Monday, September 29, 2008

#26 - Into The Wild

Right off the bat let me say that I have not watched the movie and I purposefully have not read this book for some time because of my own personal views on this tale. I am an avid outdoors man and fairly knowledgeable about wilderness survival and camping/hiking and Christopher McCandless' reckless adventure is not something I applaud or enjoy being sensationalized. There are two differing opinions on him with one camp saying he was just completely unprepared and foolish and another who maintains he was daring and a bit foolish but full of youthful bravado. I believe the former and figured I'd at least read the full story before cementing my opinion.

It's cemented. Fully. I can appreciate his journey and his desire to renounce materialism and enter the wilds but people underestimate just how soft we have become and how out of touch with nature we are. You can't relearn it by willpower and books alone in short order, especially in a totally unforgiving environment such as Alaska. There were some errors and omissions in the original Outdoors magazine article that were set right in the book but nothing groundbreaking that changed my initial theory.

The book does lose it's way as well at times and ventures into other random tales of failed wanderlust as well as the author's own which just feel like padding to an already well padded story. Fans of the movie will probably enjoy the book and regardless of my views it was enjoyable and quick. Recommended.

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