Monday, December 28, 2015
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
I believe I first heard about McCandless from a visiting author who used some of the music from the motion picture about his life as inspiration for a book. I watched the movie and was left thinking about what an idiot this boy seemed to be, going into the wilderness completely unprepared. During the two years since then I have heard from more than couple of young-ish people about how they read this book during college and were really inspired by Alex's life so I knew I had to read it for myself. I can't say that my opinion of Alex has changed after reading Krakauer's book, but I do think I get why others find his story inspirational. He is something of a modern-day Thoreau in terms of philosophy but one that probably speaks more to young people now. Still, I remain unimpressed with his decisions and with Krakrauer's writing which is unnecessarily pretentious and full of labored metaphors. Also, during our trip to Alaska this past summer I asked our Denali tour guide what real Alaskans think of McCandless. They are not impressed.