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Krakauer explores the irresistable draw of the wild

  • Feb 6, 2009
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Having recently completed Jon Krakauer's arguably most famous book, "Into Thin Air," about the Everest disaster, I was very eager to read more from this journalist-cum-book writer. I'm very glad to say that "Into the Wild" did not disappoint.

Krakauer crafts a very interesting story, splicing together as much of his protagonist's final journey as possible, and he is remarkably detailed considering this boy, Chris McCandless, roamed about for more than a year and never stayed in one place for more than a month or two at a time.

Of course, some details are left out simply because they could not be discovered, so the author makes up for that by inserting other similar adventures by like-minded young people to fill out the narrative. This makes the book less of a micro look at one person and his seemingly idiotic quest and more of a macro study of what drove McCandless and what drives all adventurous types to want to venture out into the wild.

When I first heard the story of the boy who went out in the Alaskan wilderness wofeully unprepared and died out there, I honestly thought he deserved it for his stupidity. Krakauer, through the details of McCandless' life he pieces together, showed me the error in my thinking and made me believe that the urge to experience the "wild" can wreak havoc on even the most rational mind.

The only part I found slightly bothersome was the language of finality Krakauer seems so enamored with. I cringed every time I saw a sentence like "That was the last mistake he would have a chance to make," or "That was the last postcard he would send." The story itself infuses enough emotion without these melodramatic sentences thrown in ever chapter.

Still, that's a small concern when I consider the lasting impression the overall story left on me.

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February 06, 2009
I was very moved by this book too! The only part I didn't quite understand was why Krakauer shared his own personal mountain-climbing adventure in the book. Any insights?
More Into the Wild reviews
review by . November 15, 2010
Let me come right and admit that I dislike Sean Penn a great deal. His politics are infantile, silly and represent Hollywood's penchant for knee-jerk liberalism at its worst. His trips to Iraq are an embarrassment.     But let me also admit that he truly is an artist to be reckoned with. From his wonderful performances in FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH through is Oscar-winning work on MYSTIC RIVER, he has proven himself a unique talent. And now his skills as a director cannot be …
Quick Tip by . June 25, 2010
This movie makes my soul ache. It's so gorgeous. One of my all-time favorites.
Quick Tip by . December 09, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
A powerful film about the choices we face living in modern society & about one young man's attempt to break free with tragic results.
Quick Tip by . September 17, 2009
This made me want to hop on the open road & go on an adventure- the story was reminiscent of Buddha, leaving luxury to pursue something more
Quick Tip by . September 17, 2009
Phenomenal film with an amazing plot, cast, and soundtrack. Really tugs at your heart strings and makes you reevaluate life.
review by . June 27, 2009
When Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch) graduated from college, he had one goal in life - to finally break away from his unhappy family and the constraints of society in general and live off the land in Alaska. The episodic film flashes back and forth between Chris' adventures in Alaska and the months leading up to it, focusing on the people who befriended him - including an aging hippie couple and a lonely, old man (well-played by the venerable Hal Holbrook).       Based on a true …
review by . May 03, 2008
Pros: acting above all, scenery, production, soundtrack     Cons: none     The Bottom Line: "Society, have mercy on me.   I hope you're not angry, if I disagree.   Society, crazy indeed.   I hope you're not lonely...   without me.   ~ Eddie Vedder (Into the Wild)      After reading Jon Krakauer’s book, I hesitated watching this movie. I wondered if it would explain some things I questioned …
review by . March 14, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Acting, scenery      Cons: Story is weak or weakly told, still not sure which      The Bottom Line: Take a look at the cast list, if you like any of them then the film won't be a waste. Otherwise consider it carefully, starving isn't fun to watch.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. Into the Wild’s narrative is like a line graph of Enron’s final month except that …
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Mark J. Lehman ()
Member Since: Jan 2, 2009
Last Login: Sep 14, 2010 10:59 PM UTC
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Jon Krakauer's bestselling nonfiction book about the life of Chris McCandless is finally brought to the big screen in INTO THE WILD. Directed by Sean Penn, the film opens in 1992, when Chris (Emile Hirsh) is a promising college graduate. Shortly after graduation, Chris gives his life savings to charity, burns all of his identification, and begins hitchhiking across America, his ultimate goal being Alaska. Citing passages from his heroes, Thoreau and Jack London, he is determined to escape society and get back to nature. He blows from town to town like a tumbleweed, hopping trains, camping with aging hippies (Catherine Keener and Brian Dierker), working briefly with a farmer (Vince Vaughan), and befriending a widowed leather worker (Hal Holbrook). He revels in his newfound freedom, but meanwhile, his parents (Marcia Gay Harden and William Hurt) have no idea where he is, and are sick with worry. While their relationship with Chris was already troubled, they are nonetheless devastated by his disappearance. ...

Into the Wild is a 2007  American drama film based on the 1996 non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer about the adventures of Christopher McCandless. It was directed by Sean Penn, who also wrote the screenplay, and stars Emile Hirsch, William Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Brian Dierker, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Stewart, and Hal Holbrook. It premiered during the second edition of the Rome Film Feast. The film ...
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Director: Sean Penn
Genre: Drama
Release Date: 2007, September 21, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Sean Penn
DVD Release Date: March 04, 2008
Runtime: 2hrs 27min
Studio: Paramount Pictures
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