I picked up this book during my senior year English class. We had to write a book report each quarter, and I picked this one because it was short. I didn’t choose the short book because I hated reading—I chose it so I could finish it in a few class periods and get on with the other books I actually wanted to read.
Well, newsflash: not all books on the book report reading list suck.
Within the first few chapters, I was hooked. I was so hooked that I finished it that night, and my English teacher shook her head at me and told me I would still need to read during class. An excuse to take a chunk of the school day to read? Yes.
Into the Wild details the fatal adventure of Chris McCandless. A trust fund rich kid, he decided to get rid of all of his belonging and live in the Alaska wilderness. It details his journey and his past, and ultimately, his fate. Krakauer is a phenomenal writer, and does a fabulous job at describing the scenery. I shuddered when he described the state of McCandless’ remains, his death a result of malnutrition and starvation. He died in an old school bus and he died alone.
The book is well written and researched, but I couldn’t help but dislike McCandless a little bit. He was selfish, naïve, and I felt that his demise was a little bit Darwinistic. This book ultimately made me want to pursue a career in journalism and writing, though, so I hold a little place in my heart for it. If you’re into adventure and the outdoors, this may be the book for you.