by Erin K. | | 4 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to Online Book Club Week 2!

This month, we’re reading and watching Into the Wild, the true account of Chris McCandless’ life. From the very beginning of the book, we know that Chris left behind his family and friends and adventured out into the Alaskan wilderness. Unfortunately, his body was found by hunters several months later.

How do you like Jon Krakauer’s writing style? According to his website, Krakauer got his start by writing for magazines, so his writing style is fast paced and detailed. I really enjoy reading Krakauer’s writing because it is so detailed, but it doesn’t feel dry or scholarly. I think this story just flies by—maybe it’s because Chris/Alex is always traveling and doing something new?

In the first six chapters, Krakauer sets up the narrative for Chris. Chris, seemingly out of nowhere, decides to leave his family after graduating from college, burning all of his money and renouncing earthly possessions. He hitchhikes around and has great adventures, and he meets new friends wherever he goes. Also, he doesn’t contact his family—a note that seems particularly sad to me. We also find that Chris tells everyone that his name is Alex Supertramp, further separating himself from his family and past.

In the book, Krakauer doesn’t really go into much detail about why Chris would want to leave his family. However, the documentary Return to the Wild that I mentioned last week goes into more detail. According to Chris’ sisters, Chris grew up in a really chaotic family with an abusive father. Hearing these details kind of helped me to better understand how Chris could want to sever all ties with his family and live in the wilderness. I really encourage you to check out the documentary. It’s really interesting.

What do you think of the book so far? Are you interested by the story? Are you disappointed to know the ending from the very beginning of the book, or does that make you feel more intrigued? Let me know what you think!

Before I go, I’ll leave this link from Outside magazine that shows some of the pictures Chris took on his adventure in the wild. It also gives a little blurb that explains when and where the photos were taken. Make sure to check it out because it gives a more complete picture of Chris and his travels.

I hope to hear from you in the comments. And make sure to check back next week as we talk about the next six chapters.



4 Responses to “Into the Wild: Week 2”

  1. Jane Engle

    After being away for a while, it is good to be back joining in this month’s discussion.

    John Krakauer’s writing style makes this book very appealing to me. It is succinct, detail-oriented and based upon factual resources and research which as a reader I find highly enjoyable.

    By knowing the final outcome of Chris’s/Alex’s story, I am more interested in learning what led up to and resulted in his eventual demise. It is hard to discern how someone who has endured and dealt with living in the Alaskan wilderness for some time would eventually be found in the condition his lifeless body revealed.

    Thanks for the link which allows us to see some pictures Chris took. It only makes it more questionable why someone who appeared to enjoy people and life would end up alone and dead.

    • Erin K.

      Jane, it’s great to be hearing from you again. I’ve missed you the past couple of months.

      I’m glad you’re finding Krakauer’s writing style interesting and easy to read. I love how detailed he is and how much research he does on every one of his subjects. It’s really fascinating how he researches every single bit about his subject’s life.

      I’m glad the pictures were helpful for you. It is interesting how a man who seemed to make friends so easily wherever he went would be so interested in spending so much time alone.

      I hope you continue to enjoy the book! Thanks for chiming in!

  2. Carrol

    I really enjoy Krakauer’s style of writing, too. He gives great details and keeps the story moving right along. I also like the actual excerpts from Chris’s diary that he provides.

    I am really enjoying the story so far. I am so interested in the people that Chris met on his journey. They are certainly unique individuals. I am so interested to find out more about Chris and the decisions he made. It is so hard to imagine why someone in his position would choose to do the things he did.

    Thanks for providing the link with the pictures of Chris. Those are really helpful. Seeing them reminds me that this is a real person.

    • Erin K.

      Carrol, I’m glad you’re enjoying the book so far. Can you tell that Krakauer wrote for magazines before writing books?

      It is so interesting how Chris found so many people to be friends with along his journey. I loved how he spent time writing to these people after he continued on. I just think it’s so interesting how he made so many friends but was still interested in spending so much time alone.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures!

      I hope you keep enjoying the book! Thanks for leaving a comment this week!

Comments are closed.