Jon Krakauer is the author of eight books and has received an
Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and
Letters. According to the award citation, "Krakauer combines the
tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative
journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the
After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he went to live in the wilderness. Four months later, he turned up dead. His diary, letters and two notes found at a remote campsite tell of his desperate effort to survive, apparently stranded by an injury and slowly starving. They also reflect the posturing of a confused young man, raised in affluent Annandale, Va., who self-consciously adopted a Tolstoyan renunciation of wealth and return to nature. Krakauer, a contributing editor to Outside and Men's Journal, retraces McCandless's ill-fated antagonism toward his father, Walt, an eminent aerospace engineer. Krakauer also draws parallels to his own reckless youthful exploit in 1977 when he climbed Devils Thumb, a mountain on the Alaska-British Columbia border, partly as a symbolic act of rebellion against his autocratic father. In a moving narrative, Krakauer probes the mystery of McCandless's death, which he attributes to logistical blunders and to accidental poisoning from eating toxic seed pods. Maps. 35,000 first printing; author tour. (Jan.)
Chris McCandless, an idealistic young man, abandoned all of his possessions and journeyed into the Alaskan wilderness in 1992, only to be found by hunters months later, dead. Author Krakauer begins his account with McCandless's tragic death. He then backtracks, outlining his subject's family history, travels, and inner life following McCandless's graduation from Emory University in 1992. Although his theory is open to debate, Krakauer attributes McCandless's death to logistical errors and accidental poisoning as opposed to starvation. His exploration of McCandless's odyssey in search of a "raw transcendent experience" provides some insight for families in similar crises and will prove popular with outdoor, recreation, and nature listeners. Recommended for most collections.-Sandy Glover, West Linn P.L., Ore.
"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
"Compelling and tragic...Hard to put down."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Engrossing...with a telling eye for detail, Krakauer has captured the sad saga of a stubborn, idealistic young man."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"It may be nonfiction, but Into the Wild is a mystery of the highest order."