Monday, January 21, 2008

En Passant- The Prados' Book Review

Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild is a non- fictional account of a well-to-do American youth whose dead body was discovered in the Alaskan wilderness. The death of Christopher McCandless is not even half as mysterious as his life. McCandless graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga and left his family and friends to live a life on the very edge of society. Going to the extent of changing his name and giving away his entire savings to the note of $24,000 to a charity and survived on the least amount possible- being homeless at times.

Though the author digs deep in defense of McCandless even using himself as a reference, most readers would find it difficult to excuse McCandless's behavior- especially Alaskans who have seen this kind of behavior time and time again. Alaskans witness how privialged youth disgruntled with the world flee into the wilderness in hopes of becoming spiritual, but often underestimate the wild and thus hurt themselves in the end. In McCandless's case, the hurt was fatal.

This book has many interesting insights into the world of the vagabond that otherwise go undetected by most of us. But what is even more insightful is the few chapters that cover many individuals who have no "logical" reasoning behind their strange exiles from society. This is book is not a must read, but it is definitely eye-opening.

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