” Into the Wild,” by Jon Krakauer

Into the WildInto the Wild by Jon Krakauer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have very mixed feelings about this book. Krakauer is a nearly flawless writer, whose prose presents vivid imagery and deep feeling. McCandless, the subject of the book, is in himself, deeply depressing. It seems at almost every turn, McCandless choose solitude and deeper isolation from his fellow humans, and almost no one, as seen in this story, tries to stop him. McCandless is presented as a man of deep feeling and intense emotion, but rather than taking that energy and making it a force for good, he chooses the solitude that eventually leads to his death. Krakauer cannot be faulted for his style, although I have read criticism of his factual merit, which I cannot comment on. But McCandless strikes me as being deeply depressed, and well, it kills him in the end. I think McCandless’ life could have been a positive force had he engaged with the world rather than shunning it. The memory of that still makes me sad. So if that’s the sort of reading that will cause you to lose sleep, skip this book. If not, and you are interested still, carry on. Like I said, Krakauer’s writing is nearly faultless in execution.

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