Saturday, November 10, 2007

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Club Maidu book group had a great discussion about this book today. An intense, idealistic young man, Chris McCandless left his home and wandered the western United States to find the pure life of nature and individualism. His journey ended in Alaska, where he died of starvation.
Mr. Krakauer interviewed his family and those people he stayed with while he wandered. You get to know McCandless well but he remains a multifacted enigma. Most of us in the group agreed that this wanderlust is prevalent in men rather than women, younger people rather than older. McCandless' abandonment of his family was hard to understand and forgive. This story has struck a chord within the American psyche, it was a major news story, a bestselling book and now a film. The lure of the West, rebellion against the establishment, living off the land, the purity of nature, rights of the individual in a democratic society, high risk adventuring--all these topics are explored. An interesting, thought-provoking book.

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