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Into the Wild

Jon Krakauer

  • Paperback
PUBLISHED: 12th March 1999
ISBN: 9780330351690
The tragic story of a wilderness journey into Alaska that went horribly wrong.
Into the Wild
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  • Paperback
PUBLISHED: 12th March 1999
ISBN: 9780330351690
The tragic story of a wilderness journey into Alaska that went horribly wrong.


The tragic story of a wilderness journey into Alaska that went horribly wrong.

Publisher Description


Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild examines the true story of Chris McCandless, a young man, who in 1992 walked deep into the Alaskan wilderness and whose SOS note and emaciated corpse were found four months later.

Internationally bestselling author and mountaineer Jon Krakauer explores the obsession which leads some people to discover the outer limits of self, leave civilization behind and seek enlightenment through solitude and contact with nature.

In 2007, Into the Wild was adapted as a critically acclaimed film, directed by Sean Penn and Emile Hirsch and Kristen Stewart.

Author Biography

Jon Krakauer is the author of Eiger Dreams, Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven and is editor of the Modern Library Explorer series.


A compelling tale of tragic idealism. The Times An astonishingly gifted writer: his account of 'Alex Supertramp' is powerfully dramatic, eliciting sympathy for both the idealistic, anti-consumerist boy - and his parents. Guardian It may be nonfiction, but Into the Wild is a mystery of the highest order. Entertainment Weekly A narrative of arresting force. Anyone who ever fancied wandering off to face nature on its own harsh terms should give a look. It's gripping stuff. Washington Post Terrifying . . . Eloquent . . . A heart-rending drama of human yearning. New York Times

Kirkus UK Review

In April 1992, Christopher Johnson McCandless hitchhiked to Alaska, and walked into the wilderness alone. Four months later, a group of hunters found his decomposing body in an old bus. Reporting on the case, Jon Krakauer discovered a strange and unsettling story. McCandless, a high-achiever academically, and an excellent athlete, had dropped out of sight a couple of years prior to his death, given away all his savings, abandoned his possessions, and gone to live in the wilds, inspired by the likes of Thoreau and John Muir. Krakauer researched further, and here tells the story of the enigmatic McCandless, a young man whose stubbornness and idealism led him to shrug off the trappings of 20th-century civilization and live a life of great deprivation and asceticism, in a world unable to fulfil his needs. (Kirkus UK)

Kirkus US Review

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life"; "be nomadic." Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something - the Alaskan wild - that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul. A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (Kirkus Reviews)

Product Details

Jon Krakauer
Pan Macmillan
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Pan Books
Publication Date