th by six Alaskan moose hunters who discovered the abandoned bus in which he had taken up residence. After his death was announced to his family and those whom he met along the way there was an outcry to find out who he was and why he left his privileged life only to starve alone in the cold Alaskan wilderness. There was also a lot of controversy surrounding his death and what caused it, the most significant of which is 'did he take his own life?'. This book is written entirely from the journals that Chris kept during his time in the wild, the testimonies from the people he met along the way and how his family saw him. 
Immediately upon graduating university Chris left town without telling his family and friends and abandoned his car in order to hitchhike across America in his mission to reach Alaska. Chris spent two years in the west living on minimal, working for people and then moving on. The book is split into chapters that discuss each part of his two year and four month journey and each chapter begins with a segment from Chris'journal or a passage from a book that he highlighted that were found among is few possessions. The main story follows Chris' soul searching excursion told through interviews from those who knew him. 

The only thing that i didnt like in this book is that it isnt written in chronological order, it starts from his death and then goes from the beginning whilst simultaneously jumping back and forth. At points is does not read very fluidly. I love the maps that are included as it offers a visual aid to the chapter and allows you to see where Chris was ultimately allowing you to feel closer to him as a character. 

This is a beautiful story of how one man decided to be done with society and rules and live a solitary yet happy life. It can be summed up in my favorite quote used in this book:

'I have always be unsatisfied with life as most people live it, always i want to live more intensly and richly' -Everett Ruess