Into the Wild is a pretty well known non-fiction book that has been covered several times on CBR. It’s the fatal story of Chris McCandless/ Alexander Sumpertramp ‘s journey into the Alaskan bush. He is under-prepared and a few small mistakes lead to his untimely death.
Jon Krakauer, a journalist, wrote the original article detailing the recovery of McCandless’ body; Into the Wild is his follow up. Chris graduated college and vaguely implied to his parents his intentions to go to law school- instead he donated his $24,000 college fund to OXFAM and headed west. Krakauer interviews several people who met Chris/Alex in the years leading up to his fatal journey. He left lasting impressions on the people he met, many who hoped to see him again. Jim Gallien, the truck driver who lent him boots after driving to Fairbanks; Ronald Franz, the grandfatherly figure who took up Alex’s lifestyle at his urging; the Burreses, who took him in for a brief time; Wayne Westerberg, a former employer, etc. He also interviews Chris’s sister, Carine, as well as his parents, Walt and Billie.
Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.
Krakauer doesn’t chastise McCandless for his choices and he disagrees with people who believe Chris had a death wish. The edition I read was published ten years after the original and included some ideas Krakauer had been toying with as an explanation for Chris’s demise. He compares Chris/Alex’s excursion with that of other (under-prepared) outdoorsmen who came before him; many who suffered a similar fate. He is a bit repetitive at times, although each repeated instance is usually brought up in relation to a new piece of information. It’s a sad story that Krakauer handles with care.